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Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson, PhD

Associate Professor

Department: Microbiology & Immunology


  • PhD - Mayo Graduate School (1996)

Presently, I am a full-time educator in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine. One of my primary responsibilities is serving as the course director of Medical Immunology and Medical Genetics in our medical school curricula. The College of Medicine allows students to choose between two curricula: the Introductory Foundations in Medicine (IFM) and Program in Integrated Learning (PIL) curricula. IFM is an integrated, course-coordinated, pre-clinical curriculum that organizes its basic science content into modules based on signs and symptoms in the first-year and organ-systems in the second-year. In contrast, PIL is taught in a problem-based learning (PBL) format where students use clinical cases to develop learning issues and promote learning. I am also involved in graduate student education where I teach in several courses. Each year, I am heavily involved in Discovery Day, the Drexel University College of Medicine Research Day.

I am involved in an ongoing project with faculty members from the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, the Department of Medicine, and the Technology in Medical Education (TIME) group. We have developed a student peer feedback process. Our goals were to incorporate the basic sciences into the school's professionalism curriculum and develop an evaluative tool that would complement existing teaching components. Using basic science laboratories and small group work, we have developed a peer evaluation process that has increased the discussion of professionalism and provided a tool to assess professional behavior, identify commendable behavior and allow for the early identification and remediation of deficiencies. Presently, we are incorporating this process in our clinical small groups.

Research Interests

Development of mouse models to study asthma and eosinophil function; course director of Medical Immunology and Medical Genetics, and development and implementation of both team-taught courses in the medical school curricula


The focus of my basic science research career was the development of mouse models to study asthma and eosinophil function. I was involved in the cloning and characterization of the murine eosinophil-associated granule proteins, creating genetically-altered animals, and exploring how these modifications altered immune responses in models of asthma. I also studied the role of adhesion molecule interactions in the recruitment of eosinophils during allergic reactions. I continue to be interested in eosinophil biology and the role of basophils and mast cells in immune function.

In the Media

  • "2013 Golden Apple Awards"
    (April 19, 2013)


Selected Research Publications

"Abraham Flexner: The Value of Foundation Sciences in Medical Education."
Knoop FC, Biel A, and KA Larson
JIAMSE, 20: 284-287, 2010.

"Temporal association between airway hyperresponsiveness and airway eosinophilia in ovalbumin-sensitized mice."
Tomkinson A, Cieslewicz G, Duez C, Larson KA, Lee JJ, and EW Gelfand.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine., 163: 721-730, 2001.

"Mouse eosinophil-associated ribonucleases: a unique subfamily expressed during hematopoiesis."
Cormier S.A, Larson KA, Yuan S, Mitchell TL, Lindenberger K, Carrigan P, Lee NA, and JJ Lee.
Mammal. Genome, 12: 352-361, 2001.

"Eosinophil major basic protein-1 does not contribute to allergen-induced airway pathologies in mouse models of asthma."
Denzler KL, Farmer SC, Crosby JR, Borchers M, Cieslewicz G, Larson KA, Cormier-Regard S, Lee NA, and JJ Lee
The Journal of Immunology, 165: 5509-5517, 2000.

"Maci The Identification of a New Murine Eosinophil Major Basic Protein (mMBP) Gene: Cloning and Characterization of mMBP-2."
Macias MP, Welch K, Denzler KL, Larson KA, Lee NA, and JJ Lee.
Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 67: 567-577, 2000.

"Soluble P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 inhibits ocular inflammation in a murine model of allergy."
Strauss EC, Larson KA, Brenneise I, Foster CS, Larsen GR, Lee NA, and JJ Lee
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 40(7): 1336-42, 1999.

"The late, but not early, asthmatic response is dependent on IL-5 and correlates with eosinophil infiltration."
Cieslewicz G, Tomkinson A, Adler A, Duez C, Schwarze J, Takeda K, Larson KA, Lee, JJ, Irvin CG, and EW Gelfand
The Journal of Clinical Investigation., 104: 301-308, 1999.

"Interleukin-5 expression in the lung epithelium of transgenic mice leads to pulmonary changes pathognomonic of asthma."
Lee JJ, McGarry MP, Farmer SC, Denzler KL, Larson KA, Carrigan PE, Brenneise IE, Horton MA, Haczku A, Gelfand EW, Leikauf GD, and NA Lee.
The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 185: 2143-2156, 1997.

"Expression of IL-5 in thymocytes/T cells leads to the development of a massive eosinophilia, extramedullary eosinophilopoiesis, and unique histopathologies."
Lee NA, McGarry MP, Larson KA, Horton MA, Kristensen AB, and JJ Lee.
The Journal of Immunology., 158: 1332-1344, 1997.

"Two highly homologous ribonuclease genes expressed in mouse eosinophils identify a larger subgroup of the mammalian ribonuclease superfamily. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
Larson KA, Olson EV, Madden BJ, Gleich GJ, Lee NA, and JJ Lee.
Acad. Sci. USA., 93: 12370-12375, 1996.

"Cloning of the murine eosinophil peroxidase gene (mEPO): characterization of a conserved subgroup of mammalian hematopoietic peroxidases."
Horton MA, Larson KA, Lee JJ, and NA Lee.
Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 60: 285-294, 1996.

"The identification and cloning of a murine major basic protein gene expressed in eosinophils."
Larson KA, Horton MA, Madden BJ, Gleich GJ, Lee NA, and JJ Lee.
The Journal of Immunology, 155(6): 3002-3012, 1995.

Selected Abstracts

Faculty and Administrator Preferences in the Use, Collection, and Distribution of Medical Student Feedback. 
Landau BJ, Russo DM, Ziring DJ, Larson KA, Campos DA, Rabuck CL, and BA Schindler.
IME submission, AAMC. Washington, D.C., November 5-10, 2010.

Empowering Medical Students At All Levels in the Curriculum To Report Their Perceptions of Unethical / Unprofessional Behavior and Adverse Effects on Patient Safety.
Schindler BA, Rabuck CL, Larson KA, Russo DR, Campos DA, and BJ Landau.
IME submission, AAMC. Boston, MA. November 6-11, 2009.

Promoting Professionalism through Basic Science Courses and Peer-Feedback.
Larson KA, DePace DM, Smith JD. and G Zeiset.
IAMSE, July 25-29, 2008.

Promoting Professionalism through Peer-Feedback in Basic Science Courses.
Larson KA, DePace DM, Smith JD. and G Zeiset.
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Washington, DC, November 2-7, 2007 (RIME).

Use Of Year 1 Laboratory and Small Group Courses to Promote Professionalism through Student Peer-Feedback.
Larson KA, Smith JD, and DM DePace.
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Seattle, WA, October 27 - November 1, 2006 (Innovations in Medical Education (IME) submission).

The 15-Year Evolution of a Medical Genetics Course - The Blending of Basic and Clinical Science Interests in an Integrated Preclinical Curriculum.
Larson KA, Ferrier D, Kahn SB, and A Vaidya.
IAMSE, July 11-13, 2004.

Development and Use of Integrated Immunology Reviews.
Larson KA, and DM Russo.
Association of Microbiology and Immunology. Chairs-Educators Meeting, Myrtle Beach, NC, May 1-5, 2004.

How Can Medical Genetics Be More Effectively Taught within a Problem Based Learning Curriculum?
Larson KA, Russo DM, Ferrier D, Thompson-Kuzma MA, Rudnitski G, and C Puglia.
IAMSE, Washington, DC, July 19-22, 2003.

Contact Information

Research Office

Department of Microbiology & Immunology
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Phone: 215.991.8378
Fax: 215.848.2271