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Cesar A. Arias, MD, MSc, PhD

John F. III and Ann H. Bookout Distinguished Chair for Research Excellence, Research Institute
Professor of Medicine, Academic Institute
Full Member, Research Institute
Co-director, Center for Infectious Diseases Research
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


Biography

Dr. Cesar Arias has over 25 years of experience in the field of antimicrobial resistance. His career has focused on the clinical and molecular aspects of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with emphasis on gram-positive organisms. He became interested in infectious disease (ID) because of its prominence as a public health problem and also because ID spans all aspects of clinical medicine. After medical school, he attended the University of London where he focused on clinical microbiology and performed research on the molecular biology of capsule genes in S. pneumoniae, developing molecular tools for capsule typing of this important pathogen. He obtained his PhD at Cambridge in 2000, studying the molecular mechanisms of vancomycin resistance in enterococci. During graduate studies, he discovered a new enzyme and elucidated a novel mechanism for synthesis of D-serine in bacteria. After completing residency at UTHealth McGovern Medical School as well as a fellowship in ID (joint program with UT MD Anderson Cancer Center), he expanded studies on staphylococci and enterococci.

He was the recipient of a K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award and now holds an NIH K24 mid-career investigator award to increase patient-oriented and mentoring activities on antimicrobial resistance. He has also founded two overseas research units (Molecular Genetics and Antimicrobial Resistance Unit and the International Center for Microbial Genomics) focused on AMR at Universidad El Bosque, Bogota, Colombia. His most recent research has concentrated on elucidating the mechanistic basis of resistance to daptomycin with focus on enterococci and to dissect the molecular epidemiology and clinical impact of multidrug-resistant organisms as part of the NIH-funded Antimicrobial Resistance Leadership Group. A major component of the research on MDR organisms is the use of genomics as a major tool to dissect the molecular epidemiology and population structure of MDR bacteria.

Publications

Surveillance infrastructure is essential to address antimicrobial resistance in the Americas
Undurraga, EA, Peters, A, Arias, CA & Munita, JM 2024, , The Lancet Regional Health - Americas, vol. 29, 100654. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lana.2023.100654

Membrane Lipids Augment Cell Envelope Stress Signaling and Resistance to Antibiotics and Antimicrobial Peptides in Enterococcus faecalis
Miller, WR, Nguyen, A, Singh, KV, Rizvi, S, Khan, A, Erickson, SG, Egge, S, Cruz, MR, Dinh, A, Diaz, L, Zhang, R, Xu, L, Garsin, DA, Shamoo, Y & Arias, CA 2023, , bioRxiv, pp. 1 - 30. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10614854/>

Lives lost and disease burden related to antimicrobial resistance in the Americas can no longer be ignored
Undurraga, EA, Peters, A, Arias, CA & Munita, JM 2023, , The Lancet Regional Health - Americas, vol. 26, 100596. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lana.2023.100596

Clinical Outcomes and Bacterial Characteristics of Carbapenem-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Among Patients from Different Global Regions
Multi-Drug Resistant Organism Network Investigators 2023, , Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciad556

Clinical Outcomes and Bacterial Characteristics of Carbapenem-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Among Patients from Different Global Regions
Multi-Drug Resistant Organism Network Investigators 2023, , Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciad556

LiaX is a surrogate marker for cell-envelope stress and daptomycin non-susceptibility in Enterococcus faecium
Axell-House, DB, Simar, SR, Panesso, D, Rincon, S, Miller, WR, Khan, A, Pemberton, OA, Valdez, L, Nguyen, AH, Hood, KS, Rydell, K, DeTranaltes, AM, Jones, MN, Atterstrom, R, Reyes, J, Sahasrabhojane, PV, Suleyman, G, Zervos, M, Shelburne, SA, Singh, KV, Shamoo, Y, Hanson, BM, Tran, TT & Arias, CA 2023, , bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.08.18.553907

Phage-Antibiotic Cocktail Rescues Daptomycin and Phage Susceptibility against Daptomycin-Nonsusceptible Enterococcus faecium in a Simulated Endocardial Vegetation Ex Vivo Model
Coyne, AJK, Stamper, KC, El Ghali , A, Kebriaei, R, Biswas, B, Wilson, M, Deschenes, MV, Tran, C, Arias, CA & Rybak, MJ 2023, , Microbiology Spectrum, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. e0034023. https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.00340-23

International Epidemiology of Carbapenemase-Producing Escherichia coli
Boutzoukas, AE, Komarow, L, Chen, L, Hanson, B, Kanj, SS, Liu, Z, Salcedo Mendoza, S, Ordonez, K, Wang, M, Paterson, DL, Evans, S, Ge, L, Giri, A, Hill, C, Baum, K, Bonomo, RA, Kreiswirth, B, Patel, R, Arias, CA, Chambers, HF, Fowler, VG & Van Duin, D 2023, , Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, vol. 77, no. 4, pp. 499-509. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciad288

