Junchul Kim

faculty_img Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Campus: St. George

CSB Appointment: Cross Appointment

Primary Undergraduate Department:
Psychology

Graduate Programs:
Cell & Systems Biology
Neuroscience
Psychology

Titles and Honors:


Academic or Administrative Appointments:


Education:
Bsc, Yonsei University, Korea Ph.D. Simon Fraser University, Canada

 

Mailing Address
Department of Psychology
University of Toronto
100 St. George St.
Toronto, ON M5S 3G3
Canada
 

 

Contact Information
Office phone: 416-978-4260 
Office: SS 4028 
Lab: RW 306 
Lab phone: 416-978-3403 
Email: kim@psych.utoronto.ca 
URL:

 

Research Areas
Animal Biology
Genetics
Molecular Biology
Neurobiology
Psychology & Behavior

 

Research

We are interested in understanding how the brain is wired for processing information from the environment to generate approach-avoidance behaviours, with a particular focus on neuronal circuits that modulate anxiety. Anxiety is an emotional state that arises in anticipation of future or potential threat. In its non-pathological form, anxiety plays a protective role by preparing an organism for potential danger. In its pathological form, however, anxiety becomes exaggerated and uncontrollable, leading to debilitating and even deadly mental disorder. Accumulating evidence from neurotoxic lesion studies, from electrophysiological recording studies, and from brain imaging studies have thus far implicated the ventral hippocampus as critical to anxiety-related behaviors. Little is known, however, about which neurons within the ventral hippocampus are most relevant, and how their neuronal circuit organization relates to anxiety-related behaviors. Using the mouse as a model organism, we are studying the role of the hippocampus in approach-avoidance behaviors by various genetic approaches for neuron manipulation, including opto- and pharmacogenetics. We hope that the resultant findings yield new insights into the pathophysiology of anxiety-related disorders and potentially provide new therapeutic targets for their treatment.

 

Publications

2010

Top
Mapping cell fate and function using recombinase-based intersectional strategies.Dymecki SM, Ray RS, Kim JC.Meth. Enzymol. 2010;477:183-213
pubmed

2009

Top
Linking genetically defined neurons to behavior through a broadly applicable silencing allele.Kim JC, Cook MN, Carey MR, Shen C, Regehr WG, Dymecki SM.Neuron 2009 Aug;63(3):305-15
pubmed
Genetic fate-mapping approaches: new means to explore the embryonic origins of the cochlear nucleus.Kim JC, Dymecki SM.Methods Mol. Biol. 2009;493:65-85
pubmed

2007

Top
Molecular neuroanatomy's "Three Gs": a primer.Dymecki SM, Kim JC.Neuron 2007 Apr;54(1):17-34
pubmed