Johnathan Kepple (G3, Bernhardt lab)


Where are you from and what do you enjoy most about your hometown?

I am from a small town in Texas and what I enjoy about it the most is the relaxed and tranquil atmosphere.

What is your research focused on?

Gram-negative bacteria, which are resistant to multiple drugs, are a serious global health concern. Their protective outer membrane makes it challenging to create new drugs that can kill them effectively. My research aims to understand how this membrane is constructed and maintained, in order to inform the development of novel strategies to combat these bacteria and prevent the spread of infections that cannot be treated with regular antibiotics.

What is your favorite part of your research?

One of my favorite parts about researching the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria is the significant impact that this work could have on public health. It’s incredibly satisfying to know that my research has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people around the world.

How do you relax when you’re not working?

I began learning to play the piano as a way to unwind and find a sense of calmness in my daily routine. It started as a simple hobby but quickly became a passion, bringing me joy and relaxation every time I sit down to play.

Tell us about an activity outside of lab you’re involved in and why it’s important to you.

Science outreach and mentoring is something that is very important to me. During my undergrad years, I had the privilege of meeting a physician-scientist from a similar background, which provided a much-needed boost to my confidence to pursue a STEM career. I hope my involvement in initiatives aimed at underrepresented minorities will inspire and encourage students who may initially feel intimidated by STEM to embrace this rewarding and fulfilling career pat