Kristin N. Parent

Kristin N. Parent
  • J.K. Billman, Jr., M.D. Endowed Research Professor
  • Established through a gift from Dr. James K. Billman Jr., MD
  • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Kristin N. Parent, assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, conducts pioneering research at MSU and uses electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) and three-dimensional image reconstruction methods. Parent uses these cutting-edge technologies to better understand the underlying mechanisms that control virus infection and decipher the processes of virus assembly. Her research has led to important discoveries regarding the structure and species diversity of Shigella phages and other dsDNA-containing bacteriophage.

Parent received her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Connecticut in 2007 and subsequently served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego, before joining MSU in 2013. She has more than 30 published research papers, including the most recent 2018 story in the Journal of Virology, featuring work on isolating bacteriophages from MSU’s campus, and is the co-author who performed cryo-EM work in a recent Nature Communications paper.

Parent has earned several prestigious awards for her groundbreaking work, including the 2018 National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award, the 2017 American Society for Microbiology Young Investigator Award, and the 2015 AAAS Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences. Her acclaimed research has laid the groundwork for MSU to become a leader in advanced cryo-EM microscopy.