Speakers' Bureau Directory: Kirby

James Kirby
Degree: MD
Employer: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts  02215


Primary Employer: Hospital/Clinic; Other N/A
Scientific Specialty: Clinical microbiology or immunology; Other N/A
Job Title: Director, Clinical Microbiology
Years in position: 14
Presentation Type: N/A
Video Call Type:N/A
Day to day responsibilities:
I direct the clinical microbiology laboratory at a tertiary care, academic hospital. Our laboratory identifies infectious agents in patient specimens and provides information on how to treat them. On a day to day basis I interact interaction with clinician and clinical laboratory colleagues to determine optimal work up and interpretation of microbiology laboratory results. I also evaluate new methodology, and whether and how it should be implemented in our clinical laboratory. In addition, I am a Program Director of a medical microbiology fellowship program, where I mentor budding clinical microbiologists. Lastly, I am a principal investigator of a basic science laboratory studying bacterial pathogens such as Bartonella and investigating novel antimicrobials. I have been involved in several projects that bridge basic science and activities in the clinical microbiology laboratory.

What do you love about your job?
Clinical microbiology laboratory: I love the impact on patient care; the ability to apply science to clinical care; the variety of challenging problems, mostly answered by referring to the medical literature rather than reading from a text book; my colleagues; the ability to form a bridge between academia and industry to further developments in diagnostics and improve healthcare. Research laboratory: satisfies my curiosity about the natural world.

Degrees, experience, license(s), and skills required for position:
Clinical microbiology director: Different pathways, (1) MD, clinical pathology training +/- medical microbiology fellowship; (2) MD, internal medicine + infectious disease fellowship + medical microbiology fellowship; (3) PhD + CPEP medical microbiology fellowship. Certifications: clinical pathology or infectious disease board certifications; and/or ABMM Board Certification.

Principal investigator: pre-doctoral and post-doctoral microbiology research, a graduate degree.

Tips/Advice for how to secure a job in microbiology upon graduation:
Invest yourself in the subject matter. Participate in investigative activity and try to author as many publications as possible. Give and practice giving talks. Clinical microbiology is a clinical specialty, so you should become versed in clinical infectious diseases.