Dr. Kim describes his research as follows:
Understanding how the brain is wired for processing information from the environment to generate adaptive emotional esponses is a central goal of contemporary neuroscience research. I hope to address aspects of this problem by elucidating neuronal circuits in the ventral hippocampus that modulate anxiety. Lesion studies have thus far implicated the ventral hippocampus as critical to anxiety-related behaviors. Little is known, however, about which neurons within the ventral hippocampus are most relevant, and how their neuronal circuit organization relates to anxiety-related behaviors. The main goal is to address these questions using many of the cutting-edge genetic tools. These include genetic tools for the conditional marking of highly precise, molecularly-defined neuron subtypes, tools for manipulating the in vivo activity of such marked neurons, and for tracing their circuit connectivity. Motivating this work is that the resultant findings are likely to yield new insights into the pathophysiology of anxiety-related disorders and potentially provide new therapeutic targets for their treatment.