Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Kristen E. Whalen
Kristen E. Whalen's photoKristen E. Whalen
Research Associate III

Contact Information:
Work: 508 289 3627
Building: Watson Building 111

Mailing Address:
Mailstop 51
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543


As a scientist, Kristen's expertise ranges from cellular/molecular biology, biochemistry, toxicology and natural product isolation.

Recently, Kristen's efforts have been successful in identifying efflux pump inhibitors from marine natural product libraries to treat multidrug resistant Gram-negative pathogens.

Enhancement of Antibiotic Activity against Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria by the Efflux Pump Inhibitor 3,4-Dibromopyrrole-2,5-dione Isolated from a Pseudoalteromonas sp., K.Whalen, K. Poulson, R. Deering, D. Rowley, T. Mincer (2015) Journal of Natural Products (DOI:10.1021/np500775e)

Kristen has developed new methods for immunolocalization of multidrug transporters in sea urchin embryos using Super-Resolution microscopy. This technology has facilitated the characterization of transporter positioning during efflux initiation in the embryo.

Dr. Whalen has published eleven scientific research publications, has given over 25 scientific presentations, lectures, and posters; and serves as a reviewer for 12 peer-reviewed scientific journals and governmental funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation.

She was recently awarded the 2012ABC Young Investigator Award by the colleagues at the 4th FEBS Special Meeting on ABC Transporter proteins: From Multidrug Resistance to Genetic Diseases for her work examining the interplay of actin dynamics on transporter function in the developing embryo.

Kristen and Tracy Mincer were awarded WHOI's Ignition Grant for 2013 for the development of marine natural products to treat multidrug resistance. This funding has led to a provisional patent submission.

Media on Drug Discovery:

Cover Art

Super-resolution micrograph of the surface of a sea urchin embryo 60 min after fertilization. The multidrug transporter ABCB1a (magenta) has moved to the tips of the microvilli (green, actin), thereby establishing efflux activity. See the article by Whalen et al. 2012 of this issue of MBoC. (Image: Kristen Whalen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

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