Gund Affiliate, Associate Professor, Larner College of Medicine

Kristen is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases and a lead clinical investigator and site Principal Investigator at the Vaccine Testing Center (VTC) at UVM. Kristen's clinical practice consists of inpatient consultative ID and outpatient HIV, STI, travel and general infectious disease. Kristen is currently engaged in a variety of service activities for the College of Medicine, the Department of Medicine, our ID Division and UVMMC at large. In addition, Kristen provides mentorship to a variety of individuals including medical students, residents, fellows and physician colleagues. Kristen has lectured regionally on a variety of topics and internationally regarding Flavivirus vaccine development.

Nationally, Kristen is actively engaged in society memberships (IDSA and ASTMH) and have served as a reviewer for Critical Care Medicine as well as The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Kristen has served on the American Council of Immunization Practices, Flavivirus Working Group and on an international level she has served on the Candidate Vaccine Advisory Committee (CVAC) Steering Group on preparedness for Flavivirus Vaccines, Indian/US working group (Indo-VAP). 

Kristen's research work focuses mainly on vaccine research. Kristen's focus is primarily on flavivirus vaccine research. In conjunction with her collaborators the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Kristen has been examining the safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of a Live-attenuated Dengue Vaccine, a West Nile Virus Vaccine and a Zika vaccine. Kristen works closely with collaborators at JHU and the NIH to determine what next steps/studies will need to be developed based on the results of each individual trial.

In addition, the work UVM has expanded to encompass Controlled Human Infection Models (CHIM) for many of these same pathogens. This a unique area of vaccine research requiring a thorough understanding of the characteristics of the pathogen, the disease state and the complex interplay between human host and pathogen.  Kristen's role as the site principal investigator at the Vaccine Testing Center at UVM has been integral in developing our CHIM at UVM.  


  • Durbin AP, Kirkpatrick BD, Pierce KK, Whitehead SS A 12-Month-Interval Dosing Study in Adults Indicates That a Single Dose of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Tetravalent Dengue Vaccine Induces a Robust Neutralizing Antibody Response. J Infect Dis. 2016; 214: 832-5.
  • Kirkpatrick BD, Whitehead SS, Pierce KK, Tibery CM, Grier, PL, Hynes NA, Larsson, CJ, Sabundayo BP, Talaat KR, Jania A, Carmolli MP, Luke CJ, Diehl SA, Durbin AP.  The Live Attenuated Dengue Vaccine TV003 elicits Complete Protection Against Dengue in a Human Challenge Model. Science and Translational Medicine. 2016;8.
  • Pierce K, Whitehead S, Kirkpatrick B, Grier P, Jarvis A, Kenney H, Carmolli M, Reynolds C , Tibery C, Lovchic J, Janiak A, Luke C, Durbin A, Pletnev A.  The Live Attenuated Chimeric Virus rWN/DEN4Δ30 is Well-Tolerated and Immunogenic in Healthy Older Adult Volunteers. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2017; 215: 52-55. 
  • Whitehead SS, Durbin AP, Pierce KK, Elwood D, McElvany BD, Fraser EA, Carmolli MP, Tibery CM, Hynes NA, Jo M, Lovchik JM, Larsson CJ, Doty EA, Dickson DM, Luke CJ, Subbarao K, Diehl SA, Kirkpatrick BD. In a Randomized Trial, the Live Attenuated Tetravalent Dengue Vaccine TV003 is Well-Tolerated and Highly Immunogenic in Subjects with Flavivirus Exposure Prior to Vaccination. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 May 8;11(5).
  • Nivarthi U, Huy A, Delacruz M, Swantrom J, Bhumi P, Durbin A, Whitehead S, Pierce K, Kirkpatrick B, Baric R, Nguyen N, Emerling D, Silva A, Diehl S.  Dengue Virus Type 2 Human Infection Model: Longitudinal Analysis of Acute and Convalescent Stage B cell Responses in a Human Primary Dengue Serotype 2 Infection Model. EBioMedicine. 2019 Mar;41:465-478.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Vaccines, dengue, vector borne diseases, Zika, West Nile


  • Fellowship, Infectious Disease, University of Vermont
  • Residency, Internal Medicine, University of Vermont
  • MD, College of Medicine, University of Vermont
  • BA, Humanities and Art History, University of Colorado Boulder


  • 802-847-3819
  1. UVM