The Kim group investigates molecular mechanisms that regulate cell states in neurodegeneration and neurodevelopment utilizing multi-Omics approaches.
Eighty-five billion glial cells exist in the human brain and provide any imaginable supporting functions to the brain. Our brain must be carefully controlled to ensure good physical and mental health, but neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, disrupt our fine-tuned brain and reduce our quality of life.
Among many glial cell types, microglia and astrocytes have been gaining a lot of attention. Microglia are genetically implicated in the susceptibility to the progression of neurodegeneration, which has stimulated focus on these cells and their molecular pathways as therapeutic targets. Astrocytes can be reprogrammed by manipulation of molecular pathways that promote neuronal identity, and astrocytes could potentially provide effective cell-based therapy for neurodegenerative disorders.
My research first focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling microglial subtypes in neurodegenerative disorders and evaluating potential approaches to target these microglia as therapeutic interventions and as biomarkers. This research will improve our understanding of microglia in the context of AD and other neurodegenerative disorders, and evaluate potential approaches to target these microglia as therapeutic interventions and as biomarkers.
Secondly, I will harness the findings from hypothalamic neurodevelopment to develop new astrocyte-based treatments for neurodegenerative disorders. Developing methods to convert native astrocytes into specific neuronal subtypes could lead to alternative and longer-lasting therapeutic approaches to neurodegenerative diseases.
Starting March 2023, the Kim group will have projects available in neurodegeneration and neurodevelopment for MSc, and Ph.D. students, and postdocs, supported by the Lundbeck Foundation. Please contact Thomas via email@example.com.