Kirk was introduced to genetics and molecular biology as an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz. He then moved to a fledgling Biology Department at the University of Utah to complete a Ph.D. in the laboratory of Baldomero Olivera. After post-doctoral training in microbial genetics with Ira Herskowitz at UC San Francisco, Kirk was recruited back to Utah by Mario Capecchi to perform the pioneering experiments in the use of homologous recombination to modify genes in mammals. The technology they developed remains the gold standard for the genetic engineering of whole organisms, and the 1987 manuscript authored by Thomas and Capecchi became the most-cited reference in the 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology awarded to Drs. Capecchi, Evans and Smithies. Kirk brings a truly exceptional level of understanding of genetics and biology to the company and is a foremost expert on the exploration of the great outdoors in Utah and the Mountain West. Kirk recently completed the Wasatch 100, a 100-mile endurance running event. Kirk was the first member of Recursion's Scientific and Technical Advisory Board, joining in March 2014.