Elizabeth Lowenthal, MD, MSCE

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
Core Faculty


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