Historical Records of Australian Science Historical Records of Australian Science Society
The history of science, pure and applied, in Australia, New Zealand and the southwest Pacific

David James Kemp 1945–2013

Kadaba S. Sriprakash and Michael F. Good

Historical Records of Australian Science 25(2) 273 - 290
Published: 11 November 2014


David Kemp's seminal contributions to molecular parasitology of malaria and scabies have placed Australian science at the forefront of research on these important human pathogens. Immunoscreening of expression clones led to the identification of several vaccine candidates against malaria. His contributions to scabies research are pivotal to our understanding of bacteria–parasite–human interactions. Other notable achievements are: the discovery of one of the earliest known multi-gene families; the first cloning of linked variable-region genes in the immunoglobulin heavy-chain locus; the invention of highly cited molecular biology methods, namely Northern blotting and inverted-PCR; and contributions to ‘molecular public health' by his work on various bacterial infections relevant to the health of Indigenous Australians. Kemp's manifest enthusiasm for science was highly infectious. He mentored many high-achieving scientists. In addition to his exemplary career as a scientist, he was a musician at heart and a passionate rock fossicker.


© Australian Academy of Science 2014

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