Kim’s research focuses on changes in skeletal muscle due to changes in activity, specifically, spinal cord injury due to functional overload. She has conducted experiments to determine how much activity is required to maintain near normal hind-limb muscle properties after a spinal cord injury. She also has studied how loss in muscle force and increased muscle fatigability, commonly observed after a spinal cord injury, impact neural control of locomotion. Kim is mapping the spinal circuitry involved in standing and stepping after a spinal cord injury. The various studies’ results will have substantial implications for future interventions with spinal cord injured subjects and with individuals affected by other neuromotor diseases. Kim’s recent focus is work to determine the role of MMP-9, an enzyme responsible for breaking down the extracellular matrix in skeletal muscle, during repair and remolding under varying activity levels by the client.
B.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1995; M.A., Pepperdine University, 2000; Ph.D., New Mexico State University, 2006