Academic Profile : Faculty

Assoc Prof Kevin Pethe.jpg picture
Assoc Prof Kevin Pethe
Associate Professor, Infectious Disease and Assistant Dean (Research), Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Provost's Chair in Infectious Disease
Associate Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences
Associate Professor, Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
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.
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
  • Bacterial Metabolic Adaptation during Host Colonisation & Persistence
  • Defining the Enterococcus faecalis regulatory landscape
  • Engineered Bacteriophages for Hospital-acquired Antibiotic-resistant Klabsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus Infections
  • Hypoxia-driven transcriptomic and epitranscriptomic regulation during Enterococcal colonization and infection
  • LEARN - LKCMedicine EArly Researcher Network
  • Project 2: Bacteriology and genetics
  • Provost’s Chair in Infectious Disease (Kevin Pethe)
  • Strategic Optimisation of mRNA vaccines for Preparedness of COVID-19 Variants
  • Targeting energy of life for the development of drug combination to eradicate antibiotic-tolerant Mycobacterium abscessus, a clinical nightmare
  • Towards a bactericidal drug combination targeting cell-wall biosynthesis in non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM)
US 2020/0231550 A1: Compounds for Treating Tuberculosis (2021)
Abstract: The present invention relates to pyrimidine compounds and compositions for treating tuberculosis. These compounds may be used to target the F1 domain of F-ATP synthase and may be used with bedaquiline or 6-chloro-2-ethyl-N-[[4-[4-[4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenyl]piperidin-1-yl]phenyl]methyl]imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine-3-carboxamide (Q203) or a combination thereof.