Kirk is an internationally renowned expert in bioimaging with 30 years’ experience and over 100 publications. He is proud of his role in discovering a new imaging approach to follow subcellular calcium signaling in filamentous fungi—a world first. His research today focuses on small microbes that cause disease in both humans and plants. And he is dedicated to his role at the Danforth Center, partnering with numerous colleagues to help advance their research as well.
In 2019, Kirk joined the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center as a principal investigator and director of the Advanced Bioimaging Laboratory Facility, to leverage advanced microscopy tools in plant science dedicated to producing more nutritious food and improving the environment. With over 30 years of advanced microscopy experience, Dr. Czymmek has expertise in most forms of light, X-ray, and electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, single-molecule imaging, superresolution microscopy, cryotechniques, and correlative microscopy. His work on developing and applying cutting-edge microscopy tools for imaging cells, tissues, and biomaterials has generated over 95 refereed publications.

Prior to joining the Danforth Center, Kirk served as Vice President of Global ZEISS Microscopy Customer Centers and oversight of eight customer centers and their teams worldwide. He joined the company in 2012 to build a world-class application, demonstration, and training center for the ZEISS microscopy portfolio for North America. From 2000 to 2012 he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware (UD) where he worked to build an imaging capacity that led in 2001 to the creation of the UD Bio-Imaging Center at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, where he served as Director.

Kirk received his doctorate in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Michigan State University in 1993 followed by a post-doctoral position at the DuPont Company in CR&D Plant Molecular Genetics group. Subsequently, he worked with Noran Instruments in the confocal business group as an applications scientist before joining the University of Delaware.  He has received many awards and honors for his achievements in the field.


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Danforth Technology Company launches its first startup: PEPTYDE BIO

Peptyde Bio discovers, designs, and characterizes novel anti-microbial peptides (AMPs)
27-Jun-2022 03:30:03 PM EDT

New Research Reveals Antifungal Symbiotic Peptide In Legume

Danforth Center scientists, Dilip Shah, PhD, Siva Velivelli, PhD, Kirk Czymmek, PhD, and their collaborators at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have identified a sub class of peptides in the nodules of the legume, Medicago truncatula that proved effective in inhibiting growth of the fungus causing gray mold.
20-Jul-2020 10:35:57 AM EDT

Danforth Center Announces New Director of Integrated Microscopy Facility

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced today that Kirk J. Czymmek, Ph.D., has joined the Center as the new Director of the Integrated Microscopy Facility and Principal Investigator. Czymmek succeeds R. Howard Berg who retired after 19 years in the role.
11-Jun-2019 08:00:35 AM EDT

“It is an exciting time to be at the University of Delaware as it moves forward with its Path to ProminenceTM. To support the University's strategic plan, our researchers will need access to the same sophisticated technologies other leading institutions have in order to be competitive,” said Czymmek.

- Cryo-preservation allows study of the most life-like cells

“We look at many microscopic images available on the Internet,” she explains, “and I think the kids often view these as cartoons. Now I'll be able to relate the process of how the images were created.” While the Bioimaging Lab is unable to accommodate visits by large numbers of students, the lab's director, Kirk Czymmek, says that DBI administrators are exploring ways to link the lab to schools remotely, through cyber infrastructure.

- Delaware science teachers sharpen their skills at DBI

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