Colleen Kraft, M.D., M.Sc.

Colleen Kraft, M.D., M.Sc.

Emory University Hospital

I completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, Emory University, as well as a Masters in Clinical Research. I pursued post-graduate training in an ACGME-accredited Medical Microbiology fellowship. I am a Medical Director of the Microbiology section for Emory Medical Laboratories at Emory Healthcare, as well as program director of the Medical Microbiology fellowship. I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Division of Infectious Diseases and serve as the associate chief medical officer of Emory University hospital. I round on the inpatient infectious diseases consult service so to link clinical microbiology to the bedside. My research interests are in next-generation sequencing, microbiome therapeutics, and healthcare innovation factors. I am very passionate about mentorship of trainees and training the next generation. I believe that creativity and innovation in federal policy can bring about lasting positive change in science.

ASM ACTIVITIES:

ASM COMMITTEES/BOARDS:
2010-2019 Expert Panel Member, Laboratory Medicine Best Practices Committee
2019-present Chair, Laboratory Medicine Best Practices Committee
2013-2017 Scientific/Technical Lead, C. difficile guidelines, Laboratory Medicine Best Practices
2015-present Section editor, Mini-Reviews, Journal of Clinical Microbiology
2014-2018 Member, Organizing Committee for the Clinical Virology Symposium
2017-2019 Member, Organizing Committee for ASM Microbe, CPHM track

BRANCHES:

  • 11/2015 Speaker, SouthEastern Association for Clinical Microbiology (SEACM), Williamsburg, VA
    Paradigm changes in Fecal Microbiota Transplant for C. difficile
  • 11/2018 Speaker, Eastern Pennsylvania Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (EPAASM), Philadelphia, PA
    The changing algorithms for detection of toxigenic C. difficile infections

DIVISIONS:
Attendance at Division C business meetings

COMMUNITIES:
2010-present Co-lead daily clinical microbiology rounds for with Dr. Eileen Burd at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA

CONFERENCES:

  • 6/2012 ASM, 112th General Meeting, San Francisco, CA
    Symposium convener: Getting By or Getting Along? Multidisciplinary Cases in Enhancing Patient Care from the Laboratory to the Bedside
  • 6/2012 ASM, 112th General Meeting, San Francisco, CA
    Invited speaker: Lost in Translation- "I Want the Old C. difficile Test Back!"
  • 5/2013 ASM, 113th General Meeting, Denver, CO
    Symposium convener: Current Microbiological Perspective from Historical Retrospect
  • 5/2014 ASM, 114th General Meeting, Boston, MA
    Symposium convener: Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: From Practical to Practice to Promise
  • 5/2014 ASM, 114th General Meeting, Boston, MA
    Invited speaker: Point-Counterpoint: Practical considerations for implementation of Fecal Microbiota Transplant
  • 5/2015 ASM, 115th General Meeting, New Orleans, LA
    Invited speaker: The Bedside Care of Ebola Virus Disease in a Biocontainment Unit
  • 8/2015 ASM, Impact of New Microbiology Technology on Patient Outcomes course
    Webinar: Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Role of Hospital and Public Health Laboratories
  • 5/2016 Clinical Virology Symposium (CVS), 32nd Meeting, Daytona Beach, FL
    Symposium convener: Laboratory Diagnosis of Viral Infections
  • 6/2016 ASM, 116th General Meeting, Boston, MA
    Invited speaker: Ebola in the Year 2016
  • 4/2018 Clinical Virology Symposium, 30th Annual General Meeting, Daytona Beach, FL
    Invited speaker: Philip Hanff Memorial Clinical Case Presentation and Discussion
  • 6/2018 ASM Microbe 2018 General Meeting, Atlanta, GA
    Plenary session moderator: ID fellows 101: For Fellows Age 18 to 88
  • 6/2018 ASM Microbe 2018 General Meeting, Atlanta, GA
    Plenary session moderator: Microbes that Know No Borders
  • 6/2018 ASM Microbe 2018 General Meeting, Atlanta, GA
    Plenary session moderator: Magic Bullets and Personalized Antimicrobials
  • 6/2019 ASM Microbe 2019 General Meeting, San Francisco, CA
    Plenary session moderator: ID fellows 101: From Bench to Bedside
  • Symposium convener: ID Fellows 101

OTHER:

  • Book Chapter: Kraft C and Caliendo AM. Molecular Detection and Characterization of HIV. In: Molecular Microbiology. Diagnostic Principles and Practice. 2nd Edition. Eds. DH Persing, FC Tenover, R Hayden, F Nolte, Y-W Tang, A Van Belkum. ASM Press. 2011
  • Book Chapter: Kraft CS and Caliendo AM. Molecular Detection and Characterization of HIV. In: Molecular Microbiology. Diagnostic Principles and Practice. 3rd Edition. Eds. DH Persing, FC Tenover, R Hayden, F Nolte, Y-W Tang, A Van Belkum. ASM Press. 2015
  • Expert Panel Member, “Efforts to Improve Clinical Laboratory Diagnosis by Development of Laboratory Practice Guidelines,” U47OE-000055, (American Society of Microbiology/Weissfeld), 09/01/13-08/31/2018
  • ASM Related News: https://podbay.fm/p/meet-the-microbiologist/e/1516400324
  • ASM Related News: Nov 17, 2019, https://asm.org/Articles/2019/November/Diagnosing-C-diff-Infections-for-Optimal-Patient-O

Qualifications

I am dedicated to the continued success of ASM and desire to seek avenues that better serve the ASM membership in advocacy, funding, and knowledge. I strongly believe that we have a responsibility, as a national society, to be recognized as experts and leaders by policy makers in DC. My experience in basic science, clinical research, and clinical microbiology motivates me to seek representation of these areas and their unique aspects within ASM. My background and knowledge of Capitol Hill and relevant agencies position me as an excellent candidate for President-elect.

I am recognized on Capitol Hill as an expert in the topics of infectious diseases, infection prevention, emerging infections, biocontainment, and diagnostic testing. I am incredibly confident participating in discussions of clinical and scientific topics including, but not limited to antibiotic resistance, pandemics, infection prevention, hospital preparedness, research funding, and emerging viruses. I have served as an expert on multiple congressional briefings, including a briefing in 2019 with Drs. Robert Redfield, Jeffrey Koplan, and Anne Schuchat on “Fighting Ebola: Past Lessons for Current Challenges”. I have hosted HHS Senior Leadership,Congressional Members, and staff on tours and briefings at Emory University and Healthcare. I find these tours and roundtables to be extremely valuable in our advocacy and welcome the opportunity to help other members do the same.

I am interested in increased governmental funding for the priorities that ASM represents. I served as an expert member on a GAO panel on antibiotic resistance in a review of federal preparedness. This terrific experience enabled us to inform federal agencies as frontline representatives. I believe ASM should be recognized for continuously demonstrating leadership in microbiology, career development, diversity initiatives, and global context. I possess the skills needed to articulate how policy proposals translate into an academic university or clinical healthcare setting.

The accomplishment for which I am most proud came from a visit from the HHS Secretary to Emory. For the past three years, I have spent significant time working with committee staff advising of America’s lack of preparedness for a pandemic. One area that we are particularly vulnerable is how we have been trained to work safely in healthcare (also known as human factors). Working with Congressional staffers, we created a pilot program that included legislation in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Ultimately, our efforts led to funding from the CDC regarding infection prevention strategies in a cooperative agreement with numerous universities. This advocacy additionally led to $10 million in emergency funding for the National Ebola Training and Education Center in the first emergency COVID stimulus package.

In March, I was invited to serve on Governor Kemp’s State of Georgia Taskforce on COVID and to be part of the group that hosted President Trump at the CDC in March of 2020. I continue to serve on the Governor’s Taskforce as well as the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, where I am recognized by state and local officials as a subject matter expert in COVID. Since the beginning of March, I have served as a COVID expert for multiple national news networks and programs. Locally at Emory University, I am proud to be a part of the clinical and laboratory research on COVID which is currently in the top 5 in the nation for NIH funding.

Major Accomplishments

As Chair of the Laboratory Medicine of Best Practices Subgroup of the Clinical Practices Committee, it is our goal that the subgroup provide oversight and guidance to the systematic reviews as well as stabilize the commitments of non-microbiologists specialists needed for the reviews by partnership with the Rutgers Statistical Center. My vision for this subgroup is to increase the pool of clinical microbiologists participating in the systematic reviews so that all laboratory scientists in ASM interested in training in bias and quality ratings of articles would be able to do so.

As an editor for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, I have curated the publication of 175 Mini-Reviews since accepting the position on the editorial board in 2015. I took the editor position at JCM to be mentored in this role by another ASM member, Dr. Alex McAdam.

Position Statement

If elected, my goal is to continue to position ASM as a distinguished advisor for the biological sciences. I will leverage my existing relationships on Capitol Hill with relevant congressional staffers to maximize exposure for our association. Utilizing my experience in providing recommendations to authorizers and appropriators, I would like to not only work on legislation that would be beneficial to ASM, but also ensure they are prioritized in funding. My experiences on the state taskforce have proven that the science and business communities could better align to take on some of the priorities that affect Americans at home and work. By working closely with individuals in industries outside of academia, scientists are able to show the important position that research and clinical applications have to our everyday lives. This has never been more apparent than during the pandemic, where there is a real need for pragmatic efforts to ensure how science and clinical care can happen safely. I want to ensure that ASM is at the table for decisions made around these topics.