New President-Elect of FAOBMB, Professor Joon Kim, will take office as of 1 January 2022
Joon Kim was born in Seoul, Korea in 1957. He graduated from Seoul National University, in the Department of Microbiology (B.S. 1981). In his first graduate school experience (M.S. 1983), in the same department, he worked under the guidance of Prof Hyen-Sam Kang, applying the first recombinant DNA technology in Korean science. His work involved the molecular cloning of tRNA genes and characterization of tRNAs from the fungus Aspergillus nidulans.
He went to the United States for further graduate studies and obtained his PhD in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989. Under the guidance of Prof Stuart Linn, while holding a University Research Fellowship from UC Berkeley, he studied DNA repair mechanisms. He purified several DNA repair enzymes against radiation damage from mammalian and microbial cells. In 1990, he went to Prof Kevin Struhl’s lab at Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, USA as a post-doctoral fellow, having been awarded a prestigious Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Research Fellowship. Here, he studied eukaryotic transcription mechanisms using yeast transcription factor GCN4 and mammalian transcription factors, AP-1 and ATF. On his return to Korea in 1995, he became a Professor in the Division of Life Sciences at Korea University, Seoul., the oldest university in Korea.
Prof Kim’s lab has been studying various stress and DNA damage responses in human and yeast cells. He first revealed that ribosomal protein S3(RPS3) is a multifunctional protein which is involved not only in DNA repair but also in many other processes, including apoptosis, cancer, and ribosome biogenesis. He has supervised 40 PhD and 85 MS students. He has published about 200 refereed papers. Through his work, he was awarded the Minister’s Award from the Korean Ministry of Science & Technology, Grand Academic Award from the Microbiological Society of Korea, Best Evaluation Award from the National Research Foundation of Korea and Best Lecture Award from Korea University. His lab is currently developing new anti-cancer and anti-fungal drugs, along with novel diagnostic biomarkers for cancers and microbial infectious diseases.
He has served as Director of Division of Life Sciences, Korea University, and Director of Radiation Safety & Management Center, Korea University where he has been teaching Biochemistry lecture and lab courses for undergraduate and graduate students.
The first FAOB meeting Prof Kim attended was the 6th FAOB Congress, held in Shanghai, China in 1992. Since then, he has been involved in FAOBMB/IUBMB through invited talks, students’ posters, Young Scientist Program (YSP) and administrative activities. Prof Kim was the KSBMB delegate to FAOBMB for 7 years from 2011 to 2017. Since 2018 he has been a KSBMB delegate to the IUBMB General Assembly. He has served as a member of the IUBMB Nominating Committee from 2018 to 2021 He was a member of the Organizing Committee for the IUBMB/FAOBMB Congress held in Seoul in 2018. He also chaired the both the International Affairs Committee and the YSP Organizing Committee of that Congress. Prof Kim is currently serving as Director of International Affairs Committee of KSBMB with respect to hosting and participating in various international conferences on behalf of KSBMB.
He has served as President of the Microbiological Society of Korea and President of the Federation of Korean Microbiological Societies. He also worked as Director of Division of Life Sciences, National Research Foundation of Korea, the national funding agency.
Professor Joon Kim will take up his position as President-Elect of FAOBMB on 1 January 2022.