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Christine McDonald, PhD

Christine McDonald, Ph.D.

Appointed: 2006

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Christine McDonald, PhD
Department: Pathobiology
Associate Staff
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code NC22
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Type of Doctor:

Biographical Sketch

Christine McDonald, PhD, is an Assistant Staff member in the Department of Pathobiology at the Lerner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic's main campus.

With a bachelor’s degree in biology from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minn., Dr. McDonald became a research assistant in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She moved to Stony Brook, N.Y. for doctoral studies in cellular and molecular immunology and pathology, working as a graduate research assistant in the Department of Pathology. After completing her doctorate in 2001, she became a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biological Chemistry and the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan. She worked briefly as a research investigator at the University of Michigan Medical School before coming to the Cleveland Clinic in 2006.

Dr. McDonald is the head of a federally funded research team investigating anti-microbial defense mechanisms in the gut and how alterations in these responses contribute to the development of auto-inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn's disease.  She has given many presentations and her research has been published in many peer-reviewed journals.

Education & Fellowships

Doctorate - State University of New York at Stony Brook
Cellular & Molecular Immunology & Pathology
Stony Brook, NY USA
Undergraduate - Macalester College
St. Paul, MN USA

Specialty Interests

Crohn’s disease; Inflammatory bowel disease; Auto-inflammatory disease; Innate immunity; Host defense mechanisms of the skin & intestine; NOD-like receptors (NLRs); Autophagy

Awards & Honors

  • Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program Award, Department of Defense, 2012-2015
  • NIDDK R01DK082437 Award, National Institutes of Health, 2009-2015
  • STERIS Infectious Diseases Research Award, Case Western University, 2013-2014
  • LRI Chairman’s Innovative Research Award, Cleveland Clinic, 2011-2012
  • Career Development Award, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, 2006-2009

Additional Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Laboratory of Gabriel Nunez, MD, University of Michigan Medical School, 2003-2006
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Laboratory of Jack E. Dixon, PhD, University of Michigan, 2001-2003


  • Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 1/27/2016, Dr. McDonald has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Donation of Financial Interest. Dr. McDonald has consulted for, received compensation for serving as a fiduciary from, or received royalties from the following companies but instructed them to donate all compensation to not-for-profit causes or to the Cleveland Clinic to support research and education:

  • AbbVie, Inc.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • English