Meet Our Team

Jiyeon Kim

Principal Investigator

Originally from South Korea, Jiyeon studied cancer biology at Duke University. Working in Sally Kornbluth’s laboratory, she investigated how survival signaling can alter the apoptotic program and contribute to human malignancies by using Xenopus laevis egg extract system and cell lines.

In November 2012, she joined the laboratory of Ralph DeBerardinis at the UT-Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. There, she identified a new metabolic liability in this highly aggressive subtype of cancer, and also uncovered an unexpected mechanism of nucleotide metabolism by integrating metabolomics analysis with genetic profiling.

In August 2018, Jiyeon became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at UIC with a joint appointment at Hamburger University to study our daily metabolism more comprehensively (JK!). 

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Hyun Min Lee

Postdoctoral fellow

Hyun Min did his PhD from Sejoing University, South Korea studying stem cell and antibody production. He is now investigating how mannose metabolism is NSCLC with KRAS/LKB1 co-mutation.

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Dan Tran

Graduate Student 

coming soon with his intro

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Pratibha Bhalla

Undergraduate Researcher 

Pratibha is a first-year Honors and GPPA Medical Scholars student at UIC who joined our lab in Spring 2021. She is majoring in biological sciences with a minor in philosophy and upon graduation, Pratibha is looking to pursue a degree in medicine and eventually practice as a physician. By joining our lab and researching cancer metabolism, she is excited to gain a lot of experience and knowledge in a professional laboratory environment. Outside of academics and research, Pratibha enjoys dancing on a collegiate level as well exploring the city with her friends!

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Elizabeth Lieu

Undergraduate Researcher

Elizabeth is a first-year Honors College student pursuing a major in Biochemistry and a minor in English. Upon graduation, she hopes to move onto an MD/PhD program where she combines an interest in medicine with the ability to conduct research alongside others. Besides academics, Elizabeth enjoys painting, drawing, and embroidering in my spare time.

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Neil Kelekar

Post-bacc researcher

Neil received his B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Neil has a vendetta against cancer and studying targetable liabilities in cancer metabolic reprogramming is a dream come true for him. In the future, Neil aspires to attend medical school and become a physician that works with cutting-edge technologies to combat diseases of all forms. When Neil isn’t working in the lab, he is probably spending time with family, watching soccer, or learning how to cook authentic Indian cuisine from his mom.

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You're Next!

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We're looking for relentless and rigorous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Feel free to contact Jiyeon if you are interested in joining the Kim Lab.

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