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Chaitan Khosla

Chaitan Khosla

Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Biochemistry
Antibiotic biosynthesis and engineering; chemical foundations of inflammation

About

Research in this laboratory focuses on problems where deep insights into enzymology and metabolism can be harnessed to improve human health.

For the past two decades, we have studied and engineered enzymatic assembly lines called polyketide synthases that catalyze the biosynthesis of structurally complex and medicinally fascinating antibiotics in bacteria. An example of such an assembly line is found in the erythromycin biosynthetic pathway. Our current focus is on understanding the structure and mechanism of this polyketide synthase. At the same time, we are developing methods to decode the vast and growing number of orphan polyketide assembly lines in the sequence databases.

For more than a decade, we have also investigated the pathogenesis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, with the goal of discovering therapies and related management tools for this widespread but overlooked disease. Ongoing efforts focus on understanding the pivotal role of transglutaminase 2 in triggering the inflammatory response to dietary gluten in the celiac intestine.

Recently, we initiated a collaborative program involving multiple Stanford laboratories (http://med.stanford.edu/virx.html.html) that is aimed at developing a fundamentally new approach to treating viral infections. As part of this initiative, we are developing an antiviral chemotherapy that modulates pyrimidine metabolism in the host, and also a platform to engineer immuno-modulatory glycolipids for the treatment of influenza.

Appointments

Professor, Chemical Engineering
Professor, Chemistry
Professor (By courtesy), Biochemistry
Member, Bio-X
Member, Child Health Research Institute
Member, Stanford Cancer Institute
Director, Stanford ChEM-H
Member, Stanford Neurosciences Institute

Honors & Awards

Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society (2009)
Member, National Academy of Engineering (2009)
Professional Progress Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2008)
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007)
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2006)
Pure Chemistry Award, American Chemical Society (2000)
Alan T. Waterman Award, National Science Foundation (1999)
Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, American Chemical Society (1999)
Allan P. Colburn Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (1997)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

Scientific Advisory Board Member, Epiva Biosciences (2016 - Present)
Board Member, Protagonist Pharmaceuticals (2014 - Present)
Scientific Policy Committee Member, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (2014 - Present)
Consultant, Sitari Pharmaceuticals (2013 - Present)
Executive Council Member, North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (2012 - Present)

Professional Education

Postdoc, John Innes Centre, U.K., Genetics (1992)
PhD, California Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering (1990)

Featured Publications