Yong I. Kim

Primary Appointment

  • Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Research Interest(s)

Ion Channel Dysfunction in Neurological Disorders

Research Description

The function of the nervous system is critically dependent upon transient electrical signals emerging from nerve cells and highly localized synaptic sites. These signals are generated by ion channels, the elementary signaling units of the nervous system. In a wide variety of neurological disorders, clinical defects manifest as specific abnormalities in the function of these ion channels. To study such disease processes, we apply techniques in quantitative neuroscience, computer-aided signal processing, and biomedical instrumentation.

Our major approach is to define the bioelectric dysfunctions characterizing particular neuromuscular disorders and subsequently determine the cellular and molecular basis of the neurological impairment. The current research effort is directed toward understanding the pathogenesis of paraneoplastic neurological disorders and motoneuron disease. These studies utilize the patch-clamp technique, as well as other modern electrophysiological methods, in order to determine the disease mechanisms.

Selected Publications

  • Kao W, Davis C, Kim Y, Beach J. Fluorescence emission spectral shift measurements of membrane potential in single cells. Biophysical journal. 2001;81(2): 1163-70. PMID: 11463657 | PMCID: PMC1301585
  • Kim Y, Middlekauff E, Viglione M, Okutsu J, Satoh Y, Hirashima N, Kirino Y. An autoimmune animal model of the Lambert-Eaton syndrome. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1998;841 670-6. PMID: 9668312
  • Kim Y, Nam T, Kim S, Viglione M, Kim J. Specificity of the Lambert-Eaton syndrome antibodies. Downregulation of P/Q-type calcium channels in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1998;841 677-83. PMID: 9668313
  • O'Shaughnessy T, Yan H, Kim J, Middlekauff E, Lee K, Phillips L, Kim J, Kim Y. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: serum factors enhance spontaneous and evoked transmitter release at the neuromuscular junction. Muscle & nerve. 1998;21(1): 81-90. PMID: 9427227
  • O'Shaughnessy T, Kim Y. A computer program for the study of synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction. Computer methods and programs in biomedicine. 1995;46(1): 79-90. PMID: 7743784
  • O'Shaughnessy T, Kim Y. A computer-based system for the measurement of membrane capacitance to monitor exocytosis in secretory cells. Journal of neuroscience methods. 1995;57(1): 1-8. PMID: 7791359
  • Viglione M, O'Shaughnessy T, Kim Y. Inhibition of calcium currents and exocytosis by Lambert-Eaton syndrome antibodies in human lung cancer cells. The Journal of physiology. 1995;488 303-17. PMID: 8568672 | PMCID: PMC1156672