Katherine Chou

Katherine Chou

Scientist III

Photo of Katherine Chou
(303) 384-7626
At NREL Since: 

Dr. Katherine Chou received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Her graduate work revolved around nitric oxide (NO), a diatomic radical that plays important roles in mammalian systems including human immune response to bacterial infection. Her Ph.D. research was on elucidating the bacterial response to NO using the model organism Escherichia coli. To understand the underlying mechanisms for NO-induced bacteriostasis, she and her colleagues screened the library of all of the non-essential single-gene knockouts for NO-resistant mutants. Following the identification of the genes responsible for the responses elicited by NO, they identified crucial NO-chemistry and metabolic pathways involved in the response. For her M.S. research, she studied the interactions of NO, mammalian red blood cells, and hemoglobin with the goal to understand how NO bioavailability is preserved in the cardiovascular system in the presence of red blood cells. James Liao was her thesis advisor throughout her graduate study. Dr. Chou's research area at NREL is to increase the production of hydrogen using Clostridia thermocellum, which is a thermophilic anaerobe utilizing cellulose as the substrate.


  • 2009, Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, UCLA

  • 2005, M.S., Chemical Engineering, UCLA

  • 2002, B.S., Chemical Engineering, UCLA

Selected Publications 

  1. Chou, K. (May 2007). "Integrated network analysis identifies nitric oxide response networks and dihydrixyacid dehydratase as a crucial target in Escherichia coli." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (104:20); pp. 8484-8489. Accessed July 19, 2012: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17494765.
  2. Chou, K.J.; Dodd, J.; Liao, J.C. (March 2008). "Interactions of nitrosylhemoglobin and carboxyhemoglobin with erythrocyte." Nitric Oxide (18:2); pp. 122-135. Accessed July 19, 2012: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18047843.
  3. Atsumi, S.; Cann, A.F.; Connor, M.R.; Shen, C.R.; Smith, K.M.; Brynildsen, M.P.; Chou, K.J.; Hanai, T.; Liao, J.C. (November 2008). "Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for 1-butanol production." Metab Eng. (10:6); pp. 305-311. Accessed July 19, 2012: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17942358.