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Dr Sarah Kempster

Research Interests

I am interested in how environmental, genetic, bacterial and immune factors all combine to produce a unique intestinal environment and how this can go wrong in diseases such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease using molecular techniques.

The lab has a special interest in the epithelial endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response; how these genetic and environmental imposed unresolved ER stress can lead to inflammatory bowel disease pathology.


immunohistochemistry ; intestine ; epithelial cells ; inflammasome ; innate immunity ; human studies ; cell culture ; mucosal immunology ; Calcivirus RNA viruses ; Toll-like receptors ; Toll receptors


  • gastroenterology

Key Publications

Niederreiter L, Fritz TM, Adolph TE, Krismer AM, Offner FA, Tschurtschenthaler M, Flak MB, Hosomi S, Tomczak MF, Kaneider NC, Sarcevic E, Kempster SL, Raine T, Esser D, Rosenstiel P, Kohno K, Iwawaki T, Tilg H, Blumberg RS, Kaser A. ER stress transcription factor Xbp1 suppresses intestinal tumorigenesis and directs intestinal stem cells. J Exp Med. 2013 Sep 23;210(10):2041-56.

Kempster SL, Belteki G, Licence D, Charnock-Jones DS, Smith GC. Disruption of paraoxonase 3 impairs proliferation and antioxidant defenses in human A549 cells and causes embryonic lethality in mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jan 1;302(1):E103-7.

Kempster SL, Belteki G, Forhead AJ, Fowden AL, Catalano RD, Lam BY, McFarlane I, Charnock-Jones DS, Smith GC. Developmental control of the Nlrp6 inflammasome and a substrate, IL-18, in mammalian intestine. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2011 Feb;300(2):G253–63.

Belteki G, Kempster SL, Forhead AJ, Giussani DA, Fowden AL, Curley A, Charnock-Jones DS, Smith GC. Paraoxonase-3, a Putative Circulating Antioxidant, Is Systemically Up-Regulated in Late Gestation in the Fetal Rat, Sheep, and Human. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 May 12.

Holmes K, Charnock Jones SD, Forhead AJ, Giussani DA, Fowden AL, Licence D, Kempster S, Smith GC, Localization and control of expression of VEGF-A and the VEGFR-2 receptor in fetal sheep intestines. Pediatr Res 2008, 63(2):143 8:

Kempster S, Bate C, Williams A Simvastatin treatment prolongs the survival of scrapie-infected mice, Neuroreport 2007 18(5):479–82

Batten CA, Clarke IN, Kempster SL, Oliver SL, Bridger JC, Lambden PR Characterization of a cross-reactive linear epitope in human genogroup I and bovine genogroup III norovirus capsid proteins, Virology 2006 356(1–2):179–87