Impact Story: Kevin Baumgartner, MD

Kevin Baumgartner, MD
2022 MTF/SAEMF Toxicology Research Grant

Grant Project: “Evaluation of the Human Immune Response to North American Crotalid Envenomation"
Award Amount: $20,000

About Dr. Baumgartner

Kevin Baumgartner, MD, is an emergency medicine physician and medical toxicologist. He trained in Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology at Washington University School of Medicine and has joined the Division of Medical Toxicology as an Assistant Professor. He is the co-director of the Introduction to Addiction Medicine medical student elective and a member of the editorial board of Clinical Toxicology. Dr. Baumgartner’s research and clinical interests include sedation, addiction medicine, quality improvement, psychopharmacology, and snake envenomation.

Q: You were the 2022 recipient of the MTF/SAEMF Toxicology Research Grant. What updates can you share on your project?

A: My project is an evaluation of the human immune response to North American crotalid envenomation. We have enrolled nine subjects; seven were envenomated by Agkistrodon controtrix, one by Crotalus horridus, and one by a Crotalus atrox that he keeps as a pet. My collaborators in the Department of Pathology and Immunology have begun analyzing our biosamples and have demonstrated a robust immune response to crotalid venom, including identification of a plasma blast response to C. atrox venom and identification of dozens of human antibodies directed at venom components. Further analysis is ongoing.

Q. Is there anything memorable or unexpected that you learned during this grant process and experience?

A: I learned how important it is to be flexible and ready to pursue unexpected opportunities, as well as the importance of cross-departmental collaborations!

Q: What impact has receiving this grant had on any future research endeavors you might pursue?

A: Receiving the MTF/SAEMF grant has influenced me to make snake envenomation research a significant component of my research work as I move forward with my career, and also helped me to build important relationships with basic science experts at my institution which will be extremely helpful in future endeavors.

Q: Do you have any advice for future applicants or awardees?

A: Do your leg-work up front, build a strong team, and don't be afraid to take a chance on a new opportunity!

"Do your leg-work up front, build a strong team, and don't be afraid to take a chance on a new opportunity!”

- Kevin Baumgartner, MD