Dr. Kong is a board-certified Dermatologist and currently directs a research program that includes clinical and translational investigations on the human microbiome and inflammatory skin diseases. After training in Dermatology at Duke University, she completed a clinical research fellowship in the Dermatology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute and the Duke-NIH Masters Program in Clinical Research. Dr. Kong became an Assistant Clinical Investigator in 2007 and an Investigator in the Dermatology Branch in 2011. Dr. Kong is an attending physician on the NIH Dermatology Consultation Service. She is also an Adjunct Investigator at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Research Statement

Dr. Kong studies the human microbiome and its roles in health and disease, particularly in inflammatory skin diseases.  Dr. Kong has advanced the understanding of the complexity of microbial communities of human skin in healthy individuals and patients with atopic dermatitis and several primary immunodeficiency syndromes with associated eczematous skin. Dr. Kong combines clinical/translational research expertise with advanced genomic technologies to study skin microbes to gain insights into the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis and to identify potential therapeutics for patients with this disease. She has active clinical studies for health volunteers and patients with atopic dermatitis.

Scientific Publications

Diverse human skin fungal communities in children converge in adulthood.

Jo JH, Deming C, Kennedy EA, Conlan S, Polley EC, Ng WL, NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Segre JA*, Kong HH*. (2016)

Temporal Stability of the Human Skin Microbiome.

Oh J^, Byrd A^, Park M, NISC, Kong HH*, Segre JA*. (2016)

Biogeography and individuality shape function in the human skin metagenome.

Oh J, Byrd AL, Deming C, Conlan S, NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Kong HH*, Segre JA*. (2014)

The altered landscape of the human skin microbiome in patients with primary immunodeficiencies.

Oh J, Freeman AF, NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Park M, Sokolic R, Candotti F, Holland SM, Segre JA*, Kong HH* (2013)

Topographic diversity of fungal and bacterial communities in human skin

Findley K, Oh J, Yang J, Conlan S, Deming C, Meyer JA, Schoenfeld D, Nomicos E, Park M, NISC, Kong HH*, Segre JA* (2013)

Shifts in human skin and nares microbiota of healthy children and adults.

Oh J, Conlan S, Polley E, Segre JA*, Kong HH* (2012)

Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome.

Human Microbiome Project Consortium. (2012).

A framework for human microbiome research.

Human Microbiome Project Consortium. (2012)

Temporal shifts in the skin microbiome associated with disease flares and treatment in children with atopic dermatitis.

Kong HH, Oh J, Deming C, Conlan S, Grice EA, Beatson MA, Nomicos E, Polley E, Komarow HD, NISC, Murray PR, Turner ML, Segre JA. (2012).


Stanford University, B.S., Biological Sciences

Baylor College of Medicine, M.D. (Honors)

Duke University, M.H.Sc.


Investigator & Head, Cutaneous Microbiome & Inflammation Section, Dermatology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI (2011-2017 upon move of Dermatology Branch to NIAMS)

Assistant Clinical Investigator, Dermatology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI (2007-2011)

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD (2007 – present)

Clinical Research Fellowship, Dermatology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute (2005-2007)

Dermatology Residency, Chief Resident, Duke University Medical Center (2002-2005)

Last Updated: December 2019