Grant Kemp, PhD


Research Partner (Faculty of Science), International Opportunities , VPRI Research Partner Network

Pronouns: he/him/his


Research Partner (Faculty of Science), International Opportunities , VPRI Research Partner Network
(780) 492-3397
5-217 Centennial Ctr For Interdisciplinary SCS II
11335 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5

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Area of Study / Keywords

Biochemistry Biophysics Protein Chemistry Molecular Biology Structural Biochemistry


I am currently the Research Partner supporting researchers in the Faculty of Science as well as all researchers applying for opportunities within Natural Science and Engineering (NSE) such as:

  • NSERC Discovery Grants including subatomic physics (DG)
  • NSERC Research Tools and Instruments (RTI)
  • NSERC Alliance International (Catalyst and Collaborator)
  • Alberta Innovates Advance
  • Alberta Conservation Association
  • Mitacs Globalink
  • Horizon Europe (SyG and all Pillar II calls)
  • NFRF Horizon Global Platform
  • other "non-matching" NSE grants from other government departments (e.g. CSA, DND)
  • other international NSE opportunities (e.g. NSF, US DoD)

If you are interested in Industry and Applied Partnership opportunities check out the profiles of Terra Garneau or Chris Kazala.

I grew up in Edmonton and completed both my BSc (2007) and PhD (2013) in Biochemistry at the UofA. I moved to Stockholm Sweden where I worked as a postdoc and then Staff Scientist at Stockholm University covering nearly 10 years. In the summer of 2023 I returned to Edmonton and the UofA to work as a Research Partner. At all stages of my scientific career I have volunteered to help students, postdocs, and other researchers navigate academic, and administrative challenges through Student Associations, and Early Career Researcher (ECR) organizations eventually being elected the Chair of the National Junior Faculty of Sweden where I represented ECRs in Sweden at the university, national, and European levels. In my work, I have always been most satisfied in working to improve the performance of the whole team, especially in mentoring students and postdocs academically as well as providing technical feedback on their experiments.


My interest in research was really sparked by my introduction to metabolism in high school biology. I was fascinated by the complexity of metabolic networks as well as how enzymes and transporters worked in balance to create, store, and consume energy. This evolved into a desire to understand the details of how proteins, especially membrane proteins function. I worked with Drs. Howard Young and Larry Fliegel in the Department of Biochemistry at the UofA during my PhD to understand the structure and function of eukaryotic ion transporters. In Sweden I worked first with Prof. Gunnar von Heijne to understand how proteins are synthesized and folded into their final 3D structures in living cells and then went on to work on dissecting the biophysical and functional details of large bioenergetic membrane protein complexes with Prof. Ville Kaila. In my spare time I developed my independent interests in investigating a new and exciting group of miniproteins (<100 amino acids long) and particularly those found in the membrane.

Elfageih, R., Karyolaimos, A., Kemp, G., de Gier, J.-W., von Heijne, G. & Kudva, R. (2020). Cotranslational folding of alkaline phosphatase in the periplasm of escherichia coli. Protein Science 29, 2028–2037. Also on bioRxiv:

Kemp, G., Nilsson, O. B., Tian, P., Best, R. B. & von Heijne, G. (2020). Cotranslational folding cooperativity of contiguous domains of α-spectrin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117,
. Also on bioRxiv:

Kemp, G.‡, Kudva, R.‡, de la Rosa, A. & von Heijne, G. (2019). Force-Profile Analysis of the Cotranslational Folding of HemK and Filamin Domains: Comparison of Biochemical and Biophysical Folding Assays. Journal of Molecular Biology 1308–1314. Also on bioRxiv:

Kemp, G. & Cymer, F. (2014). Small membrane proteins – elucidating the function of the needle in the haystack. Biological Chemistry 365, 1365–1377.

Kemp, G., Larry, F. & Young, H. S. Membrane transport piece by piece: Production of transmembrane peptides for structural and functional studies. Current Protocols in Protein Science, vol. 29.8, 1–28 (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014).

Müller, M., Kunz, H. H., Schroeder, J. I., Kemp, G., Young, H. S. & Neuhaus, H. E. (2014). Decreased capacity of sodium import into Arabidopsis chloroplasts impairs salt tolerance, photosynthesis and plant performance. Plant Journal 78, 646–658.

Ullah, A., Kemp, G., Lee, B., Alves, C., Young, H. S., Sykes, B. D. & Larry, F. (2013). Structural and functional analysis of transmembrane segment IV of the salt tolerance protein sod2. Journal of Biological Chemistry 288, 24609–24624.

Kemp, G., Young, H. S. & Fliegel, L. (2008). Structure and function of the human Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1. Channels (Austin) 2, 329–336.
Moncoq, K.‡, Kemp, G.‡, Li, X., Fliegel, L. & Young, H. S. (2008). Dimeric structure of human Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1 overproduced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Biological Chemistry 283, 4145–4154.

‡Contributed equally to this work.


Lab coordinator and Lecturer, Protein Structure and Function I (Masters’ Level)
Developed from scratch a new lab component for a redeveloped course (protein purification, CD, and ITC)

Lecturer, Experimental Chemical Methods (Bachelor’s Level)
Introduction to protein structure determination and biological, medical and industrial applications

Lecturer, Structural Biochemistry (Masters’ Level)
Macromolecular Structure and Function, and Protein Folding