Faculty Directory

Kathryn E Oliver, PhD

Kathryn Oliver, PhD headshot

Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy/Immunology, Cystic Fibrosis & Sleep
Emory University School of Medicine

EMAIL: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
PHONE: 404-727-8763

Emory-Children's Center
2015 Uppergate Drive
Atlanta, GA, 30322


Dr. Oliver has pursued studies of cystic fibrosis (CF) pathogenesis since 2009. She began her scientific career as a master’s student at Auburn University, where she characterized adaptive metabolic strategies by which Pseudomonas aeruginosa chronically establishes itself in the lungs of individuals with CF. After graduating with an M.S. in Microbiology, she worked one year as Lead Instructor for the “Genetics and Evolution” course at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In 2012, Dr. Oliver enrolled in the Genetics graduate program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study CF disease mechanism. Her dissertation project utilized high-throughput yeast phenomics to identify novel genetic modifiers of the most common CF-causing variant (F508del-CFTR) and elucidated, for the first time, effects of ribosomal perturbation on CFTR synthesis, trafficking, and function. Dr. Oliver began postdoctoral training at Emory University in 2017 and continued to work towards a career in basic and translational science. Her studies concentrated on evaluating changes in translation kinetics – both in vitro and in vivo – following suppression of specific ribosomal proteins.

In 2021, Dr. Oliver was promoted to Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Emory. Her current research program employs interdisciplinary approaches in molecular genetics, RNA biology, biochemistry, cellular physiology, and functional genomics to investigate impact of translational speed, ribosome fidelity, and mRNA surveillance on protein synthesis in the context of CF. Particular emphasis is placed on premature termination codons (PTCs) and other rare defects that occur in the CFTR gene, specifically evaluating underlying mechanism(s) responsible for genotype-phenotype correlation, pharmacologic responsiveness, and heterogeneity of patient outcomes. Dr. Oliver’s scientific objectives also include better delineation of genetic factors that influence severity of refractory CFTR variants, including attention to mutations that occur in Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) with the disease. Her overarching goals are to provide new insights relevant to CF clinical intervention and extend research findings to other pediatric conditions with similar etiology. Dr. Oliver presently serves on the national CFF Guidelines Committee for CF Related Metabolic Disorder (CRMS) and CF Screen Positive Inconclusive Disorder (CFSPID), whose mission is to develop consensus recommendations for CRMS/CFSPID genetic testing, diagnosis, and treatment.

ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7781-7006
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oliverke/ 


2009: Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Auburn University (Auburn, AL).
2011: Master of Science in Microbiology from Auburn University (Auburn, AL).
2016: Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham, AL).
2017-2021: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatrics at Emory University (Atlanta, GA).

Research Center(s)