Kimberly obtained her Bachelor of Science (Honours with Distinction) degree in Life Sciences and Master of Science, MSc degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the National University of Singapore (NUS). Before joining Spruson & Ferguson, Kimberly was researching human Enterovirus A-71 (EV-A71) in NUS as a research assistant while working on her Masters degree concurrently. She helped to establish the use of a murine hybrid motor neuron cell line as an in vitro predictor of the in vivo neurovirulence of EV-A71 clinical isolates, solving the long-standing problem of a discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo data. With the use of the in vitro predictor, she identified neurovirulent mutants from a panel of clinical isolates and began work on studying the molecular determinants of neurovirulence.
During her Bachelor studies, Kimberly was consistently involved in research. Her first research project studied the effect of succinylation on the interaction of Hho1, a yeast linker histone, with DNA repair proteins. Later on, she investigated the role of a host protein, Peripherin, in the replication cycle of EVA-71 and briefly worked in the field of biochemistry, where she was part of a team investigating the effects of chemotherapeutic drugs on sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) levels in mice lacking the transporter Mfsd2b, a critical transporter regulating S1P.