Dr. Koethe is a board certified infectious diseases physician and researcher. His focus is how the interaction of HIV infection and nutritional host factors, such as obesity, affects the risk of metabolic disease among patients on long-term HIV treatment. He received formal training in clinical and translational research design and methods, and biostatistics from the Vanderbilt Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation Program (2010-2012). He is currently supported by a career development grant from NIAID (K23AI100700) to study 1) how total adiposity and adipose tissue distribution affect innate and adaptive immune function in HIV-infected individuals, and 2) how obesity alters the phenotype of HIV-associated cardiometabolic disease in a well-characterized 100 participant clinical cohort of HIV-infected persons and HIV-negative controls. Recent analyses from this cohort have highlighted novel relationships between circulating T cell subsets, metabolic and cardiovascular health parameters, metabolomic profiles, and plasma biomarkers. Additionally, a sub-cohort has undergone adipose tissue biopsies to study the distribution of circulating versus adipose-resident T cell subsets, and characterize T cell receptor clonality (via TCR sequencing) in the two tissue compartments. Dr. Koethe is also the PI of a NIDDK-supported study (R56DK108352) to assess the relationships between circulating T cell profiles and the risk of incident diabetes among the 2300 HIV-infected and HIV-negative participants in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS).
He completed his medical degree at Yale University followed by a residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Koethe came to Vanderbilt as an infectious diseases fellow in 2007 and joined the faculty in 2010. He was a National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellow at the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Zambia, and he subsequently completed training in clinical research study design, methods, and biostatistics through the Vanderbilt Master of Science in Clinical Investigation Program.
Dr. Koethe is the principal investigator of National Institutes of Health R01 and Veterans Affairs Merit grants to explore the role of the adipose tissue immune environment in the development of metabolic disease, and whether excess accumulation of fat in skeletal muscle promotes mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance. Dr. Koethe has a strong commitment to the career development of early career investigators in infectious diseases and metabolic research.
He is the Director of the Developmental Core of the Tennessee Center for AIDS Research, which is responsible for administering pilot grant awards and mentoring young investigators and those new to HIV research, as well as Program Director of the NHLBI-supported Vanderbilt Scholars in HIV and Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Research (V-SCHoLARS, K12), which supports 5 post-doctoral trainees for 2-3 years of mentored clinical and translational research on the intersection of HIV and HLBS conditions. Dr. Koethe currently sees patients at the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Health Care System Nashville campus.