New Investigator: Woo-Yang Kim, Ph.D.

January 15, 2016

Image with caption: Woo-Yang Kim, Ph.D.

Woo-Yang Kim, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2015 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

The New Investigator Award

New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

  • Name: Woo-Yang Kim, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant professor, Munroe-Meyer Institute
  • Joined UNMC: July 2010
  • Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Research focus:

  • Brain development
  • autism
  • intellectual disability

Describe your research briefly in layman's terms.
The goal of my research is to make a significant contribution to the discovery of the causes and effective treatments of autism and intellectual disability. To do this, my lab tries to understand how the developing brain forms complex yet specific neural circuits anatomically and functionally.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
Abnormal neural circuit formation is associated with many neurodevelopmental and psychiatric diseases including autism, intellectual disability, and schizophrenia. Thus, identifying molecules and signaling mechanisms of neural circuits may lead to a better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders affecting cognition and behavior.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
"Don't try to control everything. Try to establish your identity by focusing on what you can do well and good things will come to you."

List three things few people know about you.

  • I am a basketball fanatic.
  • If someone asks what you want to be other than a neuroscientist, it is a pilot.
  • I am a dog lover dreaming of living with a Husky and a mini Yorkie.


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Jerrie Dayton
January 15, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Congratulations Dr. Kim! You deserve this honor for all your hard work. It's fun for me to learn three things that I didn't know about you. You are such a quiet next door neighbor!