Kwang-Soo Kim, PhD

Director, Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory



About Dr. Kim

Dr. Kwang-Soo KimKwang-Soo Kim, PhD, has over 25 years of experience investigating molecular and developmental neurobiology of the midbrain dopamine neuronal system in health and disease, focusing on elucidating the transcriptional mechanisms underlying development and maintenance of dopamine neurons. Dr. Kim’s Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, founded in 1998, studies the biology of brain cells that rely on the brain chemical dopamine to communicate. Major brain disorders such as PD, ADHD, and schizophrenia are related to abnormalities affecting these cells. Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune diseases involve damage to specific cell types.

Based on basic transcriptional studies of midbrain dopamine neurons, Dr. Kim’s lab identified the orphan nuclear receptor Nurr1 as a potential drug target of Parkinson’s disease (PD) to develop novel drug candidates for neuroprotective and mechanism-based therapeutics. Promising compounds are being generated using established high throughput screening by medicinal chemistry and are being tested in preclinical animal models.

Dr. Kim’s lab also investigates translational stem cell research and personalized cell therapy of PD and is optimizing reprogramming and differentiation methods. His lab has pioneered the generation of clinical grade induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells using non-viral reprogramming methods such as direct delivery of reprogrammed proteins and novel episomal methods, and has recently identified novel mechanisms underlying metabolic reprogramming during human induced pluripotency.

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