Alexander Kempf

Pathway 1+3

Cohort 2021

Pathway Journey

During my MRes, my first rotation was in Dr Dave Moyes’s group within the Centre for Host-Microbiome (CHMI) interactions. I examined the genetic determinants of antimicrobial resistance in the gut microbiome by screening bacteria and fungi for novel resistance genes. I then explored a different field for my second rotation: I worked in developmental biology connected to diabetes therapy with Dr Francesca Spagnoli and Dr Alessandra Vigilante. I investigated the role of the transcription factor TGIF2 in the development of the pancreas and its use for in vitro beta-cell differentiation, employing in vitro and in silico methods. In my third and final rotation, I returned to the CHMI, studying the role of the intracellular signalling protein MKP1 in the immunity to fungal diseases in the laboratories of Prof. Julian Naglik and Dr Jonathan Richardson. I will continue my work on this project during my PhD.


I received my BSc degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Jacobs University Bremen in 2021. During this time, I undertook a one-year laboratory research project co-operating with an international food manufacturer. I investigated the possibility of producing a novel antimicrobial from a waste product generated in their manufacturing process (details confidential), focusing on the impact of this protein on fungal biofilms.

Immediately after, I joined the MRC DTP programme at King’s College. I chose the 1+3 pathway because of two main reasons: Firstly, the financial and educational support. I aimed to join a lab where I would have the ability to explore more than one technique and gain expertise beyond the research topics of the lab I worked in. The MRC DTP encourages this form of further education, offering courses and funds to join networking opportunities or exceptional training, which enhance your abilities in techniques sought-after in the job market. Secondly, I consider the MRes PhD integration to be an invaluable opportunity. The ability to learn about different projects and meet new people before committing to one allowed me to explore different laboratory styles and reinforce my interest in infectious disease research.