Kim, Yong I.
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
PO Box 800759
Ion Channel Dysfunction in Neurological Disorders
The function of the nervous system is critically dependent upon transient electrical signals emerging from nerve cells and highly localized synaptic sites. These signals are generated by ion channels, the elementary signaling units of the nervous system. In a wide variety of neurological disorders, clinical defects manifest as specific abnormalities in the function of these ion channels. To study such disease processes, we apply techniques in quantitative neuroscience, computer-aided signal processing, and biomedical instrumentation.
Our major approach is to define the bioelectric dysfunctions characterizing particular neuromuscular disorders and subsequently determine the cellular and molecular basis of the neurological impairment. The current research effort is directed toward understanding the pathogenesis of paraneoplastic neurological disorders and motoneuron disease. These studies utilize the patch-clamp technique, as well as other modern electrophysiological methods, in order to determine the disease mechanisms.