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Interview with KCS-Wiley Young Chemist Award Winners

KCS_award01 - CopyKCS_award03 - CopyThe KCS-Wiley Young Chemist Awards are awarded annually to young Korean chemists below the age of 40, in recognition of their brilliant research and significant contributions to the community. This year’s winners are Jun Soo Kim and Mi Hee Lim.

 

We are privileged to share our exclusive interviews with Dr. Kim and Dr. Lim. Read on for more!

Interview with Dr. Jun Soo Kim 

Jun Soo Kim_scaledJun Soo Kim studied chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, where he received his Ph.D. in 2009. After completing his postdoctoral research at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, he joined Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea, as Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Nanoscience in 2011.

WAB: Briefly introduce your work and the significance behind your research.

Dr. Kim: My research focuses on molecular interpretation of various chemical and biological processes using the statistical mechanical theories and molecular simulations. My group currently works on the physico-chemical processes of ice crystallization and phase separation of simple fluids and the biological processes of chromatin organization and nuclear body formation.

The theoretical and computational approaches in my group aim to reveal the molecule-scale interpretation of macroscopic observations of the chemical and biological processes and to provide new predictions of unappreciated phenomena involving these processes.

 WAB: Who or what inspired you to enter research?

 Dr. Kim: I am grateful for having the opportunities to meet several inspiring scientists who influenced and guided me in my scientific career journey.

Prof. Sangyoub Lee built my foundation in the theoretical studies in my early career, while Prof. Arun Yethiraj (University of Wisconsin-Madison) taught me every practical, essential tool necessary for my scientific career. Prof. Igal Szleifer (Northwestern University) gave me a truly exciting opportunity to work on cancer using computational and theoretical approaches. Without their inspiration and mentorship, I would have tumbled and not been able to progress with enthusiasm in my research journey.

 WAB: Describe the essential traits of scientist in 5 words or less.

 Dr. Kim: Passion, self-determination, competitiveness, endurance

Interview with Dr. Mi Hee Lim

Mi Hee Lim_scaledMi Hee Lim studied chemistry at Ewha Womans Unviersity, Seoul, South Korea and received her Ph. D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA. She pursued her postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA and is now an Associate Professor of Chemistry, in Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, South Korea.

WAB: Briefly introduce your work and the significance behind your research.

Dr. Lim: Our current research focuses on elucidating the roles of metals, proteins, and reactive oxygen species in human neurodegenerative diseases (particularly, Alzheimer’s disease). Our recent findings uncovered novel approaches for deciphering neurodegenerative disorders, with special emphasis on intercommunications among multiple factors (i.e., metals, amyloidogenic proteins, reactive oxygen species, and other disease-related proteins). Based on such outcomes, we plan to discover effective diagnostics and therapeutics for human neurodegenerative disorders.

WAB: Who or what inspired you to enter research?

Dr. Lim: My parents have been a continual inspiration behind my decision to enter this area of research. As we age, we become more prone to falling sick. I hope to provide a more comfortable life for our elderly after they retire from their jobs and duties.

WAB: What is the alternative career path you would have chosen if you were not a scientist?

Dr. Lim: I would have loved to be an oil painter. The individual components and resulting mixtures of colors all have to do with chemistry. Mixing oil together with the paint allows us to express our feelings in an inexplicable manner – such is the beauty of oil painting.

Browse through Mi Hee Lim’s recent publication:

 

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