Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Physiology, Pharmacology and Pediatrics of the University of Calgary. Her research group explores the intestinal colonization with microbes early in lab, its ecological patters and immune consequences to humans.
Originally trained as a medical microbiologist in San José, Costa Rica, Claire moved to Canada to pursue graduate studies at the University of Alberta. Her doctoral work explored the role of intestinal permeability (leaky gut) in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Through her work, she became very interested in the concept of the gut as the engine of diseases that occur in organs far away from the gut. Following this, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Brett Finlay's, a prominent molecular microbiologist and one of Canada’s most acclaimed scientists, who has pioneered many studies in the field of the human microbiome. During her postdoctoral stay, Claire studied the relationship between the gut microbiome, the gut's immune system and asthma, a disease of the lungs. This work led to several high impact publications and was deemed a breakthrough in the field. Besides her time spent in research, Claire is also very interested in science communication to the public. She has written one public book, is currently working on a second book (a children's book), and a documentary film project. She is the mother of two young children and a strong advocate for women in science.