Next Stop: Kyle Knouse

Kyle Knouse

As he heads west to pursue a doctorate in organic chemistry at the highly ranked Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, Kyle Knouse, CST ’16, already has authored a list of published, peer-reviewed papers that would be the envy of most doctoral students.

He is the lead author, along with co-author William Wuest, an assistant professor and Knouse’s research advisor, of a paper published earlier this year in the Journal of Antibiotics. He also co-authored, with Wuest and other Temple researchers, two papers published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society; and one or two more future papers. In addition, his medicinal chemistry internship with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in West Chester, Pennsylvania, resulted in another submitted paper.

His Journal of Antibiotics paper, and the two Temple JACS papers, focus on a potential new antibiotic, Promysalin, a compound produced by bacteria found in the root system of a Sri Lankan rice plant. “To survive, the bacteria produce compounds like Promysalin to fight off and hinder the growth of other bacteria, a very specific, targeted activity that you often don’t find in other antibiotics,” Knouse explains.

“Kyle has been in my lab for three years and he is an absolute rock star,” says Wuest.

The New Oxford, Pennsylvania, native gravitated to chemistry his sophomore year when, he says, “I couldn’t get enough of organic chemistry, which everyone else was struggling with and hating.”

Once he started working in Wuest’s lab, he says, “I fell in love with it and decided this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Of his acceptance to Scripps, the country’s 6th ranked organic chemistry PhD program, Knouse says, “I am blown away by the opportunity.” Whether his graduate work leads to an academic or industrial career, Knouse adds, “I want to pursue research that benefits human health.”

-Bruce Beans