Chaitan Khosla is a chemical engineer recognized for his work on the chemistry and biology of polyketide antibiotics. He is also known for his studies on the molecular basis of celiac disease. Khosla was born in Pune, India, and moved to the United States in 1985. He received his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1990. After completing postdoctoral studies in genetics at the John Innes Centre in the United Kingdom, he joined the faculty of Stanford University in 1992. He is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Stanford, and has served as the founding director of Stanford ChEM-H since 2012. Khosla is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Research Interests

Research in this laboratory focuses on problems where deep insights into enzymology and metabolism can be harnessed to improve human health. 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. We have also investigated the pathogenesis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, with the goal of discovering therapies 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 patient?s intestine.

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Primary Section

Section 14: Chemistry

Secondary Section

Section 21: Biochemistry