Nature Research Center

David J. Kroll, Ph.D.

David Kroll

Director of Science Communications, Nature Research Center

Investigator, Genomics & Microbiology Research Laboratory
Adjunct Associate Professor of English, CHASS, North Carolina State University

Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, Duke University
Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy
Graduate Advisory Board, Medical & Science Journalism Program, UNC-Chapel Hill

During his 20 years as an award-winning university educator and director of an academic cancer research laboratory, Dr. Kroll also developed scholarly interests in science and medical journalism, science outreach, and the public understanding of science and medicine. Dr. Kroll joined the Museum in January 2012 to more fully pursue these passions in implementing science communication strategies for lay and technical audiences and in educating tomorrow’s scientists as effective science communicators.

In his new role, Dr. Kroll is responsible for scientific interactions with the technical media and university partners, development of the Museum’s social media plan, and representing Museum scientists and research projects to lay audiences. Dr. Kroll also contributes to regularly updating the NRC interactive exhibits, Science News, Your Views (1st floor) and Meet the Scientist and Tools and Techniques (2nd and 3rd floors).

Dr. Kroll’s primary academic affiliation is currently in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) at North Carolina State University. Dr. Kroll is partnering with colleagues in the Departments of English and Communication to enhance didactic and practical offerings in science writing, the public understanding of science, and science policy. Dr. Kroll will also continue to maintain a research presence in the NRC on identifying anticancer natural products from filamentous fungi with long-time collaborators Dr. Cedric Pearce (Mycosynthetix, Inc.) and Dr. Nicholas Oberlies (UNC-Greensboro).

Dr. Kroll hails from Wallington, NJ, near the Jersey Meadowlands, and earned a BS degree in toxicology from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (1985). Dr. Kroll conducted his doctoral research on natural anticancer drugs in HeLa cells at the University of Florida College of Medicine where he was awarded a PhD in pharmacology and therapeutics (1989). He then conducted postdoctoral research in the Divisions of Medical Oncology and Endocrinology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (1990-1992) before joining the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy as Assistant and Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology (1992-2001). While at Colorado he was the recipient of 11 teaching awards culminating in his election as a President’s Teaching Scholar of the University of Colorado in 2000.

Following a research sabbatical in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Duke University, Dr. Kroll joined the Natural Products Laboratory of Research Triangle Institute (RTI International) as Senior Research Pharmacologist (2002-2008). He then served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at North Carolina Central University (2008-2011) prior to joining the Museum.

Dr. Kroll is author or co-author of over 60 peer-reviewed research publications, 16 scientific reviews, and seven book chapters. Dr. Kroll has also co-authored two books: Clinical Evaluation of Medicinal Herbs (Prima Publishing, 1999) and Breast Cancer Recurrence and Advanced Disease (Duke University Press, 2010). Dr. Kroll was also co-editor of a 16-book Natural Pharmacy series for consumers on dietary supplements and the consumer reference guide, Natural Health Bible.

Dr. Kroll's publication record can be found here at his Google Scholar profile.

In addition to his own books, Dr. Kroll contributed as a scientific reviewer of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. He also serves on the board of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, an organization that provides financial support to descendants of someone who has unwillingly or unknowingly been used in research or contributed biological materials for research without personal benefit.

Dr. Kroll has been a science writer at networked science blogs since 2006, first with Seed Media Group’s and currently with CENtral Science of the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News (Terra Sigillata). Terra Sigillata was named by Nature in 2006 as one of the top 50 science blogs written by practicing scientists.

Dr. Kroll is also a regular contributor to the pharma & healthcare section of where he writes on issues of drug development and safety, science journalism, and university faculty matters in the sciences and humanities.

In addition to his blogs, he can be followed on Twitter @davidkroll.