Kristin Wiggins

Portrait of Kristin Wiggins

Kristin Wiggins began her career in research with a high school summer internship studying medulloblastoma and a biotechnology elective class during her senior year. This sparked a special interest in pediatric research that guided her path to St. Jude.

Wiggins earned bachelor’s degrees in biomedical science and chemistry in 2014 and her master’s degree in biology with a graduate certificate in applied statistics in 2019 from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.  During her undergraduate and graduate studies, she worked in a lab focused on infectious disease research and pathogen genomics. She earned her master's degree from the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in May 2021. 

Wiggins currently works in the lab of Stacey Schultz-Cherry, PhD, Infectious Diseases where she is interested in vaccine development and influenza pathogenesis.

“I always knew that I would eventually end up at St. Jude, and I am grateful to be here to contribute to such an important mission each day,” she says.  "It’s incredibly powerful and meaningful knowing that our research is directly translated to have a strong clinical impact within our community.”

Hometown: Peoria, Arizona


Wiggins KB, Smith MA, Schultz-Cherry S. The nature of immune responses to influenza vaccination in high-risk populations. Viruses 2021;13(6):1109. 

Cocking J, Deberg M, Schupp J, Sahl J, Wiggins KB, Porty A, Hornstra H, Hepp CM, Schulte-Hostedde A, Furstenau T, Fofanov V, and Pearson T. A selective whole genome amplification and sequencing directly from an environmental sample of Coxiella burnetiiGenomics. 112(2):1872-1878, 2020.

Engelthaler D, Streicher E, Kelley E, Allender C, Wiggins KB, Jimenez D, Lemmer D, Vittinghoff E, Theron G, Warren R, Metcalfe J. Minority Mycobacterium tuberculosis Genotypic Populations as an Indicator of Subsequent Phenotypic Resistance. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 61(6):789-791, 2019.

De Vos M, Ley S, Wiggins KB, Derendinger B, Dippenaar A, Grobbelaar M, Reuter A, Dolby T, Burns S, Schito M, Engelthaler D, Metcalfe J, Theron G, van Rie A, Posey J, Warren R, Cox H. Bedaquiline Microheteroresistance after Cessation of Tuberculosis Treatment. N Engl J Med. 380(22):2178-2180, 2019.

Fleshman A, Mullins K, Sahl JW, Hepp CM, Nieto NC, Wiggins K, Hornstra H, Paris D, Dittrich S, Newton O, Richards AL, Pearson T. Comparative pan-genomic analyses of Orientia tsutsugamushi demonstrates the unprecedented extent to which gene duplication and divergence drive genomic diversity.  Microb Genom. Sep;4(9), 2018.

Stone NE, Sidak-Loftis LC, Sahl JW, Vazquez AJ, Wiggins KB, Gillece JD, Hicks ND, Schupp JM, Busch JD, Keim P, Wagner DM. More than 50% of Clostridium difficile Isolates from Pet Dogs in Flagstaff, USA, Carry Toxigenic Genotypes. PLoS One. Oct 10;11(10), 2016.

Colman RE, Anderson J, Lemmer D, Lehmkuhl E, Georghiou SB, Heaton H, Wiggins K, Gillece JD, Schupp JM, Catanzaro DG, Crudu V, Cohen T, Rodwell TC, Engelthaler DM. Rapid Drug Susceptibility Testing of Drug-Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates Directly from Clinical Samples by Use of Amplicon Sequencing: a Proof-of-Concept Study. J Clin Microbiol. Aug;54(8), 2016.