Allison Ross Eckard, M.D. is jointly appointed as a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases, at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Eckard serves as the division chief for pediatric infectious diseases and director of MUSC’s Ryan White pediatric HIV clinic and HIV transition clinic. Prior to joining MUSC in 2015, she was on faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, GA in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases and currently maintains an adjunct faculty position there. Dr. Eckard received her medical doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh and completed her training in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital/Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.
Dr. Eckard’s major research interests include the metabolic, cardiovascular, and nutritional complications of chronic HIV and antiretroviral therapy in both HIV-infected children and adults. She focuses on elucidating the role of inflammation and immune activation in common comorbidities in HIV, like cardiovascular disease and bone disorders, as well as using targeted interventions to minimize the risk of comorbidity development. She currently is a PI on an NIH R01 grant investigating a novel intervention to improve weight gain and abdominal fat in people with HIV. Dr. Eckard has investigated other novel treatments for comorbidity risk reduction in HIV, including vitamin D supplementation and statin therapy. Dr. Eckard has published nearly 60 peer-reviewed research papers, review articles, and book chapters on this topic and presents frequently at national and international venues.
Dr. Eckard serves as the co-chair for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) panel for the “Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Exposed and HIV-Infected Children” and is an appointed scientific member for DHHS’s panel for the “Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Adults and Adolescents with HIV.” Board certified in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases, Dr. Eckard is an active member of numerous professional societies, including maintaining fellowship status in the Infectious Diseases Society of America, HIV Medical Association, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is a member of the HIV Medical Association’s “Ending the HIV Epidemic” working group and the Tri-County Sexual Health Awareness, (STI) Prevention & Education (SHAPE) Initiative Group.
On the clinical side, Dr. Eckard specializes in the medical care and treatment for children, adolescents, and young adults in their 20s and early 30s with a new diagnosis of HIV or for those who acquired HIV at birth. Her clinical passion is in the optimization of comprehensive HIV treatment and antiretroviral therapy across the age spectrum and in addressing the unique needs of adolescents and young adults with HIV. She has earned her certification as an “HIV Specialist” within the American Academy of HIV Medicine and leads the HIV education at MUSC. Dr. Eckard also serves as an inpatient consultant within the division of pediatric infectious diseases to provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment of hospitalized children with infectious diseases. With advanced training in global health/tropical medicine through the American Society of Tropical Medicine diploma course, Dr. Eckard is a medical consultant and volunteer for Lespwa Timoun, an organization in Haiti dedicated to child and maternal health. More recently, Dr. Eckard is working with other leaders at MUSC to maximize hospital operations and treatment guidelines for children with COVID-19 and is teaming up with South Carolina schools to implement risk mitigation strategies for safe in-person learning.