Charlene W. Compher, PhD, RD, CNSC, LDN, FADA, FASPEN
The limited ability to absorb nutrients from food challenges the quality of life of patients with severe gastrointestinal diseases and critical illness.
Through her clinical practice and research, Charlene W. Compher has improved quality of life for people with short bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and critical illnesses.
“Working on research projects that have the potential to improve the quality of patients’ lives and participating in team science is exciting and inspiring.”
- PhD, Drexel University, 1999
- MS, Drexel University, 1982
- BS, University of Tennessee, 1970
As a clinician educator for the Clinical Nutrition Support Service at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Dr. Compher is the team leader for home parenteral nutrition. The Clinical Nutrition Support Service, comprised of dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, and physicians, is the oldest nutrition team in the U.S., providing evidence-based nutrition care to high-acuity hospital patients.
Dr. Compher’s students know that she understands the issues they’ll face in their clinical practice. She mentors undergraduate and doctoral students and involves students at all levels in her research. Dr. Compher teaches the capstone course for nutrition minors and case study in clinical nutrition.
Dr. Compher’s clinical work has been the inspiration for her research, including several clinical trials that contributed to the 2012 FDA approval of teduglutide, the first targeted therapy for short bowel syndrome to reduce intravenous nutrition for these patients. More recently, Dr. Compher and colleagues compared the effectiveness of exclusive enteral nutrition feeding, partial enteral nutrition, and biological therapy on Crohn’s disease in children. They found that exclusive enteral nutrition and biological therapy had similar effectiveness. Another study of critically ill patients found that higher protein intake was associated with improved survival and faster discharge.
Research on Gut Microbiome to Advance Nutrition Science
Much of Dr. Compher’s current research examines links between diet, the gut microbiome, and important clinical outcomes. Through a grant from the March of Dimes, she is collaborating with HUP’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Practice group to study differences in maternal diet and gut microbiome between women who have spontaneous pre-term births and women who carry to term. Dr. Compher also uses using large prospective databases to develop evidence for better decision-making about nutrition therapy for critically ill patients.
As editor of clinical guidelines for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, Dr. Compher led teams that published 15 guidelines, including recent guidelines for the nutrition support in adult critically ill patients, a collaboration with the Society of Critical Care Medicine. These guidelines have been widely adopted in clinical practice and are posted on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s website. Dr. Compher is president of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, a multi-profession society that seeks to lead the science and practice of clinical nutrition.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Dr. Compher is faculty director of the Nutrition Minor, a joint program of the School of Nursing and the School of Arts and Sciences, and the largest cross-school minor at Penn. Starting in September 2016, students with majors in nursing or arts and sciences will also be able to choose nutrition science as a second major.
Selected Career Highlights
- Nominee for Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing 2017-2018
- Fellow, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
- Excellence in Research Awards, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Faculty Mentorship Award, Biobehavioral Health Systems Department, Penn Nursing
- Alumni Award for Service to the Profession of Dietetics, Drexel University
Hudson L, Chittams J, Griffith C, Compher C. Malnutrition identified by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition is associated with more 30-day readmissions, greater hospital mortality, and longer hospital stays: a retrospective analysis of nutrition assessment data in a major medical center. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2018. DOI 10.1002/jpen.1021. PMID 29385244
Heyland DK, Stapleton R, Compher C. Should We Prescribe More Protein to Critically Ill Patients? Nutrients. 2018Apr 7;10(4). pii: E462. doi: 10.3390/nu10040462.PMID:29642451
Pironi L, Konrad D, Brandt C, et al. Clinical classification of adult patients with chronic intestinal failure due to benign disease: An international multicenter cross-sectional survey. Clin Nutr. 2018 Apr; 37(2): 728-738. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2017.04.013. Epub 2017 Apr 19.PMID:28483328
Compher C, Chittams J, Sammarco T, Higashibeppu N, Higashiguchi T, Heyland DK. Greater Nutrient Intake Is Associated With Lower Mortality in Western and Eastern Critically Ill Patients With Low BMI: A Multicenter, Multinational Observational Study. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2018 Jun 30. doi: 10.1002/jpen.1180. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 2995985; JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2018;00:1–7
Compher C, Jain AJ, Nichol PF, Blackmer A, Earthman C, Evans DC, McCarthy MS, Taylor B, Mehta N. Research Agenda: 2018: The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2018 Jun 30.
Jensen GL, Cederholm T, Correia MITD, Gonzalez MC, Fukushima R, Higashiguchi T, de Baptista GA, Barazzoni R, Blaauw R, Coats AJS, Crivelli A, Evans DC, Gramlich L, Fuchs-Tarlovsky V, Keller H, Llido L, Malone A, Mogensen KM, Morley JE, Muscaritoli M, Nyulasi I, Pirlich M, Pisprasert V, de van der Schueren M, Siltharm S, Singer P, Tappenden KA, Velasco N, Waitzberg DL, Yamwong P, Yu J, Compher C, Van Gossum A. GLIM criteria for the diagnosis of malnutrition - A consensus report from the global clinical nutrition community. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2018 Sep 2. doi: 10.1002/jpen.1440. [Epub ahead of print. PMID:30175461
Cederholm T, Jensen GL, Correia MITD, Gonzalez MC, Fukushima R, Higashiguchi T, Baptista G, Barazzoni R, Blaauw R, Coats A, Crivelli A, Evans DC, Gramlich L, Fuchs-Tarlovsky V, Keller H, Llido L, Malone A, Mogensen KM, Morley JE, Muscaritoli M, Nyulasi I, Pirlich M, Pisprasert V, de van der Schueren MAE, Siltharm S, Singer P, Tappenden K, Velasco N, Waitzberg D, Yamwong P, Yu J, Van Gossum A, Compher C; GLIM Core Leadership Committee; GLIM Working Grou GLIM criteria for the diagnosis of malnutrition - A consensus report from the global clinical nutrition community. Clin Nutr. 2018 Sep 3. pii: S0261-5614(18)31344-X. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.08.002. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:30181091
Heyland D, Patel J, Bear D, Sacks G, Nixdorf H, Dolan J, Aloupis M, Licastro K, Jovanovic V, Rice TW, Compher C. The Effect of Higher Protein Dosing in Critically Ill Patients: Multi-center Registry-based Randomized Trial: the EFFORT Trial. JPEN Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2018 Sep 27. doi: 10.1002/jpen.1449. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PMID:30260486
Hantsoo L, Jasarevic E, Criniti S, McGeehan B, Tanes C, Sammel MD, Elovitz MA, Compher C, Wu G, Epperson CN. Childhood Adversity Impact on Gut Microbiota and Inflammatory Response to Stress during Pregnancy. Brain Behavior and Immunity 2018; epub November 6 2018
Compher C, Chittams J, Sammarco T, Nicolo M, Heyland DK. Greater Protein and Energy Intake May Be Associated With Improved Mortality in Higher Risk Critically Ill Patients: A Multicenter, Multinational Observational Study. Crit Care Med. 2017 Feb;45(2):156-163. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000002083.PMID:28098623