MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease

Translating today's discoveries into tomorrow's cures

Facebook icon Twitter Icon

Faculty page banner

Kim, Doo Yeon, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Assistant in Neuroscience, Massachusetts General Hospital

Lab Phone: 617-724-1505
Fax: 617-724-1823
Lab Address
: Building 114, 16th Street, Room 3006


Dr. Doo Yeon Kim has been investigating physiological and pathological function of Alzheimer’s disease secretases, BACE1 and presenilin/gamma-secretase. He contributed to research that shows in addition to interacting with APP, BACE1 has an important role in regulating membrane excitability of brain cells cell, which may explain a higher risk of seizures in Alzheimer’s disease patients. BACE1 cleaves beta subunits of neuronal ion channels including voltage-gated sodium channels, and therefore controls how nerve cells fire. Elevated BACE1 activity in brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients can disrupt the normal function of these sodium channels, making nerve cells more vulnerable to aberrant firing and perhaps seizures. In recent years, Kim’s laboratory is also interested in developing human neural cell culture models of Alzheimer’s disease, which can be used to test Alzheimer’s disease drug candidates before human clinical trials. By adopting a novel three-dimensional cell culture system, Kim’s team showed that familial Alzheimer’s disease mutations could induce robust beta-amyloid and tau pathologies in human neural cell cultures.


Doo Yeon is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Neurology in the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at MIND. He received his Ph.D. at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea. He started his postgraduate work at the Brain Disease Research Center, Ajou University Medical School, South Korea, and completed his postdoctoratal studies in Dr. Dora M. Kovacs’ laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was appointed Assistant Professor in 2009. He was awarded a fellowship from the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation in 2004.