Kirsten St. George

Kirsten St. George, Ph.D.

Chief, Laboratory of Viral Diseases
Director, Virology Laboratory
Clinical Professor, School of Public Health, Biomedical Sciences
M.App.Sc., University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Research Interests

Dr. St. George is Director of Virology and Chief of the Laboratory of Viral Diseases (LVD) at the Wadsworth Center and a Clinical Professor in the Biomedical Sciences Department at the School of Public Health, University at Albany. The LVD comprises several service laboratories and research teams including general virology and specialty reference services in viral encephalitis, enteric viruses and antiviral resistance. Detection and characterization of viruses is with classical and molecular techniques, many of which were developed in the LVD, on specimens received for reference and surveillance testing and the investigation of outbreaks. The laboratory is also responsible for complex public health data management and federal reporting, and provides training for graduate students, fellows, and international laboratory trainees. 

Dr. St. George is the Principal Investigator for national reference centers for Influenza Surveillance, Vaccine Preventable Diseases, and Influenza Antiviral Resistance, and has federal funding and corporate support for additional influenza surveillance programs and the development of diagnostic devices. Within the LVD Dr. St. George also directs the Special Projects Unit, with research on the investigation and development of new testing platforms and chemistries, as well as studies on the genomic characterization and evolution of multiple viruses and drug resistance in influenza. Most recently efforts have focused on the optimization of detection methods, pathogenesis and genomic disease associations in SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. 

Dr. St. George has appointments on several national and international advisory committees and boards and is the author of more than 150 publications. She is the recipient of five New York State Commissioner Awards for her response work on major disease outbreaks, the 2017 international Career Achievement Award in Diagnostic Virology from the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology, and the 2018 University of South Australia Alumni Award for distinguished innovation and pioneering work in the recipient’s field of practice.         


Select Publications
Mitchell S, St. George K, Rhoads D, Butler-Wu S, Dharmarha V, McNult P, Miller M. Understanding, verifying and implementing Emergency Use Authorization Molecular Diagnostics for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. J Clin Microbiol. 2020; 58 (8): DOI: 10.1128/JCM.00796-20
Escuyer KL, Fuschino M, St. George K. New York State Emergency Preparedness and Response to Influenza Pandemics 1918 – 2018. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2019; 4 (132): DOI: 10.3390/tropicalmed4040132
Kajon AE, Lamson DM and St. George K. Emergence and re-emergence of respiratory adenoviruses in the United States. Current Opinion in Virology. 2019; (34): 63-69.
St. George K and Pinsky BA. Molecular diagnosis of Zika virus infections. Reviews in Medical Microbiology. 2018; (29): 8-16. DOI: 10.1097/MRM.0000000000000125
St. George K, Sohi IS, Dufort EM, Dean AB, White JL, Limberger R, Sommer JN, Ostrowski S, Wong SJ, Backenson PB, Kuhles D, Blog D, Taylor J, Hutton B, Zucker HA. Zika virus testing considerations: lessons learned from the first eighty real-time RT-PCR-positive cases diagnosed in New York State. J Clin Microbiol. 2017; (55): 535-544.
McGinnis J, Laplante J, Shudt M, St. George K. Next Generation Sequencing for Whole Genome Analysis and Surveillance of Influenza A Viruses. J Clin Virol. 2016; June (79): 44-50.
Laplante J and St. George K. Antiviral Resistance in Influenza Viruses: Laboratory Testing. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2014; 34 (2): 387-408.