Kim Lab


Director: So-Youn Kim, PhD

Fertility and normal endocrine function and homeostasis in women’s bodies through healthy ovaries are the main focuses of the Kim laboratory. Our goal is to understand reproductive physiology and pathology to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Current topics of investigation include elucidating the pathways of oocyte death by genotoxic agents and developing fertoprotective agents, understanding the etiology of granulosa cell tumors, and exploring the role of activin A in progression of cancer cachexia.


Lab Members | Publications | Grants | News

Lab Members

So-Youn Kim, PhD

So-Youn Kim, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

 Maya Eldani

Maya Eldani
Technologist I



Wend Ouedraogo

 Pauline C. Xu  
Wend Kuni Rodrigue Ouedraogo
Undergraduate at UNL
Pauline C. Xu
Graduate Research Assistant
UNMC MD PhD Scholars Program


Yi Luan
Doctoral Student


Return to top


    1. Zhu J, Zhang Y, Kim SY, Romero MM, Whelan KA, Kurita T, Woodruff TK. Constitutive activation of PI3K in oocytes induces ovarian granulosa cell tumors and high fidelity cancer cachexia. Nature Communication (in revision) 2019
    2. Fan R, Kim J, You M, Giraud D, Shin SH, Kim SY, Brokowski K, Newman J, Chung SK. Alpha-linolenic acid-enriched butter attenuates inflammation and insulin resistance by promoting the endogenous synthesis of long-chain n-3 PUFA and anti-inflammatory oxylipins. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (in revision) 2019
    3. Yook JS, Kim JY, You MY, Yoney AM, Fan R, Kim YE, Ozaki G, Kim HJ, Puniya BL, Helikar T, Kim SY, Vaulont S, Ghosh MC, Rouault, TA, Okla M, Lee JK, Chung SK. Coordination of beige adipogenesis with IRP, hepcidin, and HIF2a-dependent iron mobilization. Nature Communications (in revision) 2019
    4. Cho GJ, Lee HC, Lee JW, Kim SY, Wagner SR, Lee KM, Han SW, Oh MJ, Woodruff TK. Maternal waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in offspring. (in revision) 2019
    5. Gross JP, Kim SY, Gondi V, Pankuch M, Wagner S, Grover A, Woodruff TK. Proton radiotherapy to preserve fertility and endocrine function: a translational investigation. Clinical Cancer Research (in revision) 2019
    6. Kim SY, Cho GJ, Davis JS. Consequences of chemotherapeutic agents on primordial follicles and future clinical application. Obstet & Gynecol Sci (in press) 2019
    7. Lee JW, Lee HC, Kim SY, Woodruff TK. Poorly-controlled type I diabetes mellitus causes ovarian dysfunction in various mouse models. Yonsei Med Journal 2019 Jul;60(7):667-678
    8. Cho GJ, Kim SY, Lee HC, Lee KM, Han SW, Oh MJ, Woodruff TK. The risk of adverse obstetric outcomes and the abnormal growth of offspring in women with a history of thyroid cancer. Thyroid 2019 Apr (PMID: 30957663)
    9. Luan Y, Edmonds ME, Woodruff TK, Kim SY. Inhibitors of apoptosis protect the ovarian reserve from cyclophosphamide. J of Endocrinol. 2019 Feb 1;240(2):243-256. (Corresponding author)
    10. Kim SY, Nair, D, Romero MM, Serna VA, Koleske AJ, Woodruff TK, Kurita T. Transient inhibition of p53 homologs protects ovarian function from two distinct apoptotic pathways triggered by anticancer therapies. Cell Death Differ 2018 July (Corresponding author)
    11. Kim SY and Kurita T. New Insights into the Role of Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase Activity in the Physiology of Immature Oocytes: lessons from Recent Mouse Model Studies. European Medical Journal. 2018 Jun:3(2):119-125 (Corresponding author) (PMID: 30245862)
    12. Rai R, Ghosh AK, Eren M, Mackie AR, Levine DC, Kim SY, Cedernaes J, Ramirez V, Procissi D, Smith LH, Woodruff TK, Bass J, Vaughan DE. Downregulation of the Apelinergic Axis Accelerates Aging, whereas Its Systemic Restoration Improves the Mammalian Healthspan. Cell Rep. 2017 Nov;21(6):1471-1480.
    13. Kim SY, Lee JR. Fertility Preservation Option in Young Women with Ovarian Cancer. Future Oncology. 2016 Jul;12(14):1695-8. Review. (Corresponding and First author)
    14. Kim SY, Ebbert K, Cordeiro MH, Romero MM, Whelan KA, Suarez A, Kurita T. Constitutive Activation of PI3K in Oocyte induces Granulosa Cell Tumors. Cancer Res. 2016 Jul 1;76(13):3851-61. (Corresponding and First author)
    15. Kim SY. Insights into Granulosa Cell Tumors Using Spontaneous or Genetically Engineered Mouse Models. Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2016 Mar;43(1):1-8. Review (Corresponding author)
    16. Kim SY, Kim SK, Lee JR, Woodruff TK. Ovary is necessary to the health of uterus. J Gynecol Oncol. 2016 May;27(3):e35. (Corresponding and First author)
