Meet the Chief

Eric R. Houpt, MD

Eric is the Jack M. Gwaltney Jr. Professor of Infectious Diseases. He received the B.A. from Colgate University, the M.D. from Emory University, and was an Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago.  He was a fellow in Infectious Diseases at the University of Virginia from 1999-2002 whereupon he was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Medicine where he has risen through the ranks to Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health and Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Medicine. Eric’s wife Gwendolyn Kelly practices ob/gyn in Charlottesville. They have three children: Hannah, Lukas, and Logan. Special clinical interests include tropical medicine (for many years he chaired the ASTMH clinical review course) and tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial diseases. He is the Tuberculosis Consultant Physician for the Virginia Department of Health and has NIH grants in TB diagnosis and management.

Eric and his group are internationally renowned for the development of molecular diagnostics and application to enteric infections in children in resource-limited settings.  The work has fundamentally changed how infectious diarrhea is recognized, showing that diarrhea is often a multipathogen event and a state of enteropathogen excess above a high carriage baseline.  A recent manuscript in The Lancet showed how molecular diagnostics could assign an infectious cause to diarrhea in over 80% of cases, with most of the global childhood diarrhea burden ascribable to just 6 pathogens, whereas previously we were in the dark without an etiology.   This work has galvanized global efforts to develop Shigella vaccines and prompted clinical trials by the WHO to evaluate new management strategies for diarrhea.   For this work he was awarded the 2015 Oswald Avery Award for Achievement by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.


Read former Chair, Dr. Petri’s Welcoming Letter for Eric Houpt and reflections on Dr. Petri’s 50 years of Infectious Diseases and International Health at the University of Virginia here.