Jun Hee Kim, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Professor, Department of Cellular & Developmental Biology
Co-Director, HBCS Training Grant
Dr. Kim earned a Ph.D. in Physiology from Sungkyunkwan University Medical School, South Korea (2004). Following this training, Dr. Kim commenced postdoctoral training at Freiburg University, Germany, under the esteemed guidance of Dr. Peter Jonas, further solidifying a foundation in neurophysiology and neurotransmission. This journey continued in 2004 across the Atlantic to the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon. Here, under the supervision of Dr. Henrique von Gersdorff, she honed their skills in synaptic physiology, working alongside several pioneers in the field.
In 2010, a new chapter began with her joining the faculty of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). Embarking on a tenure track as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology. Displaying an unwavering dedication to research and teaching, Dr. Kim was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2017. Dr. Kim continued to make significant contributions to the scientific community and inspire the next generation of researchers. In 2022, the journey led to her becoming a Full Professor in the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology.
In 2023, Dr. Kim embraced a new challenge, joining the Kresge Hearing Research Institute (KHRI) at the University of Michigan Medical School. Today, Dr. Kim continues to inspire, research, and lead with a keen focus on contributing to the future of physiology and neuroscience. The remarkable journey so far is a testament to Dr. Kim's dedication and passion for scientific discovery and education.
Areas of Interest
Dr. Kim is a distinguished synaptic neurophysiologist with comprehensive training in electrophysiology, live-cell imaging, and immunofluorescence imaging. Driven by an unwavering dedication to scientific inquiry, the core objective of Dr. Kim's research program is to elucidate the mechanisms regulating synaptic function and dysfunction, particularly in the context of Central Nervous System (CNS) myelination during the development of the auditory nervous system.
Expanding the scope of research, Dr. Kim's team also probes the dynamic communication between neurons and glial cells in the brain. By leveraging cutting-edge electrophysiological and imaging techniques, the program endeavors to reveal the neurophysiological underpinnings of central auditory dysfunctions.
The overarching aim of Dr. Kim's research is to bolster both preventive and therapeutic strategies for auditory disorders. These disorders can arise from various neurodevelopmental conditions, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's Disease. A deep and nuanced understanding of the mechanisms at play could lead to substantial improvements in the quality of life for innumerable individuals affected by these debilitating conditions.