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Jason K. Kim, PhD


Principal Investigator

Professor of Molecular Medicine

Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes

Director of National MMPC at UMass Chan Medical School

MD/PhD Admissions Committee

Dr. Kim has dedicated almost 30 years of his life to understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. He has made a significant contribution to the field with more than 165 peer-reviewed publications, mostly in high-impact scientific journals, such as Nature, Science, and Cell Metabolism.

Dr. Kim’s earlier research elucidated the causal relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes and the molecular pathways by which fatty acids affect insulin signaling and glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle and liver. More recently, he has largely explored the molecular link between inflammation and insulin resistance, focusing on the macrophage regulation of energy metabolism using sophisticated metabolic procedures and molecular and cell-based approaches involving transgenic mice developed in his laboratory. His recent findings that macrophages and cytokines regulate insulin resistance have been cited by many important papers in the field, and his published work as a corresponding author has received more than 6,500 citations. Since 2008, Dr. Kim has been a Full Professor with Tenure at UMass Chan Medical School. In 2011, he was awarded by the NIH to become the Program Director of the National Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center, subsequently receiving a $4.2M NIH grant renewal in 2016. Through this highly collaborative NIH Consortium, Dr. Kim’s research program has investigated more than 400 genetic mouse models of human diseases and collaborated with numerous academic and industry investigators worldwide in joint efforts to understand the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and its complications and identify potential therapeutic targets. In that regard, his published work as a co-author of collaborative research has received more than 22,000 citations. As a leading expert in metabolism, diabetes, and obesity, Dr. Kim’s research program over the years has greatly advanced our understanding of important biological events surrounding type 2 diabetes and continues to contribute toward finding a cure for diabetes.

Dr. Kim began his academic career in 2002 as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Yale University School of Medicine. At Yale, he served as Associate Director of the NIH-Yale Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center and a member of the Medical School Admissions Committee. As an avid teacher, he was an Instructor for Yale Medical School and Nursing School, having taught curriculum courses for the Yale medical and nursing students and an Adjunct Professor at Quinnipiac University, having taught undergraduate biology courses. As a young investigator at Yale, he was invited to give a lecture at the 2003 International Diabetes Federation Meeting in Paris, 2004 Korean Diabetes Association Conference in Seoul, and 2nd Australian Health and Medical Research Congress in Sydney, chair an oral presentation session at the 65th Scientific Sessions of American Diabetes Association in San Diego, and received Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004.

Dr. Kim moved his research program to the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in 2005, becoming an Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, receiving tenure in 2008. At Penn State, he served as the Director of Graduate Physiology Course, Director of Biomedical Sciences & Engineering Seminar Series, a member of the Admissions Committee, Curriculum Evaluation Committee, and Chair Advisory Committee, and Instructor of Medical and Graduate School, having taught year 1 curriculum courses for the Penn State medical students and graduate students. As the Founding Director of the Penn State Diabetes and Obesity Mouse Phenotyping Center, he also served as a consultant for Amgen, Genzyme, and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development. As an established investigator at Penn State, Dr. Kim was invited to give a lecture at the 6th International Association for the Study of Obesity (Stock Conference) in Bangkok, The Endocrine Society’s 88th Annual Meeting in Boston, 2006 Mid-Atlantic Diabetes Research Symposium at the NIH, 44th New York Lipid and Vascular Biology Research Club Conference at The Rockefeller University, Grand Rounds at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2006, and as the Plenary Speaker at the 60th Year International Conference of the Korean Society of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Seoul. He has also served on the grant review committees for the American Diabetes Association, National Medical Research Council of Singapore, American Institute of Biological Sciences, and NIH-NIDDK Special Emphasis Panels.

As a world-renowned scientist at UMass Chan Medical School, Dr. Kim is currently an Adjunct Investigator of Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School, Adjunct Professor at Seoul National University and Chungnam National University College of Medicine in South Korea, External Advisor of University of Hawaii Diabetes Center and Johns Hopkins University Diabetes Research Center, Chair of Lipids Basic Science Committee for the American Heart Association, Dean’s Advisory Board of The University of Hong Kong, Scientific Advisory Board for Imagine Pharmaceuticals, and Strategic Scientific Advisor for Elevian Inc. On campus, Dr. Kim serves on the MD/PhD Admissions Committee, the Executive Committee of the UMass Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center, and as a Lecturer of Foundations of Health & Disease, teaching metabolism, diabetes, and obesity to the 1st year medical students at UMass Chan. He has previously served on the Peer Review Steering Committee for the American Heart Association, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Council on Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and Student Affairs Committee at UMass, and Key Scientific Advisor for Escoublac Inc.

Throughout his lifelong academic and scientific career, Dr. Kim has chaired and served on multiple NIH grant review panels, scientific session planning committees for the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association, and the editorial boards for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and American Journal of Physiology. Furthermore, he has been invited to share his research at numerous plenary, keynote, and symposium lectures at prestigious international conferences in Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Australia, Spain, China, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and the U.S.A. With more than 20 years of experience on the medical school admissions committee (Yale, Penn State, and UMass), he regularly gives seminars on the medical school admissions process and preparation for becoming a physician-scientist.

Born in South Korea and growing up in the westside of Los Angeles since he was 12 years old, Dr. Kim graduated from UC Irvine with a B.S. in Biological Sciences in 1991 and received his Ph.D. in Physiology & Biophysics from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in 1996. He lives with his family of four in Wellesley and enjoys swimming, tennis, listening to arias, going to church, playing with his dog (Teddy) and his daughters’ Conures (Mango and Luke), and watching sports. Dr. Kim serves as an Advisor for Diabetes Virtual Camp, a virtual internship program for high school and college students and postgraduate trainees that was founded by his two daughters, Lauren (Wellesley High School) and Allison (Boston University), in 2020 in response to COVID-19 pandemic and has become a global educational platform serving more than 1,000 students from 28 countries and 45 states in the U.S., partnering with the American Diabetes Association, and raising more than $10,000 in donations to support diabetes research, education, and care. As an unrelenting scientist, a caring mentor, and an insightful leader, Dr. Kim continues his lifelong passion for diabetes research and training our next generation of physicians and scientists with an unwavering mission: to find a cure for diabetes.