Joe came to our lab as part of an intercalated degree from the University of Birmingham Medical school. As part of Joe’s dissertation project he was looking into the early innate immune response during malaria and went on a quest to find the elusive red pulp macrophage. In coming to Edinburgh, Joe was hoping to enjoy easy escapes to the cool highland air, and so was a little perplexed spending hours breeding mosquitoes in a basement optimised for a tropical climate. 

Joe is now a junior doctor working in South London and is hoping to pursue a career in either anaesthetics or infectious diseases. Outside medicine Joe enjoys the outdoors and riding his bike wherever he can. (Joe also enjoys a cold beer - not gin!)


Guy Oldrieve

Guy attended Cardiff University for an integrated master’s degree in Biological Sciences, with a focus on parasitology. The course culminated in a bioinformatics project based on microsporidian parasites.Guy is in the first year of the Hosts, Pathogens and Global Health PhD programme at Edinburgh University and is currently undertaking a rotation in the Spence lab. He aims to identify early biomarkers of disease in volunteers infected with malaria whilst also establishing a pipeline for pathway and network analysis of RNA-seq data.

Outside of the lab, Guy is often playing rugby or getting lost in the Pentlands and stumbling upon a public house.

Kathryn Milne

Kathryn completed her undergrad at the University of Aberdeen, including a year’s industrial placement with Novartis in Basel, Switzerland. After graduating, she spent two years as a research assistant Simon Draper’s lab (Jenner Institute, Oxford) where she gained experience working on human malaria vaccine trials. Within the Spence lab, Kathryn continued to infect human volunteers as part of her PhD project to investigate the earliest parasite-host interactions during P. falciparum infection in the naïve host.

When not in the lab, you’ll probably find Kathryn in one of the many gin bars of the city (it’s a Spence-lab thing), or out and about practicing her love of photography.


Caroline Kemp

Caroline completed her undergraduate degree in Immunology at The University of Edinburgh in 2018. She carried out her 4th year project in the Spence lab, focusing on the use of immunohistochemistry to detect parasites and phagocytes found within malaria infected spleen and bone marrow tissue.

She then spent her summer teaching English to four children in Spain and travelling. She is currently looking for a job in London.

In her free time Caroline enjoys yoga and baking. She created a baking blog last year called ‘Sweet Caroline’ and has continued to peruse her passion for baking. Cookies and brownies were often brought to the Spence lab during her time spent working on her project.