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DirectorKIM Eunjoon

  • KIM Eunjoon DirectorKIM Eunjoon
  • JUNG Min Whan Associate DirectorJUNG Min Whan

Investigating synaptic proteins to conquer mental disorders

Contact Info

Tel. 042-350-8125

Address

IBS Center for Synaptic Brain Dysfunctions
Room 2209, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Natural Science B/D(E6-3), KAIST,
291, Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon

Director
Director KIM Eunjoon

Director KIM Eunjoon

Professor Kim is the director of the Center for Synaptic Brain Dysfunctions, established in July 2012. He earned his B.S. from Busan National University before getting his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Michigan State University in 1994 and later worked in the Department of Neurobiology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Harvard Medical School. In 2003 he became the Director of the National Creative Research Initiative Center for Synaptogenesis before taking up his position in IBS.

Introduction
graphic image for Research Center

Exploring key neural mechanisms underlying synaptopathies

  • - Understanding key mechanisms of synaptic brain dysfunctions
  • - Understanding neural mechanisms of decision making and episodic memory
Main research activities

A large number of proteins including receptors, signaling proteins, and scaffolding proteins participate in the molecular organization of neuronal synapses. We have been studying the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation, differentiation, maintenance, and the dynamic plasticity of neuronal synapses. Many synaptic proteins have recently been associated with a variety of neuropsychiatric developmental disorders including autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, intellectual disability, and emotional disorders.

This concept of the association between defective synaptic proteins and brain dysfunctions has recently been termed "synaptopathy". Our center will be exploring key neural mechanisms underlying synaptopathies. To this end, we will perform researches using systems approaches (including cultured neurons, brain slices, and transgenic mice), in combination with molecular, cell-biological, anatomical, electrophysiological, and behavioral approaches.

Organization

Organization

Main research results
  • Early correction of NMDAR function improves autistic-like behaviors in adult Shank2–/– mice.
    (Biol Psychiatry, 2019)
  • Sexually dimorphic behavior, neuronal activity, and gene expression in Chd8-mutant mice.
    (Nat Neurosci, 2018)
  • Differential coding of reward and movement information in the dorsomedial striatal direct and indirect pathways.
    (Nat Commun, 2018)
  • Distinct role of striatal direct and indirect pathways in value-based decision making.
    (Elife, 2019)
  • Social deficits in IRSp53 mutant mice improved by NMDAR and mGluR5 suppression.
    (Nature Neuroscience. 2015)
Personnel
Personnel status
Total62
Gender32(Male), 30(Female)
Korean/ International59(Korean), 3(International)
Degree
Position

As of October. 2019

Research

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Content Manager
Center for Synaptic Brain Dysfunctions : Song, Eun Ju   042-350-8125
Last Update 2019-11-06 15:00