Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Welcomes New Chief of Infectious Diseases

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Audrey R. Odom John, MD, PhD Audrey R. Odom John, MD, PhD Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) announces the selection of physician-scientist Audrey R. Odom John, MD, PhD, renowned as both a malaria researcher and an outstanding clinician, as its new Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Dr. John assumed her position on August 1. She succeeds Theoklis Zaoutis, MD, MSCE, who remains at CHOP as an attending physician and active investigator in the division.

“Dr. John is a highly accomplished physician-scientist who has earned a reputation as a talented clinician, bold and creative investigator, and dedicated teacher and mentor, said Joseph St. Geme, MD, Physician-in-Chief at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “We are pleased to welcome her to a team that has distinguished itself with expert diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, unsurpassed prevention efforts through vaccine development and education, and cutting-edge clinical and laboratory research.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining what I believe is the best pediatric infectious diseases division in the country, and, with a passion for discovery and science, I hope to build on its strengths,” said John. “I share CHOP’s vision of innovation, and hope my work will translate into improved care for our patients, as well as help stem pediatric infections worldwide.”

Dr. John has particular research interests in Plasmodium falciparum, the microscopic parasite that causes the infectious disease malaria. She has continued to study its metabolism, identifying both novel targets for drug development and noninvasive approaches to diagnosis.

Dr. John was formerly an associate professor of Pediatrics and of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude from Duke University, where she majored in biology. She remained at Duke for medical school and graduate school, earning her PhD in biochemistry in the laboratory of John York and receiving the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award for outstanding achievement in graduate studies in the biological sciences. 

Dr. John completed her pediatric residency and fellowship training in infectious diseases at Seattle Children’s Hospital/University of Washington. She has received the St. Louis Academy of Science Innovator Award, the American Chemical Society Young Investigator Award, a March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases Award, and the Infectious Diseases Society of American IDea Incubator Grand Prize.

At Washington University, Dr. John served as Director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program, Director of the Lucille Markey Pathway in Human Pathobiology, Associate Program Director of the nationally renowned Medical Scientist Training Program (one of the largest MD/PhD programs in the country), and President of the Academic Women’s Network. In addition, she holds a variety of leadership roles in the Pediatrics Infectious Diseases Society and the American Society for Microbiology.

The Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia offers consultation, diagnosis and management of all infectious diseases by world-class experts in the field. CHOP also offers a state-of-the-art Infectious Disease Diagnostics Laboratory. For more information and appointments, please visit the Division of Infectious Diseases website.

Contact: Amy Burkholder, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6083

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