Woo Jae Kim


Woo Jae Kim
Assistant Professor

BSc Biology, Yonsei University
MSc Molecular Virology, Pohang University of Science and Technology
PhD Molecular Virology, Pohang University of Science and Technology
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physiology, UCSF, San Francisco, CA

RGN 3157

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 8385
Fax: 613-562-5434

Work E-mail: woo.jae.kim@uottawa.ca

Dr. Woo Jae Kim


Overview of Research Interests

In short, the Kim lab is seeking for the fundamental mechanisms how specific neural circuits lead to certain behaviors. We use tiny insect Drosophila melanogaster to answer this question. Dr. Kim has established two behavioral paradigm called ‘Longer-Mating-Duration’ and ‘Shorter-Mating-Duration’. In short term, the Kim lab will focus on identifying functional neural circuits, genetic components, and sensory modality for these behaviors. In mid term, the Kim lab would expand the behavioral repertoires by establishment of automated quantification system of behavior. Beyond this, the Kim lab will establish automated optogenetic & thermogenetic behavioral manipulation system. With the advantage of strong genetic tools available in fruit fly and establishing behavioral quantification and manipulation systems, the Kim lab in the long term will seek for how neural circuits for complex social behavior function in vivo. Reverse engineering to build up eusociality in fruit fly and genomic editing of eusocial insect such as honey bees/ants using CRISPR/Cas9 is also one of the plans to understand social behavior.

Scientific Breakthroughs/Impact

Dr. Kim established two behavioral paradigms.

  • LMD (Longer-Mating-Duration): males previously exposed to rivals extend their mating duration.
  • SMD (Shorter-Mating-Duration): sexually satiated males invest less on mating duration.

Dr. Kim finely mapped the functional neural circuits and genetic components for LMD. The Kim lab will try to linearize the whole functional circuits for this unique behavior. There are no labs working with this behavioral paradigm. Identifying whole circuitry for certain behavior and reconstructing that with reverse genetics will be breakthrough in neuroscience filed and to understand our Brain&Mind.

Grant Support

The lab applied grants from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and will apply Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) soon. Kim lab just started July 1st, 2015. We will apply to get funded from various grant sources.

Fields of Interest

  • Neural circuits
  • Behavioral genetics
  • Social Behavior (Autism Model of Drosophila)
  • Manipulation of Behavior by Optogenetic & Thermogenetic tools
  • Reverse-Engineering of Social Behavior
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