Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Kevin Pethe

Associate Professor, Infectious Disease, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Infectious Disease, School of Biological Sciences (SBS)

Assoc Prof Kevin Pethe

Associate Professor Kevin Pethe is known for his contribution in the area of chemical biology and antibiotic drug discovery for tuberculosis and mycobacterial diseases. He has provided fundamental insights into the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, on microbial bioenergetics, and on strategies to discover novel antibacterial agents. Notably, he led interdisciplinary teams that developed clinical-stage drug candidates for tuberculosis and related mycobacteria.
He is teaching microbiology, antibiotic drug development, infectious diseases and pharmacokinetics to undergraduate and graduate students in the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, the College of Science, and the College of Engineering. He is also acting as personal tutorial for undergraduate medical students of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
Among other services, he is serving as academic chairperson for the NTU Institutional Biosafety Committee since 2016.
Before joining NTU, he gained expertise in Research & Development in the private sector as research investigator and project manager at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Disease (Singapore) from 2004 to 2011. In 2011, he took a position of principal investigator at Institut Pasteur Korea to pursue his interest on host-pathogen interactions and chemical biology applied to tuberculosis and multidrug resistant bacteria. He was promoted to head of the department of disease biology & chemical genomics in 2013, and nominated acting CEO of Institut Pasteur Korea the same year, two positions that refined his leadership skills.
His professional experience includes evaluating research grants for various National and international agencies. He is review panel member for the Open Fund Young Individual Research Grant scheme (Singapore Ministry of Health), and for the French National Research Foundation (ANR).
He received his PhD in genetics and molecular biology from Institut Pasteur and University of Lille II (France), and received his postdoctoral training in cellular microbiology at Cornell University.
Research Interests
The primary research interest of Associate Professor Kevin Pethe is to understand bacterial metabolic and bioenergetics adaptation during host colonization, and to use this knowledge to develop innovative strategies to control disease progression.
He is also interested in characterising metabolic synthetic lethal genetic interactions in bacteria. His laboratory is using a chemical genomics approach to decipher how multiple metabolic perturbation can lead to the collapse of an entire biological system, knowledge which is critical to develop antibiotic drug combinations.
A related interest is to study the system-level perturbation induced by antibiotics using an interdisciplinary approach combining functional genomics, chemical biology, genetics and biochemistry. He is working on tuberculosis, leprosy, and several multi-drug resistant bacteria responsible for life-threatening nosocomial infections
Current Projects
  • Bacterial metabolic adaptation during host colonisation and persistence
  • Bacteriology, genetics and cell-based assays related to the cyt-bd of mycobacteria
  • Characterization of the antibacterial and anti-inflammatoryproperties of Q203, a promising clinical candidate for thetreatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis
  • Eradicating Persistent M. Tuberculosis by Synthetic Lethality of Terminal Respiratory Oxidases
  • LKCMedicine Internal Grant 33
  • Physiology of antibiotic lethality in mycobacteria: involvement of the electron-transport chain in a cell-death pathway induced by mycobactericidal drugs.
  • Selective Contact-Active Cationic AntimicrobialBiomacromolecules
  • Targeting Oxidative Phosphorylation for the Rational Development of Sterilising Drug Combination for Drug-resistant Tuberculosis
  • Targeting Vitamin B1 metabolism for antibiotic drug development

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