Woong-Ki Kim, PhD
Associate Director for Research
Education & Affiliations
Dr. Woong-Ki Kim obtained his Ph.D. degree from Rutgers – New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he studied neuropeptide regulation of microglia and astrocyte activation in spinal cord injury and herpes simplex virus 1 infection. Dr. Kim completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, studying viral immunology and virus-induced neuropathogenesis with a focus on HIV and the JC virus. Upon his tenure-track faculty appointment, Dr. Kim moved to Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, where he has worked his way up to his current position of full professor. He has continued to study HIV pathogenesis with a focus on macrophage biology, using both humans and nonhuman primates. Previously his research was very observational, mainly characterizing human and rhesus monocytes and tissue macrophages in detail.
Over the past 5 years, turning into more mechanistic and translational type of research, his research program has put more effort in finding new macrophage targets and exploring existing compounds/drugs for their efficacy targeting specific macrophages and monocytes for the treatment of HIV brain infection. His other research currently focuses on (1) targeted drug delivery to CNS for the treatment of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, (2) effects of opioid drug abuse on the HIV brain infection and neuropathogenesis, and (3) mechanisms underlying HIV progressive encephalopathy in perinatally infected infants and children focusing on differences of neonatal versus adult brain myeloid cells.