• Kim, Hyun-Taek, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor

    Lung Development & Homeostasis, Lung Diseases, Tissue Regeneration, Genome Editing

    Room 204, SIMS


Lab of Developmental Genetics

The respiratory system, which consists of the lungs, trachea and associated vasculature, is essential for terrestrial life. In particular, lungs are complex organs that consists of at least 40 different cell types, including epithelial cells, mesenchymal cells, vascular endothelial cells, and immune cells. These cellular components are constantly communicating with each other to exchange gas efficiently while preventing blood and fluid loss and dangerous infection from pathogens. We are investigating respiratory development and morphogenesis, lung homeostasis and regeneration, and diseases by using imaging, in vitro and ex vivo culture technology, and animal models.


1. Lung development and differentiation

The lung development and differentiation process is subdivided into the embryonic stage, pseudoglandular stage, canalicular stage, saccular stage, and alveolar stage. During alveolarization stage, division of the alveolar ducts into alveolar sacs by secondary septation, and expansion of the pulmonary capillary bed via angiogenesis increase the gas exchange surface area of the lung. The objective of our laboratory is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that direct alveolar development and lung cell differentiation.


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2. Cellular interaction during lung regeneration

Although the lung has a low rate of cellular turnover during homeostasis, it has an ability to regenerate epithelial cells after injury. The lung injury by sulfur dioxide or naphthalene is fully restored to normal epithelium on 2-3 weeks after injury. Our lab is investigating the molecular and cellular interaction during lung regeneration after injury.


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