Claudia R. Morris, MD
Research Director, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
Claudia R. Morris, MD is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. She is also an attending physician in the pediatric Emergency Department at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She received her medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1993, and completed her residency training in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Oakland in 1996. She went on to do a chief resident year, as well a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital Oakland, and remained on as faculty until her relocation to Emory in 2012. Dr. Morris is an R01-funded investigator who has led several single and multi-center trials. She has a special interest in nutritional research that targets inflammation and oxidative stress. She has studied the arginine-nitric oxide pathway in both sickle cell disease (SCD) and asthma, and holds 2 INDs for glutamine and arginine for the treatment of SCD and thalassemia. Dr. Morris discovered that an L-arginine deficiency in SCD is the consequence of hemolysis, a process in which red blood cells rupture and release their contents into the blood stream. She published the first therapeutic study for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension in SCD evaluating arginine, a nutritional supplement (Morris et al 2003, Am J Resp Crit Care Med), and recently published a randomized placebo-controlled trial of arginine therapy in children with SCD hospitalized for pain (Morris et al 2013, Haematologica). Dr. Morris found that an arginine deficiency plays a role in asthma as well as SCD (Morris et al 2004, Am J Resp Crit Care Med), and believes that limited arginine bioavailability may contribute to the high incidence of asthma seen in patients with SCD. Low bioavailability of arginine is associated with lung disease and death in patients with SCD (Morris et al 2005, JAMA). The goal of her research efforts is to develop novel interventions that minimizes inflammation, hemolysis and morbidity in these disorders.