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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Bruno Carabelli

Postdoctoral Fellow

I earned my doctoral degree in Physiology University is Federal University of Parana. My main interest and work were using different animal models of Depression and potential new therapies to prevent this illness. One of the compounds I studied was omega 3, which is a family of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, supplemented via Fish Oil in different phases, such as during gestation and lactation and in adult life. Also, I performed small studies testing Ketamine and Buprenorphine in a depression model with an immune challenge in mice.

Before joining Dr. Kim’s lab, I was doing a postdoctoral study using a mouse model of Gulf War Illness, at the University of California, Riverside. Gulf War Illness is a severe illness that afflicts one-third of the nearly 700,000 U.S. troops who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. This disease is characterized by a variety of symptoms and co-morbidities, such as Depression, Anxiety, Gastrointestinal disturbances, Fatigue, and muscle/joint pain. We investigated the changes in the microbiota of mice exposed to the chemicals and the potential reversal of the phenotype using probiotics supplementation.

My hobbies include outdoor exercise like walking in parks, reading, movies, and listening to music.

Clara Berdasco, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I did my bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology. As an undergraduate researcher, I studied different gut enzymes’ activities in pigeons. In 2019, I earned my Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. I studied the inflammation and neurodegeneration in the hippocampus on a mouse model of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome caused by enterohemorrhagic E. coli. During my postdoctoral training, I worked on different projects such as (a) neurogenic hypertension, (b) ACE2 degradation, (c) SARS-CoV-2 impact in obesity/hypertension, and (d) the effects of probiotics in a Gulf War mouse model.

My main research interests are inflammation, microglia cells, organoids, and cell signaling.

My hobbies are cooking Argentinian dishes, hiking in the mountains, watching TV, and listening to music.


Joseph Lepore 

Research Assistant

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Integrative Neuroscience from Binghamton University where I was part of a Freshman Research Immersion Program in which I spent time as both a student and a Teaching Assistant. While I was part of this program, we studied the effects of Parkinson’s disease on neurotransmitter levels in the brain. I’m currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration in Urban Public Health. 

I’m extremely excited to join the Kim Lab so that I can further the mission of the lab in studying neuroscience as well as further my personal goals of further understanding the practical applications of neuroscience in a lab setting. 

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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

Tho Lai
Former Research Assistant
Clinical Research Associate at Bristol Myers Squibb
Sindhura Nemani
Former Research Assistant
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine Medical Student

Anandakumar Shunmugavel, PhD
Former Research Scientist II

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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