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Elizabeth Lowenthal, MD, MSCE
Elizabeth Lowenthal Headshot
Director, Global Health Research Affinity Group

Dr. Lowenthal's work is focused on addressing health priorities for children in resource-limited settings. In addition to research projects she serves as research director for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Global Health Center, supporting junior researchers (and senior researchers newly working in international settings) to develop projects addressing other health priorities for children in resource-limited settings.



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Dr. Lowenthal has a diverse portfolio of research, united by her drive to improve the health of children, particularly those in resource-limited settings. Her research career grew out of full-time clinical work in Botswana prior to coming to CHOP and University of Pennsylvania for research training. She is currently the principal investigator for a Botswana-based study focused on measurement of cognitive function in HIV-affected children and adolescents. Her team is testing the hypothesis that the Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery can be culturally adapted as a valid tool for use in youth affected by HIV in resource-limited settings with high HIV prevalence.

Her second study, a collaboration with scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Research Center, grew out of her observation that dramatic variability in the taste acceptance of a pediatric HIV treatment drug seemed to drive early treatment outcomes. Her team found that differences in taste receptor genetics explain a high proportion of the variability in medication tolerance, paving the way for the R01-funded study to assess the relationship between taste receptor genetics, taste perception, medication adherence, and side effects related to a variety of bitter-tasting pediatric medications.

In addition, Dr. Lowenthal serves as the principal investigator for two philanthropically-funded trials based in the Dominican Republic that aim to evaluate a novel strategy to address iron-deficiency anemia in infants and young children.

Her notable research achievements to date include:

  • Research publications/findings cited in and influenced changes to U.S. and international HIV treatment guidelines
  • Work with international pediatric partners and CHOP/Penn collaborators to develop evidence-based approaches to improve local pediatric care and improve research capacity at partner sites
  • Honored as one of two inaugural winners of the Carole Marcus Mid-Career Award to Promote Career Development and Mentoring in Pediatric Research at CHOP

Education and Training

BA, Augustana College (Biology), 1995

MD, Baylor College of Medicine, 2000

MSCE, University of Pennsylvania (Clinical Epidemiology), 2012

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Global Health Research Affinity Group

Research Director, Global Health Center

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000-

Southern African HIV Clinician’s Society, Botswana Branch, 2004-2008

Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence, Secretary and Full Board Member, 2006-2008

Professional Awards

Mentor, American Academy of Pediatrics International Community Access to Child Health(I-CATCH) Award, 2008-2010

Young Investigator Award, Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, 2011

National Institute of Mental Health Early Career Investigator International Travel Award for the Wellcome Trust/NIMH Global Mental Health Networking Workshop and the World Mental Health Congress of the World Federation of Mental Health, 2011

Mentor for Outstanding CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP), 2013

Penn Center for AIDS Research “Best Young Investigator Award,” 2014

Gilead Sciences Research Scholars Program in HIV award winner, 2016

Publication Highlights