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Thomas J. Kirn, M.D., Ph.D.
Present Title:
Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
10/08 to Present

Office Address:
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
One Robert Wood Johnson Place – MEB 212    
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Interests:

Dr. Kirn received his MD and PhD degrees in Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and then trained in Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a faculty position at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as Associate Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Medicine (Infectious Diseases). He is a board certified Clinical Pathologist and Microbiologist who currently serves as the Director of Infectious Disease Diagnostics and Molecular Pathology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH). He is also the Medical Director of the New Jersey Public Health Laboratory. Dr. Kirn presently serves as an advisor to the CLSI Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing subcommittee and is co-chair of the Methods Implementation Working Group and the ad hoc committee on molecular testing for antimicrobial resistance. He also serves on the ASM Ad hoc Committee on Evidence Based Microbiology Laboratory Guidelines and the College of American Pathology Clinical Pathology Education Committee. His present research interests include evaluation of the impact of infectious disease diagnostics on clinical outcomes (especially as related to bloodstream infection), laboratory stewardship, point of care infectious disease diagnostics and molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and antibiotic resistance.

Clinical Expertise:
Clinical Microbiology, Molecular Pathology

Research Expertise:
My general research interests are in the areas of microbial pathogenesis and molecular techniques for infectious disease diagnostics. Current studies include investigation of a novel, rapid method for identification of S. aureus in positive blood cultures and elucidation of molecular mechanisms that contribute to C. difficile pathogenesis.

Undergraduate Education:                                              
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Bachelor of Science – Chemistry
09/09-12/95

Graduate Education:
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH
Doctor of Philosophy, Microbiology and Immunology
09/96-06/03

Dartmouth Medical School
Hanover, NH
Doctor of Medicine
09/96-06/05

Postgraduate Training: 
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Chief Resident, Clinical Pathology
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
07/07-10/08
Resident, Clinical Pathology
07/05-10/08

University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Philadelphia, PA
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Artis Lab
Department of Pathobiology
07/07-10/08

Academic Appointments:
Assistant Professor
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
10/08 to Present

Hospital Appointments:
Medical Staff
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
10/08 to Present

Licensure:
State of New Jersey

Professional Organizations:
American Society for Clinical Pathology
College of American Pathologists
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Society of Microbiology
American Chemical Society

Service on School Committees:
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
RWJMS Curriculum Planning Committee; Disease and Defense

Selected Publications:
Refereed Original Articles in Journals:

  • Kirn, T.J. and Keenan, K.A. (1996) Characterization of the distribution of calcium and magnesium
    between the vacuole and cytosol of Neurospora crassa.  Proceedings of the National Council for
    Undergraduate Research, 3(1):1550-1554, 1996
  • Kirn, T.J., Sandoe, C.M.P., Chiang, S.L., Mekalanos, J.J. and Taylor, R.K. (1997) Genetic analysis of TcpA
    pilin structural and functional domains in Vibrio cholerae. Proceedings of the 33rd U.S.-Japan Cholera and Related Diarrheal Diseases Joint Panel Meeting, The United States-Japan Cooperative
    Medical Science Program, December 3-5, 1997
  • Kirn, T.J., Lafferty, M.J., Sandoe, C.M., Taylor, R.K. (2000) Delineation of pilin domains required for bacterial association into microcolonies and intestinal colonization by Vibrio cholerae.  Mol Microbiol; 35(4):896-910
  • Kirn, T.J. and Taylor, R.K.  (2003) Secretion of a soluble colonization factor by the TCP type 4 pilus
    biogenesis pathway in Vibrio cholerae. Mol Microbiol; 49(1): 81-92
  • Hang, L., John, M., Asadazzuman, M., Vanderspurt, C., Bridges, E.A., Qadri, F., Kirn, T.J., Taylor, R.K.,
    Hilman, J.D., Handfied, M., Ryan, E.T., Calderwood, S.B. (2004) Identification of genes uniquely expressed
    during human infection with Vibrio cholerae. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA; 100(14): 8508-8513
  • Taylor, R.K., Kirn, T.J., Meeks, M.D., Wade, T.K. and Wade, W.F. (2004) Vibrio cholerae classical TcpA
    amino acid sequence induces protective antibody that binds an area hypothesized to be important for
    toxin-coregulated pilus structure. Infection and Immunity; 72(10): 6050-6
  • Kirn, T.J. and Taylor, R.K.  (2005) TcpF is a soluble colonization factor and protective antigen secreted by
    El Tor and classical O1 and O139 Vibrio cholerae serogroups. Infection and Immunity; 73(8): 4461-70
  • Kirn, T.J., Jude, B.A. and Taylor, R.K. (2005) A colonization factor that provides a molecular link between
    Vibrio cholerae pathogenesis and environmental survival. Nature; Dec.8: 863-867
  • Kirn, T.J., Levy, N.B., Gosselin, J.J., Rosen, W.J. and Zegans, M.E. (2007) Peripheral T cell lymphoma
    presenting as sclerouveitis. Cornea; Oct: 26(9): 1147-9
  • Krebs, S.J., Kirn, T.J. and Taylor, R.K.  (2009)  Genetic mapping of secretion and functional determinants
    of Vibrio cholerae TcpF colonization factor. Journal of Bacteriology; 191(11): 3665-3776
  • Martinez, R.M., Dharmasena, M.N., Kirn, T.J. and Taylor, R.K.  (2009)  Characterization of two outer
    membrane proteins, FlgO and FlgP that influence Vibrio cholerae motility.  Journal of Bacteriology; doi:10.1128/JB.00632-09 (published ahead of print)
  • Hoffmann, C., Hill, D., Minkah, N., Kirn, T.J., Troy, A., Artis, D. and Bushman, F.  Community-wide
    response of gut microbiota to enteropathogenic Citrobacter infection revealed by deep sequencing.
    Infect Immun doi:10.1128/IAI.00493-09 (published ahead of print)
  • Park JY, Kirn TJ, Artis D, Waldman SA, Kricka LJ. Chemiluminescence-based detection of gastrointestinal malignancies. Luminescence. 2009 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 19827005
  • Hill DA, Hoffmann C, Abt MC, Du Y, Kobuley D, Kirn TJ, Bushman FD, Artis D. Metagenomic analyses
    reveal antibiotic-induced temporal and spatial changes in intestinal microbiota with associated alterations in immune cell homeostasis. Mucosal Immunol. 2010 Mar;3(2):148-58. Epub 2009 Nov 25. PubMed PMID: 19940845

