Kristen A. Feemster


Dr. Kristen A. Feemster is the Director of Research for the Vaccine Education Center at CHOP (VEC). In this role, Kristen oversees the research being completed by members of the VEC research team. This means she helps plan and conduct experiments, writes grants and research papers, and she gives presentations to other scientists to talk about the data and findings of the research projects.  

In addition to being a medical doctor (MD), Kristen has master’s degrees in public health and health policy research (MPH and MSHP). 

 How did you first become interested in science?

I can't even remember when I first became interested in science- I have always been fascinated by discovering how things work. I remember one of my favorite books as a child was called "The Big Book of Why." Some of my favorite gifts were chemistry sets and a model of the human body. Both of my parents were in the healthcare field, and they always encouraged my interest in science.

What was your favorite science class?

Biology and ecology- I really enjoyed learning about how organisms interact with each other- this interest led me to major in environmental biology in college and sparked an early interest in environmental engineering. I ended up pursuing a career in infectious diseases and public health but I think that this career path is still grounded in an interest in ecology. Infectious diseases and public health is largely about how organisms (and people) interact with each other and their environment.

Who was your favorite science teacher growing up and why?

My high school biology teacher, Lestina Colby.  She was one of my mentors and the reason I started college planning on a career in science. She taught both intro and AP biology and really brought all of the concepts we covered to life and made them accessible - she even made learning the Krebs cycle engaging. I was also inspired by her as a woman in science. It has been 30 years now, but I can still picture her sitting at the front of the class.