Baek Kim, PhD

Professor

Pediatrics

Director

Center for Drug Discovery

ARTDTP Research Discipline

The Kim laboratory has been conducting both biochemical and virological researches that focus on 1) the replication and evolution of HIV-1, 2) establishment of long-living HIV-1 macrophage reservoirs, and 3) the role of SAMHD1 on HIV replication. Through these research activities, he established research collaborations with a number of virologists and biochemists, and his laboratory is currently taking a major role in the virology research program in the Developing Center of AIDS Research. Previous studies by the Kim group developed a highly sensitive and reliable dNTP assay which enabled them to measure the dNTP concentrations in macrophages for the first time. A series of follow-up studies revealed that this low dNTP concentration works as a kinetic restriction against HIV reverse transcription. Indeed, their recent study reported that myeloid specific anti-HIV restriction factor, SAMHD1, which turned out to be a dNTPase, is responsible for the poor dNTP availability in macrophages, and HIV-2/SIVsm specific accessory protein, Vpx, which degrades SAMHD1, elevated dNTP pool in macrophages, which promotes HIV proviral DNA synthesis in macrophages. In addition, the laboratory initiated biochemical analysis of influenza virus RNA polymerase, particularly its role in viral host switch from birds to human, which was recently extended to our new projects related with RNA polymerases of West Nile Virus and Dengue Virus as anti-viral drug targets. 

ARTDTP Faculty Collaborators

Graeme L. Conn, PhD

Raymond F. Schinazi, PhD