Inder receives clinical scientist award from Doris Duke Foundation

Terrie E. Inder, M.D., Ph.D., has received a 2008 Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


Inder is a pediatrician and researcher at the Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

The $1.5 million award recognizes outstanding leadership in clinical research and allows leading physician-scientists to meld biomedical research and clinical applications that improve human health. Inder was one of six award recipients.

“Terrie Inder is an outstanding clinical investigator who bridges the gaps between basic neurobiology, translational medicine and health outcomes for our smallest and most vulnerable patients,” said Alan L. Schwartz, Ph.D., M.D., the Harriet B. Spoehrer Professor and head of Pediatrics.

Inder, who specializes in newborn medicine, neurology and radiology at the School of Medicine, uses imaging studies on brains of premature, at-risk infants to help predict developmental outcomes, in particular the risk of severe cognitive delays, psychomotor delays, cerebral palsy or hearing or visual impairments.

Using sophisticated analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, Inder can determine abnormalities in the brains of preterm infants born at 30 weeks gestation or less and assist in guiding families as to the risk for future disability. The outcomes of the MRI scans can also inform the physicians about the impact of treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit on brain development.

Inder, also co-directs a large multidisciplinary team that provides clinical care, teaching and research to improve the outcomes for infants born at risk for disability. The team combines multi-disciplinary research initiatives in pediatrics, neurology, radiology, obstetrics and psychology based on studies at the bedside of newborn infants in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. These studies include brain monitoring with electroencephalography for silent seizures which are very common in sick babies, early treatment with caffeine in preterm infants to prevent cerebral palsy, treatment of high-risk pregnancies with pomegranate juice and studying natural stem-cell regeneration in the immature brain. All infants are followed into childhood to monitor their progress.

Inder earned a medical degree and a doctorate from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. She completed a residency in pediatrics at Dunedin Hospital, a newborn medicine fellowship at Christchurch Hospital/Otago Medical School and a residency in child neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She joined the faculty at the School of Medicine in 2005.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked third in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.