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  • ӹ   KAIST Endowed Chair Professor
  • Bioinorganic / Bioorganic / Bioanalytical / Medicinal / Neurochemistry
  • Ph.D. 2006, MIT

Contact information

Tel: (office) +82-42-350-2826, (lab) +82-42-350-2866
Location: (office) Room 504 (Bldg. E6-6), (lab) Room 5109 (Bldg. E6-4)
Fax: +82-42-350-2810


Ph.D., Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (September 2002 – May 2006; Advisor: Professor Stephen J. Lippard)
M.Sc., Molecular Life Science, Ewha Womans University (March 1999 – February 2001; Advisor: Professor Wonwoo Nam)
B.S., Chemistry, Ewha Womans University (March 1995 – February 1999; Graduated Summa Cum Laude)


Professor, Department of Chemistry, KAIST (March 2020 – Present)
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry (tenured), KAIST (February 2018 – February 2020)
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry (tenured), Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) (September 2013 – January 2018)
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry; Research Assistant Professor, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (August 2008 – August 2013)
Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology (October 2006 – June 2008; Advisor: Professor Jacqueline K. Barton)


(14) 2022, KAIST Endowed Chair Professorship
(13) 2021, The Year Award for Women in Science and Technology(Ministry of Science and ICT & WISET)
(12) 2021, S-Oil Next-Generation Scientist Award [S-Oil Science Prodigy & Culture Foundation & The Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST)]
(11) 2020, Asian Biological Inorganic Chemistry (AsBIC) James Hoeschele Award
(10) 2019, Member of the Young Korean Academy of Science and Technology (Y-KAST)
(9) 2018, Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (SBIC) Early Career Award
(8) 2018, Yong Inorganic Chemist Award, KCS Inorganic Division
(7) 2016, Award for 30 Young Scientists of Korea to Lead Basic Science Research for the Next 30 Years (POSTECH & DONG-A ILBO)
(6) 2016, Chemical Society of Japan Distinguished Lectureship Award
(5) 2015, KCS-Wiley Young Chemist Award
(4) 2013, National Science Foundation Career Award
(3) 2012, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship
(2) 2012, The Paul Saltman Award (GRC Metals in Biology)
(1) 2010, The Gray Family Fund Young investigator (GRC, Metals in Medicine)


Brief Introduction

The research interests of the Lim lab lie in the broad field of bioinorganic chemistry and chemical biology as it interfaces with biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, and neuroscience. Our research objectives are to (a) identify how metal-involved biological networks composed of proteins, neurotransmitters, and mediators for oxidative stress and inflammation are linked to dementia, including Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases (AD and PD); (b) establish new directions for developing chemical reagents as tools, diagnostics, and therapeutics for such diseases. These goals can be accomplished through (i) elucidating the complicated and inter-communicated pathogenesis of dementia at the molecular level; (ii) designing small molecule-based or protein-based reagents as chemical tools through understanding of the complicated networks among metals, various proteins, and/or other molecules (i.e., neurotransmitters), and as multi-tasking diagnostics or therapeutics. Students in the Lim lab have been engaging in synthetic chemistry (organic and inorganic syntheses), physical methods (NMR, EPR, IR, CD, and UV-vis spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and X-ray crystallography), as well as biochemical and biological techniques (biochemical assays, mammalian cell culture/analysis, and in vivo investigations). 

Research topics

- Inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry / chemical biology
- Metalloneurochemistry
- Metal-involved pathology in human diseases (especially, dementia)
- Chemical tools, diagnostics & therapeutics for human diseases

Representative publications

6. "Conformational and Functional Changes of the Native Neuropeptide Somatostatin Occur in the Presence of Copper and Amyloid-" Nature Chem. 2022, 14, 1021.
5. Minimalistic Principles for Designing Small Molecules with Multiple Reactivities against Pathological Factors in Dementia J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 8183.
4. "Mechanistic Approaches for Chemically Modifying the Coordination Sphere of Copper–Amyloid- Complexes" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2020, 117, 5160.
3. Mechanistic Insights into Tunable Metal-Mediated Hydrolysis of Amyloid- Peptides J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 2234-2244.
2. "Structure-Mechanism-Based Engineering of Chemical Regulators for Distinct Pathological Factors in Alzheimer's Disease" Nature Commun. 2016, 7, 13115.
1. "A Redox-Active, Compact Molecule for Cross-Linking Amyloidogenic Peptides into Nontoxic, Off-Pathway Aggregates: In Vitro and In Vivo Efficacy and Molecular Mechanisms" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 14785-14797.