Fischell Institute Spotlight: Eunkyoung Kim

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Eunkyoung Kim received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Kyung Hee University in South Korea in 1997. In 2004, she attended the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), where she earned both her master's and doctoral degrees, also in chemistry. Before joining the University of Maryland, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Chemistry between 2007 and 2008. 

Kim is currently employed as a Research Associate within the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) and is a member of Fischell Institute Fellow and IBBR faculty member Greg Payne's research group. Kim, whose expertise is electrochemistry, has been with the group for 14 years.

"I was looking for an area to integrate electrochemistry into more fields, such as biology, clinics, and energy," said Kim. "The University of Maryland is a good place to initiate collaboration with research groups in various fields, which inspired me to make a new road to apply electrochemistry in many fields." 

Kim's current research studies the effect of a gluten-free diet on oxidative stress in the blood using a redox-mediated probing method developed in the Payne Group. Recently, she developed a new method to analyze redox information in various biological systems using electrochemiluminescence technology. Because Kim’s method is performed on a new, semi-high-throughput device developed by Chen-Yu Chen, a member of Fischell Institute Director Bill Bentley's Biomolecular and Metabolic Engineering laboratory, she expects it will be useful to a broader range of fields from basic biology to clinical application. 

In the future, Kim would like to continue conducting creative research without fear of challenges. She would like to become a guide who helps young students achieve their dreams. Recently, she worked closely with and guided Fischell Institute summer interns Sidney Redwood and Mya Hamstra

“When an intern first enters the lab, it's like a piece of white paper,” said Kim. ”However, as months go by, when I see them learning little by little and filling in their research on paper, I feel rewarded for guiding them.”

Kim advises those who are interested in working in research to understand that it is challenging but fun. 

"Research is like unraveling a tangled thread little by little," she described. "At first, we don't know where to start and want to throw things around, but when we have patience and continue to find the starting point, we enjoy the moment when the tangled thread is unraveled. Because we can't forget that moment, we keep trying to unravel the tangled thread."

Outside of the lab, Kim enjoys serving as a Sunday school teacher in her church. She especially loves to teach children the Bible using science. She also enjoys cooking, camping, and hiking.

Published December 1, 2023