Craig J. McClain

Craig J. McClain, M.D., is an internationally distinguished clinician and scientist in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, alcohol abuse, nutrition, cytokine research, and hepatic drug metabolism. He is triple board certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Nutrition. He is Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology & Toxicology, Distinguished University Scholar, Chief of Research Affairs for the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition at UofL, Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation and Associate Vice President for Health Affairs/Research. He also serves as Chief of Gastroenterology at the Louisville VAMC.

Dr. McClain is known for his pioneering work on alcoholic liver disease. In an early influential study, published in the JAMA in 1980, he described the deleterious interactions in the liver between alcohol and acetaminophen. In another landmark study, published in the journal Hepatology in 1989, Dr. McClain was the first to describe dysregulated cytokines in alcoholic hepatitis. This ground-breaking study is the second most cited liver pathobiology article in Hepatology over the past 25 years. Since 2000, Dr. McClain and colleagues have published multiple translational and mechanistic studies on the ability of zinc, and probiotics such as Lactobacillus, to protect against intestinal dysbiosis and liver injury.


Dr. McClain has mentored more than 100 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, medical students, residents and fellows, including more than 25 junior faculty members on career development awards (e.g., NIH K awards, VA Career Development awards, etc.). Dr. McClain has received many awards and honors, including the American Gastroenterology Association Foundation Research Mentoring Award, the Grace A. Goldsmith Award in Nutrition from the American College of Nutrition, and the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for mentoring. He also was honored to give the Mark Keller Honorary Lecture at NIAAA in 2014.

Dr. McClain has published almost 500 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters/reviews. He was the first physician member of the NIH PRAC (Peer Review Advisory Committee) and served on NIAAA National Advisory Council and the NIH Council of Councils. He is Past President of the American College of Nutrition and has serve in many leadership positions in the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the American Gastroenterology Association, etc.