    17. Kim SY, Kim SK, Lee JR, Woodruff TK. Toward Precision Medicine for Preserving Fertility in Cancer Patients: Existing and Emerging Fertility Preservation Options for Women. J Gynecol Oncol. 2016 Mar;27(2):e22. (Corresponding and First author)
    18. Cordeiro MH, Kim SY, Ebbert K, Duncan FE, Ramalho-Santos J, Woodruff TK. Geography of follicle formation in the embryonic mouse ovary impacts activation patterns during the first wave of folliculogenesis. Biol Reprod. 2015 Oct;93(4):88
    19. Kim SY, Ebbert K, Cordeiro MH, Romero MM, Zhu J, Whelan KA, Woodruff TK, Kurita T. Cell autonomous phosphoinositide 3-kinase in oocytes disrupts normal ovarian function through promoting survival and overgrowth of ovarian follicles. Endocrinology. 2015. Apr;156(4):1464-76 (Corresponding and First author)
    20. Kim SY, Cordeiro MH, Serna VA, Ebbert K, Butler LM, Sinha S, Mills AA, Woodruff TK, and Kurita T. Rescue of platinum-damaged oocytes from programmed cell death through inactivation of the p53 family signaling network. Cell Death Differ. 2013 Aug;20(8):987-97.
    21. Kim SY, Zhu J, Woodruff TK. A truncated, activin-induced Smad3 isoform acts as a transcriptional repressor of FSH expression in mouse pituitary. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 Aug 6;342(1-2):64-72.
    22. Kim SY, Weiss J, Tong M, Laronda MM, Lee EJ, Jameson JL. Foxl2, a forkhead transcription factor, modulates nonclassical activity of the estrogen receptor-alpha. Endocrinology. 2009 Nov;150(11):5085-93.
    23. Song YD, Lee EJ, Yashar P, Pfaff LE, Kim SY, Jameson JL. Islet cell differentiation in liver by combinatorial expression of transcription factors neurogenin-3, BETA2, and RIPE3b1. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Mar 9;354(2):334-9.
    24. Im SS, Kim SY, Kim HI, Ahn YH. Transcriptional regulation of glucose sensors in pancreatic beta cells and liver. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2006 Feb;2(1):11-8.
    25. Im SS, Kang SY, Kim SY, Kim HI, Kim JW, Kim KS, Ahn YH. Glucose-stimulated upregulation of GLUT2 gene is mediated by sterol response element-binding protein-1c in the hepatocytes. Diabetes. 2005 Jun;54(6):1684-91.
    26. Im SS, Kim JW, Kim TH, Song XL, Kim SY, Kim HI, Ahn YH. Identification and characterization of peroxisome proliferator response element in the mouse GLUT2 promoter. Exp Mol Med. 2005 Apr 30;37(2):101-10.
    27. Kim SY, Kim HI, Kim TH, Im SS, Park SK, Lee, IK, Kim KS, Ahn YH. SREBP-1c mediates the insulin-dependent hepatic glucokinase expression. J Biol Chem. Jul 16;279(29): 30823-9. Apr 30.
    28. Kim SY, Kim HI, Park SK, Im SS, Li T, Cheon HG, Ahn YH. Liver glucokinase can be activated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. Diabetes. 2004 Feb;53 Suppl 1:S66-70.
    29. Cha JY, Kim HS, Kim HI, Im SS, Kim SY, Kim JW, Yeh BI, Ahn YH. Analysis of polymorphism of the GLUT2 promoter in NIDDM patients and its functional consequence to the promoter activity. Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2002 Spring;32(2):114-22.
    30. Kim HI, Cha JY, Kim SY, Kim JW, Roh KJ, Seong JK, Lee NT, Choi KY, Kim KS, Ahn YH. Peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor- upregulates glucokinase gene expression in -cells. Diabetes. 2002 Mar;51(3):676-85
Return to top


    1. The COBRE Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine RFA. Project Title: Inhibition of activin A to treat cachexia in pancreatic cancer Funding Period: July/1/2021 - 6/30/2021 Role: PI
    2. The Olson Center for Women's Health Grant Project Title: Mechanism of overproduction of activin beta A in pancreatic cancer: future direction for cancer cachexia therapy Funding Period: 3/1/2020 - 6/30/2021 Role: PI
    3. Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant Project Title: Investigation of the Etiology of Granulosa Cell Tumors using New Mouse Model Funding Period: 7/31/2019-7/30/2020 Role: PI
    4. Collaboration Initiative Protect Title: Understanding cancer cachexia as the transcriptional and metabolic reprogramming of adipose tissue by activin A Funding Period: 7/1/2019-6/30/2021 Role: PI
    5. R01 Protect Title: Development of mechanism-based ovarian reserve protecting adjuvant therapies against gonadotoxic therapeutic agents Funding Period: 9/09/2019-9/08/2024 Role: PI
Return to top


    1. Pauline C. Xu, First Place in the MD/PhD Trainee category, 2020 Child Health Research Institute (CHRI) Pediatric Research Forum. May 7, 2020
Return to top