Dr. Hou holds a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where she conducted research under the supervision of Dr. Jeremy Owen and Associate Professor Robert Keyzers. Her doctoral work focused on systematically exploring the antibiotic biosynthetic potential and chemical diversity of actinobacteria isolated from New Zealand lichen samples using genome mining and heterologous expression approaches. After completing her Ph.D. in 2022, Dr. Hou joined Dr. Helen Woolner's lab as a research assistant, where she studied the genetic and chemical properties of New Zealand marine fungi.
Following her doctoral studies, she relocated to the United States to undertake postdoctoral training in Dr. Heidi Kong's lab at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).
In Dr. Heidi Kong’s lab at NIAMS, Dr. Hou utilizes metagenomics approaches to investigate the skin microbiome in both patients with inborn errors of immunity and healthy volunteers. Her research aims to characterize the skin-microbiome composition and understand the interactions between microbe-host immunity.