Andrew L. Kau, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine
Allergy & Immunology

Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program
Immunology Program
Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program
Computational and Systems Biology Program

  • 314 362-8389

  • 314 454-7120



  • microbiota; microbiome; mucosal immunity; next-generation sequencing; asthma; allergy; atopy

  • Understanding the immune-modifying capacity of gastrointestinal and airway microbes through the lens of allergy

Research Abstract:

My overarching interest is to understand the immune-modifying capacity of gastrointestinal and airway
microbes through the lens of allergy. Two primary questions under investigation in the Kau lab are:

1) How do the respiratory and gastrointestinal microbiota contribute to asthma pathogenesis?

2) What role does intra- and interpersonal variation of the human microbiota and the mucosal immune response
play in human asthma pathogenesis?

Dissecting the relationships between the microbiota and immune system will have implications for human health and will require a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating expertise in microbial ecology and genetics, immunology, nutrition, technology development, computational biology and gnotobiotic mouse husbandry. I envision that the clinical and scientific relevance of this research will foster collaboration and scientific discovery and lead to novel approaches of diagnosing, treating and ultimately preventing allergic diseases.

Selected Publications:

Kau, A.L., Planer, J.D., Liu, J., Rao, S., Yatsunenko, T., Trehan, I., Manary, M.J., Liu, T., Stappenbeck, T.S., Maleta, K.A., Ashorn, P., Dewey, K.G., Houpt, E.R., Hsieh, C.S., Gordon, J.I. Functional characterization of IgAtargeted bacterial taxa from undernourished Malawian children that produce diet dependent enteropathy. Sci Transl Med. 2015; 7, 276ra24. Cover story. PMCID: PMC4423598.

Smith M.I., Yatsunenko T., Manary M.J., Trehan I., Mkakosya R., Cheng J., Kau A.L., Rich S.S., Concannon P., Mychaleckyj J.C., Liu J., Houpt E., Li J.V., Holmes E., Nicholson J., Knights D., Ursell L.K., Knight R., Gordon J.I. Gut microbiomes of Malawian twin pairs discordant for kwashiorkor. Science. 2013 Feb 1;339(6119):548-54. doi: 10.1126/science.1229000. PMCID: PMC3667500.

Nielsen, H.V., Flores-Mireles, A.L., Kau, A.L., Kline, K.A., Pinkner, J.S., Neiers, F., Normark, S., Henriques-Normark, B., Caparon, M.G., Hultgren, S.J. Pilin and sortase residues critical for endocarditis- and biofilmassociated pilus biogenesis in Enterococcus faecalis. J. Bacteriol. 2013 Oct;195(19):4484-95. doi: 10.1128/JB.00451-13. PMID: 23913319

Henao-Mejia J., Elinav E, Jin C., Hao L., Mehal W.Z., Strowig T., Thaiss C.A., Kau A.L., Eisenbarth S.C., Jurczak M.J., Camporez J.P., Shulman G.I., Gordon J.I., Hoffman H.M., Flavell R.A.. Inflammasome-mediated dysbiosis regulates progression of NAFLD and obesity. Nature. 2012 Feb 1;482(7384):179-85. PMCID: PMC3276682.

Elinav, E., Strowig, T., Kau, A.L., Henao-Mejia, J., Thaiss, C.A., Booth, C.J., Peaper, D.R., Bertin, J., Eisenbarth, S.C., Gordon, J.I., Flavell, R.A. NLRP6 Inflammasome Regulates Colonic Microbial Ecology and Risk for Colitis. Cell. 2011 May 27;145(5):745-57. PMCID: PMC3140910.

Last Updated: 7/11/2018 6:12:38 PM

Back To Top

Follow us: