Chan, Philip

From MolEvol


Philip A. Chan, MD, MS, is an infectious diseases doctor at Brown University and The Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. His work focuses on the molecular epidemiology of HIV, specifically using phylogeny to map transmission of HIV in a population.

Research Interests

My main research interest is the study of HIV epidemiology through phylogenetics and analysis of molecular sequence data. The HIV epidemic continues to propagate in high-risk populations in the United States. HIV transmission characteristics can be difficult to study. HIV ma infect a person years before they are actually diagnosed. Thus, it is often difficult to tell when a person was actually infected and who they were infected by. This has implications for public health programs such as partner notification programs (contact tracing) among other interventions. On initiation to care, every HIV infected person has an HIV genotype. The main purpose of this HIV genotype is to assess for the presence of transmitted drug resistance. Around 15-20% of people newly infected with HIV will have drug resistance (despite never being treated with antivirals). This drug resistance is usually transmitted from the infecting partner and is important to recognize in order to provide optimal treatment. This sequence data is typically in the form of HIV pol sequences. With this data, we can also perform phylogenetic analyses to identify clusters of sequences. These clusters typically represent networks of people who all have similar strains of HIV and have likely transmitted HIV between each other or were infected from a similar source (cannot infer directionality or direct tranmission. Also, the clusters may be missing other individuals). Several studies have shown that these networks are responsible for forward propagation of the epidemic. Through identification of these networks, we can identify risk factors for infection, time since infection, and other dynamics of the epidemic in our community. This will help target and direct HIV prevention interventions.

If I can ever be of help with any HIV related issues (or anything else), please don't hesitate to email (below).

Non-research Interests

1. Basketball (and all things related)
2. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (Blue Belt, on a hiatus due to injury)
3. Starcraft (Diamond level player on Battlenet)
4. Guitar (self-taught, not good but I try hard)
5. Science Fiction books

Favorite Books:
1. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card, must read)
2. Foundation (Isaac Asimov, fantastic)
3. Farseer Trilogy (Robin Hobb)
4. Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien)
5. The Chronicles of Narnia (CS Lewis)
6. American Gods (Neil Gaiman, wasn't great)
7. Neuromancer (William Gibson, not as great as people say)
8. Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson)
9. The Dark Tower Series (Stephen King, okay)
10. Watership Down (Richard Adam, GREAT- about a group of rabbits. Yep, and it's fantastic!)
11. The Amber Chronicles (Roger Zelazny)
12. The Belgariad (David Eddings)
13. The Wizard of Earthsea (Ursula Le Guin, the precursor to Harry Potter)
14. Harry Potter (JK Rowlings)
15. The Hunger Games (Read it!)
16. The Hyperion Cantos (Dan Simmons)
17. The Forever War (Joe Haldeman)
18. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Stephen Donaldson)
19. The Vorkosigan Saga (Lois McMaster Bujold)
20. The Sword of Truth Series (Terry Goodkind)
21. The Riftwar Saga (Raymond Feist)
22. The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (Terry Brooks, read this first as a child)
23. Battlefield Earth (Ron Hubbard, the movie sucks but the book is great!)
24. The Legend of Drizzt Series (RA Salvatore)
25. Old Man's War (John Scalzi)
26. The Thrawn Trilogy (Timothy Zahn, starts right after the Return of the Jedi)
27. The Man who Never Missed (Steve Perry)
28. The Mars Trilogy (Kim Stanley Robinson)

Favorite Sports Teams
1. Boston Celtics
2. New England Patriots
3. Boston Bruins
4. Boston Redsox

Contact Information

Philip A. Chan, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Brown University
The Miriam Hospital
1125 North Main Street
Providence, RI 02904