Research Horizons


Claire Chougnet Named as Inaugural Margaret K. Hostetter Endowed Chair

Photo of Claire Chougnet, PhD, PharmD

“Claire’s outstanding research attainments make her an international leader in immunology, and she has served as collaborator and mentor to so many.”

–Margaret “Peggy” Hostetter, MD

Claire Chougnet, PhD, PharmD, of the Division of Immunobiology, has been selected as the inaugural Margaret K. Hostetter Endowed Chair, which recognizes the exemplary achievements and service of female research faculty at Cincinnati Children’s.

Chougnet was selected based on her sustained outstanding accomplishments in research, leadership, and mentorship. She also attributes her success to the collegial and supportive atmosphere she experienced during her 20-year scientific career at Cincinnati Children’s.

“I am truly honored to have been chosen as the inaugural Margaret K. Hostetter Endowed Chair and humbled, given that there are so many highly accomplished women at Cincinnati Children’s,” says Chougnet. “Joining Cincinnati Children’s was the best professional decision I ever made.”

In 2001, Chougnet was the first hire in the Division of Immunobiology and has since built a sustained productive research program in basic and translational studies of immune system dysfunction. She has made important research advances in studies of the immune response in the context of chronic inflammation (such as HIV, aging), and neonatal development.

Since 2005, Chougnet’s lab has received continuous NIH funding, and she has published more than 135 peer-reviewed articles. In addition to directing a productive research program, she has made significant contributions to the Immunobiology Graduate Program, trainee mentoring, faculty development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion at Cincinnati Children’s.

“For this award, there were 23 applications from women faculty in multiple divisions and centers,” says Katherine Yutzey, PhD, a professor in the Division of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology and chair of the award’s selection committee. “This group of highly accomplished women is a testament to the research environment and institutional support for women faculty exemplified by Dr. Hostetter.”

Photo of Margaret “Peggy” Hostetter, MD

The award is named in honor of Margaret “Peggy” Hostetter, MD, whose nationally recognized career embodies research excellence and advocacy for the advancement of women in academic medicine.

Hostetter was the first woman to serve as Cincinnati Children’s physician-in-chief, director of the Research Foundation, and B.K. Rachford Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Under her guidance from 2017 to 2020, the medical center maintained its number-3 ranking in the “U.S. News & World Report” list of the nation’s top pediatric hospitals, and even jumped up to the number-2 spot for a year. Full-time faculty expanded by 8 percent, including recruitment of 13 division directors, and external research funding increased to $240 million.

“I’m grateful to the leadership at Cincinnati Children’s, especially Michael Fisher and Mark Mumford, for establishing this chair,” says Hostetter. “Claire’s outstanding research attainments make her an international leader in immunology, and she has served as collaborator and mentor to so many. With the chair set to rotate every three years, we can hope that many more premiere women scientists will be able to reap its benefits.”

The selection committee also included Jorge Bezerra, MD; Maria Britto, MD, MPH; Gurjit “Neeru” Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD; John Hogenesch, PhD; Heidi Kalkwarf, PhD; Jareen Meinzen-Derr, PhD; Nancy Ratner, PhD; Lori Stark, PhD; Aaron Zorn, PhD; and Hector Wong, MD.