International Epidemiology of Carbapenemase-Producing Escherichia coli
Boutzoukas, AE, Komarow, L, Chen, L, Hanson, B, Kanj, SS, Liu, Z, Salcedo Mendoza, S, Ordonez, K, Wang, M, Paterson, DL, Evans, S, Ge, L, Giri, A, Hill, C, Baum, K, Bonomo, RA, Kreiswirth, B, Patel, R, Arias, CA, Chambers, HF, Fowler, VG & Van Duin, D 2023, , Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 77, no. 4, pp. 499-509. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciad288

The response of mpox-associated inflammatory syndrome to steroid therapy
Arias, CA, Miller, WR, Olsen, RJ, Gollihar, J & Armstrong, A 2023, , The Lancet Infectious Diseases, vol. 23, no. 8, pp. e323-e324. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(22)00876-3

Dynamics of the MRSA Population in a Chilean Hospital: a Phylogenomic Analysis (2000-2016)
Martínez, JRW, Planet, PJ, Spencer-Sandino, M, Rivas, L, Díaz, L, Moustafa, AM, Quesille-Villalobos, A, Riquelme-Neira, R, Alcalde-Rico, M, Hanson, B, Carvajal, LP, Rincón, S, Reyes, J, Lam, M, Calderon, JF, Araos, R, García, P, Arias, CA & Munita, JM 2023, , Microbiology Spectrum, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. e0535122. https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.05351-22, https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.05351-22

Clinical Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns of Infections Due to Salmonella Species in Children, Houston, TX. 2016-2021: A Retrospective Study
Tabarani, C, De La Hoz, A, Wanger, A, Flores, AR & Arias, CA 2023, , Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, vol. 42, no. 8, pp. 667-671. https://doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000003949

Clinical Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns of Infections Due to Salmonella Species in Children, Houston, TX. 2016-2021: A Retrospective Study
Tabarani, C, De La Hoz, A, Wanger, A, Flores, AR & Arias, CA 2023, , Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, vol. 42, no. 8, pp. 667-671. https://doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000003949

Dynamics of the MRSA Population in a Chilean Hospital: a Phylogenomic Analysis (2000-2016)
Martínez, JRW, Planet, PJ, Spencer-Sandino, M, Rivas, L, Díaz, L, Moustafa, AM, Quesille-Villalobos, A, Riquelme-Neira, R, Alcalde-Rico, M, Hanson, B, Carvajal, LP, Rincón, S, Reyes, J, Lam, M, Calderon, JF, Araos, R, García, P, Arias, CA & Munita, JM 2023, , Microbiology Spectrum, vol. 11, no. 4. https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.05351-22

Antibiotic Consumption During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic and Emergence of Carbapenemase-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae Lineages Among Inpatients in a Chilean Hospital: A Time-Series Study and Phylogenomic Analysis
Allel, K, Peters, A, Conejeros, J, Martínez, JRW, Spencer-Sandino, M, Riquelme-Neira, R, Rivas, L, Rojas, P, Orellana Chea, C, García, P, Araos, R, Mcgovern, O, Patel, TS, Arias, CA, Lessa, FC, Undurraga, EA & Munita, JM 2023, , Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 77, no. Suppl 1, pp. S20-S28. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciad151

Identification of distinct impacts of CovS inactivation on the transcriptome of acapsular group A streptococci
Debroy, S, Shropshire, WC, Vega, L, Tran, CN, Horstmann, N, Mukherjee, P, Selvaraj-Anand, S, Tran, C, Bremer, J, Gohel, M, Arias, CA, Flores, AR & Shelburne, SA 2023, , mSystems, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. e0022723. https://doi.org/10.1128/msystems.00227-23

Colocalization of Linezolid Resistance (cfr) and Virulence Factors Cytolysin and Hemolysin (cln and hln) on a Plasmid in Enterococcus faecalis
Singh, NV, Singh, KV, Dinh, AQ, Arias, CA, Shropshire, WC, Hanson, BM & Murray, BE 2023, , Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, vol. 67, no. 6, pp. e0025923. https://doi.org/10.1128/aac.00259-23

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Launches a New Section Focused on Innovative Antimicrobial Stewardship Studies
Tamma, PD, Arias, CA & Shields, RK 2023, , Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, vol. 67, no. 6, pp. e0052623. https://doi.org/10.1128/aac.00526-23

Evolving landscape of carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa at a single centre in the USA
Sakurai, A, Dinh, AQ, Hanson, BM, Shropshire, WC, Rizvi, SA, Rydell, K, Tran, TT, Wanger, A, Arias, CA & Miller, WR 2023, , JAC-Antimicrobial Resistance, vol. 5, no. 3, dlad070, pp. dlad070. https://doi.org/10.1093/jacamr/dlad070

Heavy Metal Pollution From a Major Earthquake and Tsunami in Chile Is Associated With Geographic Divergence of Clinical Isolates of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Latin America
Martínez, JR, Alcalde-Rico, M, Jara-Videla, E, Rios, R, Moustafa, AM, Hanson, B, Rivas, L, Carvajal, LP, Rincon, S, Diaz, L, Reyes, J, Quesille-Villalobos, A, Riquelme-Neira, R, Undurraga, EA, Olivares-Pacheco, J, García, P, Araos, R, Planet, PJ, Arias, CA & Munita, JM 2023, , bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.05.18.541300