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Dr. Claud is a physician scientist who intended to be a full time clinician but discovered a passion for answering questions through laboratory investigation. She is committed to the questions being explored in her laboratory but also to encouraging medical students and trainees to consider research as an essential and feasible means of improving patient care.
Dr. Claud is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology, and the Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology. She received her combined undergraduate and medical degree at Northwestern University through the six year Honors Program in Medical Education, and then completed her Residency in Pediatrics at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. After spending 18 months in rural Kenya as a missionary physician, she returned to Chicago to complete her Neonatology Fellowship at Children’s Memorial Hospital.
Following her clinical fellowship she was recruited to Harvard Medical School where she held a clinical position at The Boston Children’s Hospital and completed a research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. She joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 2004. She is NIH funded to investigate the role of microbes in intestinal development of the preterm infant and leads the MIND (Microbiome in Neonatal Development) cohort. The interaction between the intestine and its resident microbiota is a complex relationship with risk and benefit for the host. Perturbations in environmental cues or altered patterns of microbial selection can affect health and increase risk of disease in susceptible individuals. The simple microbial communities and limited environmental variation of the preterm infant provide a unique model in which to investigate microbial perturbations. Her laboratory utilizes state-of-the-art experimental approaches including: 16S rRNA and shotgun metagenomic analyses of the microbiome, gnotobiotic mouse models, rodent models of Neonatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis, as well as cell culture models of immature and mature intestine to investigate the health impact of the microbiome on health outcomes of preterm infants.
She is co-director of the Basic Science Track within the Scholarship and Discovery Program of the Pritzker School of Medicine and Faculty Co-Chair Pritzker School of Medicine Summer Research Program. She is also Director of Neonatology Research and a member of the Faculty Leadership Cabinet for the Duchossois Family Institute.