Lab Members

Yong Kim, PhD

Principal Investigator
Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University
Core Member, Brain Health Institute, Rutgers University

I earned my PhD at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in Korea, where I studied phospholipid lipase-mediated signal transduction in the lab of Drs. Sung Ho Ryu and Pann-Ghill Suh.

I completed my postdoc training in molecular and cellular neuroscience research in Dr. Paul Greengard’s lab at The Rockefeller University. After completion of my postdoc, I stayed in the lab as a research group leader, collaborating with Dr. Greengard to study molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and drug addiction.

Outside of the lab, I enjoy running around my neighborhood park and spending time with my family. I am easily excited when I encounter gophers, geese, or deer on campus, especially the gopher family living near the receiving dock in the Research Tower building. My favorite outdoor activity is fishing although my last fishing trip was about 30 years ago. I believe I am a talented cook at home, with genius ideas for aliquoting whatever cooking ingredients, titrating salts, and reconstituting leftovers.

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Anandakumar Shunmugavel, PhD

Research Scientist II

I earned my doctoral degree in neuroscience from M.S. University, India. I did my postdoctoral training in behavioral neuroscience at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, and quantitative medical imaging at National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland.

My previous research interest was in understanding the functions of the prefrontal cortex and improving those functions after mild traumatic brain injury using rodent and ferret animal models and controlled cortical impact, closed head injury model of engineered rotational acceleration (CHIMERA) and  blast injury devices. Thus I have additional interest in neuroplasticity, learning and memory, executive functions and social behavior. I have used multimodal structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging in my research effort in addition to biochemical and cell biological tools.            

Apart from my academic interests, I’m passionate about my hobbies which include reading, writing poems in my mother tongue Tamil,  listening to music, practicing acoustic guitar and playing pool and outdoor activities include hiking, kayaking, photography and driving to the countryside and beach.


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Tho Lai

Student Research Assistant

I am a graduate student of the Biomedical Sciences program of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. During my undergraduate years at Rutgers, I majored in Cell Biology and Sciences and was a student assistant at Dr. Detlev Boison’s laboratory that dealt with multiple disciplinary projects on adenosine kinase, epilepsy, neurogenesis, and traumatic brain injury. 

Growing up in a countryside in Vietnam, I love the outdoors and doing activities such as hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. When I am at home, I often find myself cooking, drawing, and editing video (primarily Premiere Pro).

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Sindhura Nemani

Student Assistant

I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Cell Biology & Neuroscience. I have previously worked as a research intern at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in a lab that studies lung cancer and have learned how to perform techniques such as PCR and gel electrophoresis. In addition to my work in the Kim lab, I am also working on another research project in the department of pediatric neurology at RWJMS which involves the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

In my free time, I enjoy cooking, spending time with my family, and listening to music. I aspire to go to medical school and become a doctor in the near future.

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Avantika Raman

Student Assistant

I’m a junior at Rutgers University majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in psychology. I have previously interned at Body 1, where I worked as a data science intern to collect and consolidate information for a pharmacy company. Additionally, I spent a year as a part-time tech at Beverly Hospital where I got certified in various clinical skills such as phlebotomy and EKG. This opportunity allowed me to work closely with nurses and doctors during the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m the founder of RU SOARS, a fully recognized research based organization on campus.

I am excited to be apart of Dr.Kim’s lab and help my lab members with their tasks including PCR and gel electrophoresis. I’m also looking forward to working with mice for DNA sample collection too!

In my free time I enjoy playing the piano, electric guitar, and going on hikes.

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Come join our lab!

We’re looking for passionate postdocs and research staff to join our lab. For inquiries about our open postdoc positions, please email Dr. Kim and submit an application below.

Past Lab Members & Close Colleagues

Matt Baron, PhD
Former Research Assistant
Economics PhD from Princeton
Assistant Professor at Cornell

Dionnet Bhatti
Former Research Assistant
Neuroscience PhD Student at Harvard

Ilaria Ceglia, PhD
Former Postdoc
Science Informationist at the Rockefeller University
Su Jin Chae, PhD
Visiting Postdoc
Michelle Chen
Former Research Assistant
MD/PhD Student at University of Iowa MSTP
Zhenghong Dong
Former Research Assistant
Jonathan Halford, MD
Former Research Assistant
Kolbe Hancock, MD
Former Research Assistant
Medical Fellowship at Weill Cornell
Kabir Husain, PhD
Former Research Assistant
PhD from NCBS Bangalore
Postdoc at University of Chicago
Junghee Jin, PhD
Former Postdoc
Senior Scientist at Encoded Therapeutics
Amie Kim, MD
Former Research Assistant

Daesoo Kim, PhD
Visiting Professor
Professor at KAIST, Korea
Cassie Kookier
Former Research Assistant
MD/PhD Student at UC Irvine MSTP
Jung Sung Lee, PhD
Former Postdoc
Ko-Woon Lee, PhD
Former Postdoc
Grant Martin
Former Research Assistant
Yong-Seok Oh, PhD
Former Postdoc
Associate Professor at DIGIST, Korea
Claire Song
Former Research Assistant
BBS PhD Student at Yale University
Jee-Young Sung, PhD
Former Postdoc
Pedro Del Cioppo Vasques
Former Research Assistant
MD/PhD Student at Mayo Clinic MSTP
Xiaozhu Zhang
Former Research Assistant
Analyst in MCRC group at Weill Cornell

We also want to thank Dr. Paul Greengard, one of our biggest mentors, who not only pushed us to be better scientists but also better people. Being a part of his lab was a great honor.

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