Download Curriculum Vitae

Kim Orth

Investigator, HHMI

Professor, Department of Molecular Biology

HHMI, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

5323 Harry Hines Blvd. Room# NA5-120F,

Dallas, Texas, 75390-9148.


Office Phone: 214-648-1685; FAX: 214-648-1488


Personal Statement
My laboratory is very active in elucidating mechanisms used by virulence factors expressed by bacterial pathogens. Studies using microbial genetics, biochemistry, cell biology and bioinformatics on effectors from Yersinia and Vibrio have uncovered many mechanisms that bacteria use to subvert host signaling pathways, including the discovery of two novel post translational modifications: YopJ Ser/Thr Acetylation and VopS AMPylation. We continue to study virulence mechanisms used by Vibrio parahaemolyticus T3SSs. My program has been ideal for training students and fostering new and creative ideas using rigorous methodology and analysis to test hypothesis driven basic science research. We also invest in satellite programs analyzing environmental Vibrios, metazoan AMPylation, rice blast and cancer cell exosomes. Over the years, I have contributed to varies programs for “Woman in Science”, including panel discussions for woman at American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2017,2018), group discussion at Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Toxins and Pathogenesis (2018) and group sessions at FASEB meetings (2015, 2017, 2019 and in the future 2021). For my ASBMB Merck Award (2018), I wrote a solicited, personal reflection on my path in science for the Journal of Biological Chemistry to provide tools for younger scientists. This year, in light of COVID-19, I helped co-host two virtual international meetings: VibriOnline, May, 2020 and AMPylationPlus, July, 2020.



Texas A&M University (1984), Biochemistry
Graduate School
Uni of California (UCLA) (1986), Biochemistry
Graduate School
Univ of Tx Southwestern Med Ct (1993), Molecular Biology

Research Interest

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular Signaling
  • Molecular Microbiology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Co-component signal transduction systems: Fast-evolving virulence regulation cassettes discovered in enteric bacteria.
Kinch LN, Cong Q, Jaishankar J, Orth K, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2022 Jun 119 24 e2203176119
Beth Levine M.D. Prize in Autophagy Research.
Vitetta ES, Cobb MH, Hobbs HH, Hooper L, Morrison SJ, Orth K, Pfeiffer J, Rosen MK, Takahashi JS, Wang T, Autophagy 2021 Aug 1

Honors & Awards

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
    Fellow (2022)
  • American Society of Microbiology Distinguish Lecturer
  • Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
  • The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas
    Member (2020)
  • Nirit and Michael Shaoul Visiting Scholar, Tel Aviv University
  • ASBMB Merck Award
  • American Academy of Microbiology
    Fellow (2016)
  • HHMI
    Investigator (2015)
  • Earl A. Forsythe Chair in Biomedical Science
  • ASBMB Young Investigator Award
  • TAMEST; 2011 Edith & Peter O'Donnell Award in Science
  • The Welch Foundation Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research
  • Burroughs Wellcome Investigator in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
  • Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award
  • W.W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research, UTSWMC