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Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson, PhD


Department: Microbiology & Immunology


  • PhD - Mayo Graduate School (1996)

Awards & Honors

  • Several Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Several Best Professor Awards from Pre-medical and Pre-health Students
  • Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, MedEd Portal (AAMC)
  • Faculty Inductee, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
  • Angelo Pinto Award for Basic Science Teaching

Kirsten Larson, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine. As a full-time educator, Dr. Larson is involved in multiple areas of education including lecturing, course direction, course creation, interdisciplinary team leadership, and providing opportunities for experiential learning.

Her primary responsibilities are in the MD program curriculum, Foundations to Frontiers. Currently, she is the thread director for both immunology and genetics, as well as the course co-director for Foundations of Disease. Dr. Larson is also involved in graduate education. She directs several courses in the Pre-medical and Pre-health (PMPH) Division and teaches in the Biomedical Science Division of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies. 

Dr. Larson is also heavily involved in Discovery Day, the Drexel University College of Medicine Research Day.  Dr. Larson plays a role in helping the Graduate School to provide a unique educational experience to its trainees across the educational spectrum including graduate, medical and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents associated/affiliated with Drexel University.

Dr. Larson is the recipient of numerous teaching, scholarly and service awards including multiple Golden Apple Awards from medical students, multiple Best Professor Awards from PMPH students, the prestigious Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, Outstanding Reviewer Award for MedEd PORTAL (AAMC), faculty member inductee into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, and the Angelo Pinto Award for Basic Science Teaching.

Research Interests

Development of educational activities, flipped classroom experiences and peer evaluation


Prior to her position as a full-time educator, Dr. Larson's research focus was on development of mouse models to study asthma and eosinophil function. She 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. She also studied the role of adhesion molecule interactions in the recruitment of eosinophils during allergic reactions. She continues to be interested in eosinophil biology and the role of basophils and mast cells in immune function.


Selected Publications

“Teaching Medical Microbiology and Immunology - 14th Educational Strategies Workshop of the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs (AMSMIC)”
Larson KA, Oberhaus S, and F Knoop
Medical Science Educator, 23(1):64-66, 2013

"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

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