Hey-Min Kim, PhD

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Dr. Hey-Min Kim is interested in host-bacterial interactions, bacterial physiology and virulence, and signal transduction mechanisms with a recent interest in microbial endocrinology.

Recent studies indicate that Porphyromonas gingivalis can transform a benign microbial community to a pathogenic one leading to inflammatory periodontal bone loss, indicating that its pathogenic potential is dependent on both its physiological state and its intercellular interactions within the oral microbial community. Dr. Kim has been studying various aspects of P. gingivalis basic physiology and pathogenic potential. Those have included her published work on ppGpp signaling and another published work on a two-component system that regulates the expression of genes required for capsule synthesis and heme binding. Her study has also been focused on determining the impact of the stress hormone cortisol on P. gingivalis surface translocation. Her data shows that cortisol promotes the expression of the structural components of the Type IX Secretion System and this hormone promotes P. gingivalis surface translocation. She plans to shift gears and focus on determining the arginine metabolism regulon controlled by the arginine regulator in P. gingivalis since L-Arg availability has a significant impact on the physiology and pathogenicity of P. gingivalis.


Seoul National University, South Korea, PhD, 2015, Biological Sciences

Seoul National University, South Korea, MS, 2010, Biological Sciences

Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea, BS, 2008, Genetic engineering