Dr. Deok-Ho Kim, Associate Professor in Bioengineering and a Faculty Member of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM), has been awarded the inaugural 2018 IEEE NANOMED New Innovator Award. Intended for current IEEE members within 10 years of completing their highest degree, the award recognizes significant contributions to the field of Nano/Molecular Medicine and Engineering as demonstrated by innovative research, product development, patents and/or publications.
In his lab research, Dr. Kim and his team focus on the mechanobiology of human diseases. One specialty for the Kim lab is the development of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based microphysiological systems for disease modeling and drug discovery. In his award presentation at the IEEE NANOMED 2018 Annual Conference in Hawaii, Dr. Kim described how new technology – specifically, a heart-on-a-chip – makes it possible to model cardiac diseases using stem cell and tissue chip technologies.
“I am very honored to receive this award and wish to thank all my mentors,” said Dr. Kim. “I feel so privileged that IEEE, the world largest international society, considered our work in both nano/molecular bioengineering and human organ-on-a-chip technology worthy of this honor.”
A UW faculty member since 2011, Dr. Kim heads the Multiscale Biofabrication and Tissue Engineering Lab, which develops multiscale models of engineered human cardiac tissues derived from iPSC for three major applications: disease modeling for cardiac disease drug discovery, rapid and predictive preclinical cardiac risk assessment, and conducting clinical trials in vitro.
Currently, Dr. Kim is using heart-on-a-chip technology to better understand why many young patients with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy are dying of heart failure. Dr. Kim is also a lead part of an NIH/CASIS-funded effort to send hearts-on-chips to the International Space Station in 2020. The goals of that mission are to study the effects of microgravity on heart functioning and, hopefully, point scientists toward new ways to treat patients back on Earth.
Dr. Kim’s achievements in stem cell and tissue engineering research have earned him funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and many private foundations. Dr. Kim has also served as keynote or plenary speaker at major national and international conferences and published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers in leading biomedical journals.