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Prof V Narry Kim, Biochemist and microbiologist
V Narry Kim developed new technology to eliminate specific microRNAs which reduce cancer cell proliferation.
V Narry Kim, born in South Korea in 1969, is a biochemist and microbiologist at Seoul National University (SNU) working primarily with microRNA biogenesis.
She first became interested in science as a high school student and, in an interview, said she chose it as a lifelong career because of her fascination with “the simplicity of the principles underlying the complexity of life”. She completed an undergraduate degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in microbiology at SNU. She then graduated from the University of Oxford with a PhD in biochemistry on retroviral proteins.
After her PhD, Kim took a research assistant position at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Pennsylvania studying messenger RNA surveillance, the mechanism by which cells double-check the quality of their messenger RNA molecules. On completing her postdoctoral research, she returned to SNU in 2001 where she started working as a research assistant professor, eventually becoming a distinguished professor.
Kim founded the Centre for RNA Research at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), where her research focuses on RNA-mediated gene regulation. Her lab has made significant contributions to the understanding of how microRNAs – small single-stranded non-coding RNA molecules that play a key part in regulating gene expression – are created and processed in animal cells. She and her colleagues developed a new technology to eliminate specific microRNAs which when applied to cancer cells led to a drop in their proliferation rate. This may result in new gene therapies.
Kim has received several awards including the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science, Ho-Am Prize in Medicine, Korean S&T Award, and was named Woman Scientist of the Year by South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Technology. She also has several patents for her work, such as an HIV-based gene delivery vector. She was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society in 2021.
V. Narry Kim, Wikipedia
Narry Kim Lab | RNA biology, NarryKim.org
Kim, V. Narry, Biological Science, Seoul National University
V. Narry Kim: Embracing the Challenge of Science, Quest, 2005
SNU Professor Wins LOreal-UNESCO Award, Korea Times, 12 December 2007
More prizewinners of 2008, Ashley Yeager, Nature, 17 December 2008
17 Women in STEAM from Around the World to Inspire You on International Women’s Day 2017, Rachel Murray, She Geeks Out, 8 March 2017
The History and Challenges of Women in Genetics: A Focus on Non-Western Women, Hadeel Elbardisy and Malak Abedalthagafi, Frontiers in Genetics, 2021
V. Narry Kim, Royal Society, 2021
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