International leader in infectious disease joins Houston Methodist
Cesar A. Arias, M.D. MSc, PhD., an internationally-recognized infectious disease expert, has joined Houston Methodist where he will continue his NIH-funded basic, translational and clinical research on antibiotic resistance.
He will serve as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases as the John F. III and Ann H. Bookout Distinguished Chair and will serve as the Co-Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research at the Houston Methodist Research Institute.
Arias was one of the first recipients of the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award and is a recipient of the American Society for Microbiology Young Investigator Award and the Infectious Diseases Society Oswald Avery Award for early achievement, among others.
“COVID-19 has taught the health care community so many lessons, but one of the most important is that investment in infectious diseases is absolutely crucial for patient care and public health, said Richard Robbins, M.D., chairman, Department of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital. “Houston Methodist has a vision to invest extensively in this area to reach the next level of excellence and build on what we have learned throughout the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Dr. Arias and his team’s expertise will play a huge role in that.”
“We are thrilled that Dr. Arias has joined our outstanding team of infectious diseases researchers and clinicians. Together we will establish a platform from which we can translate bench discoveries directly to patient care,” said James M. Musser, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, and Director, Center for Infectious Diseases Research at the Houston Methodist Research Institute. “This approach will allow us to tackle new pandemics earlier, faster, and more efficiently, ultimately saving lives. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Arias to better protect our patients and Houston area citizens.”
Arias brings to Houston Methodist extensive accomplishments in basic and translational work on antimicrobial resistance and microbial genomics to help diagnose and treat antibiotic resistant organisms. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters. He is currently Chair of the Gulf Coast Consortium (GCC) on Antimicrobial Resistance and serves as Editor in Chief of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Arias is a member of the Board of Directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and has served as member of the IDSA COVID-19 Guidelines and both the Vice Chair and Chair (2018 and 2019, respectively) of IDWeek. He was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2015 and to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2019. Arias has also built an outstanding educational and mentoring program in antimicrobial resistance, including serving as PI of the Gulf Coast Consortium-based NIH-funded Texas Medical Center T32 Training Program in Antimicrobial Resistance.
Arias received his medical degree from Universidad El Bosque, Bogota, Colombia, his Masters in Clinical Microbiology at the University of London and his Ph.D. in Microbial Biochemistry and Molecular Microbiology from the University of Cambridge. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust International Fellowship in 2000 to develop antimicrobial research in Colombia, before moving to Houston in 2002 for training in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at UTHealth McGovern Medical School and UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. He joined the faculty at UTHealth in 2008 where he was named a Professor in 2016 and The Herbert and Margaret W. DuPont Chair in Infectious Diseases in 2017.