Infectious Disease Division

Cesar A. Arias, MD, MSc, PhD

Co-Director, Center for Infectious Diseases Research

Our rapidly growing division encompasses an internationally diverse team of researchers, educators and clinicians dedicated to mitigating the threat of infectious diseases and antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.

The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the Division of Infectious Diseases’ dedication to public health and the prevention of infectious disease outbreaks. In line with this dedication, we launched the Center for Infectious Diseases to provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to patients, as well as research and education opportunities for Houston Methodist faculty.

Directed by James Musser, MD, PhD and co-directed by Cesar Arias MD, MSc, PhD, the Center aims to be exceptionally well prepared and equipped for pandemics and the emergence of novel pathogens, including antimicrobial resistant microbes. To meet this goal, the Center collaborates with a wide range of faculty at Houston Methodist, including the Center for Outcomes Research and the Cockrell Center for Advanced Therapeutics.

Current laboratories of the Center for Infectious Diseases include:

  • Laboratory for Antimicrobial Research (PI: Cesar Arias, MD, MSc, PhD): Projects span from basic molecular mechanisms of resistance, including microbial biochemistry, genomics and microbiome science, to clinical trials that are conducted within the Division of Infectious Diseases.

  • Laboratory for Molecular and Translational Human Infectious Diseases Research (PI: James Musser, MD, PhD): Areas of interest include molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, human genetics of susceptibility to infectious agents, vaccinology, and a diverse range of pathogens and the diseases they cause, including group A Streptococcus, group B Streptococcus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus.

  • Laboratory of Antibody Discovery & Accelerated Protein Therapeutics (ADAPT lab) (PI: Jimmy Gollihar, PhD): The work in ADAPT encompasses a broad range of engineering biology, from the design of simple genetic parts and circuits to protein engineering and industrial biomanufacturing. Current projects include genomic surveillance and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 and engineering of enzymes intended for mRNA vaccine manufacturing.