Dr. Kyeorda Kemp

Ph.D. Integrated Graduate Program in Life Sciences (Now the Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences)

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)

Phone 918-444-3838
Office: SC 153
Lab: SL 118
email: kempk@nsuok.edu

Research Interests

Scientific Research: Modifications that occur in cells, such as activation, can lead to a “backlog” of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and the cell has to resolve this in order to avoid apoptosis. We have recently identified a link between the pathways that resolves the accumulation of unfolded protein, the unfolded protein response (UPR), and the secretion of TH2 cytokines. We have a number of projects in the lab related to UPR and immune response.

  1. We are currently studying how the UPR promotes TH2 cytokine production with a focus on cell signaling pathways. Th2 cells play an important role is resolved extracellular infections, but themselves can become pathogenic when overactivated as in the case of asthma and allergy. Therefore, exploring how UPR regulates TH2 cells will allow us to develop new drug therapies for treatment of TH2 mediated diseases.
  2. Recent studies have found a role for UPR in response to abiotic (heat, salt, etc.) and biotic (disease) stressors. Watermelon are an important cash crop in Oklahoma, and viral diseases are a major cause of reduced yields. We are currently using RNA sequencing to determine if UPR and immune related gene regulation is altered in watermelon crops infected with viruses.
  3. We have identified additional molecules involved in UPR response that are deferentially regulated in various subsets of T cells using primary mouse cell culture. We are currently confirming these results using human T cells and hope to begin knockout studies of these molecules soon.
    Our long-term goal with regards to mammalian immunology is to develop better therapeutic agents for use in diseases where T cells are performing inappropriately by identifying molecules that regulate T cell functions. Our long-term goal with regards to plant immunology is to identify ways to protect plants against abiotic and biotic stressors.

Teaching Research: Self corrections of assessment have long been touted as a way to improve student learning of material and are accepted by many as a best practice in teaching. However, there is some debate on whether self corrections of assessment improves student learning. I am currently investigating the role of self test corrections in student mastery of material in an introductory level biology course.

Accepting students: Yes, graduate and undergraduate.

Current Funding: OK EPScoR, Northeastern State University Faculty Research Council, and Oklahoma INBRE

Recent Publications

K. Kemp, et al. “The serine-threonine kinase Inositol-requiring enzyme 1 α (IRE1α) promotes IL-4 and IL-13 production in T helper cells.” JBC. 288 (15th Nov. 2013):33272-82.
Highlighted in ASBMB Today February, 2013 issue.
B. Gao, Kong, Q., Kemp K., Zhao, Y., and Fang, D. “Analysis of sirtuin 1 expression reveals a molecular explanation of IL-2–mediated reversal of T-cell tolerance.” PNAS. 109.3 (17th January. 2012): 899-904.
K. Kemp, Levin, S., and Stein, P. “Lck is important in controlling IL-10 expression in memory-like TH1 cells.” European Journal of Immunology. 40.11 (November. 2010): 3210-3219.
K. Kemp, Levin, S., Bryce, P., and Stein, P. “Lck mediates Th2 differentiation through effects on T-bet and GATA-3.” Journal of Immunology. 184.8 (10 April. 2010): 4178-84.
L. Dalmacio, Evangelista K., Kemp K., Campos J., Kron M., Domingo E., and Ramirez B. “Prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection among healthy adults and high-risk groups.” Phil J Intern Med. 43 (2005):301-306.

Current Students

Cody Poe

Jocelyn Couch

Sarah Cruz

Photo of Dr. Kemp

Dr. Kyeorda Kemp

Photo of

This is a picture of my graduate student Cody Poe and undergraduate student Sarah Cruz at the Arkansas INBRE Meeting.

Photo of Jocelyn Couch

This is a picture of my undergraduate student Jocelyn Couch and me at the Autumn Immunology Conference in Chicago, IL. Jocelyn won second pace for her poster in the undergraduate category.