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Minsoo Kim named Dean’s Professorship

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Photo of Minsoo Kim

Dr. Minsoo Kim

Dean’s Professorships were established in 1982 and are designated by the Dean to be assigned to individuals of outstanding research excellence. Dr. Kim is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, and of Pharmacology and Physiology, a position he has held since 2015. He has been a member of the SMD faculty since 2007.

Dr. Kim is an established scientist who has made notable contributions in the field of host immune response against virus infection and cancer. He is especially noted for his pioneering contributions to the development of the most advanced imaging techniques that enable real-time observations of dynamic immune responses. In addition to the real-time “detection” of host immune reaction, Dr. Kim also uses optical technology to actively “control” our immune response against cancer. Cancer immunotherapy is an exciting topic, as it involves stimulating a patient’s own immune system to fight the malignancy. Although the concept has been around for 100 years, Dr. Kim is making it more relevant today by using a technology called “optogenetics” (optics + genetics) to try to improve the response rates for immunotherapy.

Join us at the Convocation on September 12th, 2017 (4pm in the Class of ’62 Auditorium)

Dr. Kihong Lim Awarded the American Lung Association's Biomedical Research Grant

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dr. Kihong Lim, Research Assistant Professor in Dr. Minsoo Kim’s Laboratory, has been chose by the American Lung Association as a recipient of the July 2017-June 2018 Biomedical Research Grant, for his project titled: “Innate Immune Responses in Influenza Virus-Infected Trachea.”

Kihong Lim has worked in Dr. Kim’s lab as a Staff Scientist since 2011, and was recently promoted to Research Assistant Professor. Kihong has had a huge impact in the Kim Lab, as he has been a key contributor to NIH-funded research programs. We are very excited to him establish his own research project and become independent in his future career.

Scientists Light the Way for Immune System to Attack Cancer

Monday, May 15, 2017

Photo of Dr. Minsoo Kim

The science behind harnessing the immune system to fight cancer is complicated, but a University of Rochester Medical Center laboratory discovered a simple, practical way to use light and optics to steer killer immune cells toward tumors.

In a study published by the online journal Nature Communications, lead author Minsoo Kim, Ph.D., a UR professor of Microbiology and Immunology and a Wilmot Cancer Institute investigator, described his method as similar to “sending light on a spy mission to track down cancer cells.”

Immunotherapy is different from radiation or chemotherapy. Instead of directly killing cancer cells, immunotherapy tells the immune system to act in certain ways by stimulating T cells to attack the disease. Several different types of immunotherapy exist or are in development, including pills called “checkpoint inhibitors” and CAR T-cell therapy that involves removing a patient’s own immune cells and altering them genetically to seek and destroy cancer cells.

The problem, however, is that immunotherapy can cause the immune system to overreact or under-react, Kim said. In addition, cancer cells are evasive and can hide from killer T-cells. Aggressive tumors also suppress the immune system in the areas surrounding the malignancy (called the microenvironment), keeping T cells out.

Read More: Scientists Light the Way for Immune System to Attack Cancer