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Baek Kim, PhD

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Dr. Kim joined Emory’s faculty as a Professor within the Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology in 2013, joining us from the University of Rochester. He guides, oversees, promotes, and develops the Center and facilitates collaborations across the University. Dr. Kim’s 20 years of experience in biochemical and virological research, which has been fully supported by NIH, has been focused on the replication process and cell tropism of HIV/AIDS and influenza virus. Recently, Dr. Kim has recently initiated enzymological and mechanistic research on WNV and Dengue RNA polymerases, which will be incorporated into the drug discovery programs of the Center for ViroScience and Cure.


Baek Kim's laboratory has been working on the molecular and cellular biology of HIV-1 replication, mutagenesis, evolution and viral escape for more than two decades. They do so by employing both biochemical and virological approaches. Their recent research focuses on HIV-1 infection to nondividing myeloid cells that serve as long-living HIV-1 reservoirs, contributing to HIV-1 persistence. They have found that HIV-1 replication in nondividing target cells harbors various distinct features, compared with activated CD4+ T cells. Their research claims differences between replication in these cell types in terms of host restriction, viral replication kinetics and cell biology/signaling responses can contribute to viral evolution and pathogenesis. Also, they recently launched a new anti-HIV drug discovery program through an industry collaboration, and this drug platform, called allosteric integrase inhibitors, targets HIV-1 integrase for its unique functions during both viral maturation and HIV-1 reactivation from latently infected T cell reservoirs.

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