    Abstracts:
  • Krebs, S.J., Kirn, T.J. and Taylor R.K.  Characterization of a Secreted Vibrio cholerae Virulence Factor
    Required for Intestinal Colonization.  Poster B-364, ASM General Meeting, Atlanta, GA, June 5-9, 2005
  • Kirn, T.J., Jude, B.A. and Taylor R.K.  GbpA, a GlcNac binding protein important for Vibrio cholerae intestinal colonization and attachment to chitin.  ASM General Meeting, Washington, DC, May 18-22, 2003
  • Hang, L., John, M., Asadazzuman, M., Vanderspurt, C., Bridges, E.A., Qadri, F., Kirn, T.J., Taylor, R.K.,
    Hilman, J.D., Handfied, M., Ryan, E.T., Calderwood, S.B.  Identification of genes uniquely expressed during
    human infection with Vibrio cholerae.  ASM General Meeting, Washington, DC, May 18-22, 2003
  • Krebs, S.J., Kirn, T.J. and Taylor, R.K.  A Secreted Vibrio cholerae Virulence Factor Required for Intestinal Colonization.  ASM General Meeting, Washington, DC, May 18-22, 2003
  • Hang, L., John, M., Asadazzuman, M., Vanderspurt, C., Bridges, E.A., Qadri, F., Kirn, T.J., Taylor, R.K.
    Hilman, J.D., Handfied, M., Ryan, E.T., Calderwood, S.B.  Use of In-vivo-induced antigen technology to
    identify genes uniquely expressed during human infection with Vibrio cholerae. International Centers for
    tropical Diseases Research Network Annual Meeting, Bethesda, MD, May 13-15, 2003
  • Kirn, T.J. and Taylor, R.K.  A secreted colonization factor associated with the Vibrio cholerae toxin
    coregulated pilus.  Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Response, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York,
    Sept. 22-26, 1999
  • Kirn, T.J., Sandoe, C.M.P. and Taylor, R.K. Genetic analysis of TcpA structure and function.  Microbial
    Pathogenesis and Host Response, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, Sept. 10-14, 1997
  • Keenan, K.A., Kirn, T.J. and Wisniewski, T. Characterization of calcium and magnesium uptake in the
    vacuole of Neurospora crassa.  Nineteenth Fungal Genetics Conference, Pacific Grove, CA, March 18-23,
    1997
  • Kirn, T.J. and Keenan, K.A.  Distribution and transport of calcium and magnesium in the vacuole of
    Neurospora crassa. 10th Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research, University of North
    Carolina, June 10-14, 1996
  • Kirn, T.J. and Keenan, K.A.  Measurement of cellular levels of calcium and magnesium via atomic absorption spectrophotometry. 13th Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting of American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C.,
    May 12-16, 1995
  • Kirn, T.J. and Taylor, R.K.  A secreted colonization factor associated with the Vibrio cholerae toxin
    coregulated pilus.  Gordon Research Conference, Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Adhesion,
    August 1-6, 1999
  • Kirn, T.J. and Taylor, R.K.  Characterization of colonization factors in Vibrio cholerae.  Gordon Research
    Conference, Microbial Toxins and Pathogenicity, July 12-17, 1998

    Invited Articles:
  • Taylor, R.K., Kirn, T.J., Bose, N., Stonehouse, E., Tripathi, S., Kovac, P., Wade, W.F. (2004) Progress
    towards development of a cholera subunit vaccine.  Chemistry and Biodiversity; 1(7): 1036-1057

Invited Presentations and Lectures:

  • “CURRENT AND EMERGING APPLICATIONS OF MOLECULAR METHODS IN THE CLINICAL LABORATORY”
    American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences – New Jersey, Oct. 29 2009, Scotch Plains, NJ