Biography

Cesar A. Arias, MD. MSc, PhD., Professor, holds the Laurel and Robert H. Graham Faculty Fellowship at McGovern Medical School and is the Margaret and Herbert Dupont Chair in Infectious Diseases at UTHealth School of Public Health. He is the director and founder of the Center of Antimicrobial Resistance and Microbial Genomics (CARMiG) at McGovern Medical School and the director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the School of Public Health. Dr. Arias obtained his medical degree from Universidad El Bosque, Bogota, Colombia (first in class) and obtained a Masters in Clinical Microbiology at The University of London and a PhD in Microbial Biochemistry and Molecular Microbiology at University of Cambridge.  He then was awarded a Wellcome Trust International Fellowship to develop antimicrobial resistance research in Colombia, where he founded (and still directs) the Molecular Genetics and Antimicrobial Resistance Unit at Universidad El Bosque, Bogota. In 2002, he moved to Houston for training in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at UTHealth McGovern Medical School and UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. He was promoted to Professor in 2016.

Dr. Arias is a nationally and internationally recognized expert conducting NIH-funded basic, translational and clinical research on mechanisms of antibiotic resistance with emphasis on Gram-positive organisms (in particular enterococci). His expertise also includes the clinical impact of resistance and the molecular epidemiology of antibiotic-resistant organisms, using state-of-the-art genomic analyses.  He was one the first recipient of the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award and has also been the recipient of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Young Investigator Award and the Infectious Diseases Society Oswald Avery Award for early achievement, among others. Dr. Arias is a standing member of the NIH/NIAID Microbiology and Infectious Diseases study section since 2012 and has served a reviewer for the European Union Joint Program Initiative for Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR). He has been active in professional societies including the Program Planning Committee of IDWeek (the premier infectious diseases annual meeting organized by the IDSA, SHEA, HIVMA and PIDS), serving as Vice-Chair (2018) and Chair (2019). He was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2015.  Dr. Arias is an adjunct professor at Universidad El Bosque in Bogota, Colombia where he directs two research units and is a visiting professor at Universidad De Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. He is the founder and co-chair of the International Symposium of Antimicrobial Resistance held biannually in Colombia, and is a frequent invited speaker at national and international meetings. He serves as an editor of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ASM) and is the Chair of the Gulf Coast Consortium on Antimicrobial Resistance in Houston (a partnership between 7 institutions in the Texas Medical Center).

Dr. Arias research spans from NIH-funded projects investigating the molecular basis of resistance to the last-resort antibiotic daptomycin and development of novel non-traditional approaches to characterize emergent mechanisms of resistance in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and the study of the population structure of multidrug-resistant bacteria with an international perspective. His research seeks to develop translational tools (mainly genomics) to help diagnose and treat resistant organisms. Dr. Arias carries out projects with a network of collaborators across the Texas Medical Center and international sites using multidisciplinary approaches and includes graduate students and ID fellows. His research has resulted more than 150 publications including seminal papers in the New England Journal of Medicine and prominent books such as Harrison’s Textbook of Internal Medicine, and Mandell’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases.

Education

Medical Degree
Universidad El Bosque, School of Medicine
Master of Science
University of London, St. Bartholomew’s and The Royal London Hospital School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, United Kingdom
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry Cambridge, United Kingdom
Residency
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) McGovern Medical School & MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Fellowship
Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) McGovern Medical School

Board Certifications

  • Infectious Diseases, American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, USA