Andrew Chou, MD

  • Assistant Professor, Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine

Biography

Andrew Chou, M.D. received his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College followed by internal medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine. He subsequently completed a research post-doctoral fellowship in the Zechiedrich laboratory describing the novel anti-bacterial properties of ciclopirox and early work on its mechanism of action. He went on to be a clinical fellow and chief fellow in infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine. He remains on faculty at Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center with research focuses on microbial genomics, molecular epidemiology, and big-data to connect pathogen/patient interactions.

Education

M.D.
Jefferson Medical College. Philadelphia, PA
Residency, Internal Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine. Houston, TX
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Microbiology and Molecular Virology
Baylor College of Medicine. Houston, TX
Clinical Fellowship, Infectious Diseases
Baylor College of Medicine. Houston, TX

Research Information

  1. Characterizing novel anti-bacterial properties of ciclopirox against multidrug resistant bacteria. During my early training, I helped characterizing the novel antibacterial properties of ciclopirox, an FDA-approved antifungal. We identified ciclopirox as a potential anti-bacterial compound due to structural similarities with another internal anti-bacterial compound (SYC-008) and found it to be the most promising agent from a large screening. This project demonstrated, for the first time, that ciclopirox had anti-bacterial activity against Escharichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii in vitro. Furthermore, the anti-bacterial activity of ciclopirox were not affected by any known antibiotic resistance mechanism and ciclopirox was active against all MDR/XDR isolates selected from our collection of over 4,000 clinical isolates. These findings suggested that ciclopirox had a novel mechanism of action, which was supported by data demonstrating ciclopirox altered lipopolysaccharide synthesis (LPS). I continue to serve as an adviser for the lab’s ongoing work determining the biochemical pathways targeted by ciclopirox and utilizing ciclopirox in a neutropenic fever mouse model.
  2. Molecular epidemiology of blaNDM in the Philippines. During my postdoctoral research fellowship, I led a collaborative the investigation of a cluster of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) that detected the emergence of blaNDM in the Philippines. Prior to these cases, blaIMP was the only carbapenemase gene detected in the Philippines during passive surveillance. This project demonstrated the strains independently acquired blaNDM through next generation sequencing analysis of genome and plasmid analysis. These data contribute to the molecular epidemiology of CRE in the Philippines and highlights the need for novel antibiotics that target metallo-beta-lactamases, such as NDM.
  3. Molecular epidemiology of hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae associated genes in US. During my clinical fellowship, I defined the baseline prevalence of hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKP) associated genes, rmpA and magA. Although there are multiple case reports and case series of the spread of hvKP from East Asia to North America, previous studies were unable to estimate its prevalence and scope in the United States due to biases in data collection. I studied both VA and non-VA cohorts and was the first to report the first baseline burden of hvKP-associated genes in the United States.
  4. Measuring differential effects of histone deacetylases and histone deacetylase inhibitors on HIF-1alpha transactivation. In this project, I measured the effects of histone deacetylases (HDAC) on HIF-1alpha transactivation and found that different HDAC classes had different effects on HIF-1alpha transactivation. I also found that HIF-1alpha transactivation was indeed repressed by HDAC inhibitors that were used in clinical trials – one of these agents (SAHA) is now FDA approved as vorinostat.