Stem cell biology, gene therapy, vascular biology, pathogenesis of atherosclerosis Prof. Hyo-Soo Kim
Current Research Interests
Dr HS Kim’s laboratory focuses on biology of cardiovascular stem cells for vasculogenesis and myogenesis. His laboratory is interested in the mechanism of vasculogenesis driven by endothelial progenitor cells cross-reacting with other cells, such as angiogenic T cells, monocytes, and fibrocytes. He also studies the myogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cell, skeletal myoblast, or human embryonic stem cells for application to myogenesis. For these basic cell biologic researches to be translated into clinical field, he uses cutting-edge technologies which include not only in vitro techniques such as adenoviral, lentiviral vectors, siRNA, shRNA, gene chip analysis, real time PCR, confocal microscopy, laser Doppler perfusion image analyzer, and FACS, but also in vivo models such as genetically engineered mice, nude mice hind limb ischemia, and bone marrow transplantation model.
Recently his laboratory launched several project of dedifferentiation/reprogramming of stem cells or induced pleuripotent stem cell.
The studies conducted at the Vascular Center basically aim at ‘Benchwork to Bedside’. In other words, the basic studies of the Cardiovascular Center on the cells and tissues that compose the heart such as the myocardium, endothelium and stem cells aim to utilize and provide the research results more closely to hospitalized patients.
Meanwhile, unsolved or questionable issues of healthcare staff in treating patients at hospitals or new research items can be used to initiate basic research and become the topics of new studies on cells, tissues and animals. The Magic Cell study which created a sensation throughout the world last year was initiated by a previous basic study on endothelial progenitor cells using GM-CSF in animals. Also, various studies on gene therapy of instant restenosis which were published in several journals started out from questions and a spirit of inquiry on numerous patients suffering from instant restenosis.
Basic research is conducted on the 5th and 7th floors of the Clinical Research Institute of the Seoul National University Hospital and animal studies using rodents and rabbits are conducted on the 10th floor. At present the Cardiovascular Center:
1) Studies the functions and cell death of endothelial cells
2) Studies the functions, mobilization and homing of endothelial progenitor cells
3) Studies the proliferation, migration and inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cells
4) Studies the differentiation of myocardial stem cells
The above are the main studies of the Center which is equipped with microscopes, centrifuges, angiography instruments and laser Doppler instruments. Also, echocardiogram can be used when necessary. Every year, the Center publishes several articles in journals such as the Circulation, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
As written above, such basic studies are directly and indirectly applied in clinical research. Also, the Magic Cell study is in also currently in progress and we are receiving proposals from prominent research institutes in Korea as well as overseas. Tissues and cells that have been collected from patients with their written consent are analyzed again at the Clinical Research Institute and are subjects for studies, and researchers are continuously conducting studies with these materials.
A total of 15 permanent researchers at the Cardiovascular Center including students in master’s and doctor’s courses, and there are also residents, fellows and attendings of the Department of Cardiology who are participating in studies. Every Monday, we hold a Research Meeting where we discuss previous study results and future research directions, and we also hold a Paper Meeting every Friday where we report topics related to our current research.
Since there are various research fields in the area of cardiology, our Cardiovascular Center is currently conducting various studies in accordance. Though our studies are varied in range, communications between researchers is very active in order to accomplish depth in our studies. In particular, for studies on endothelial progenitor cells and vascular smooth muscle cells, we are confident that our accumulated know-how can match those of globally well-known research institutes and our research accomplishments can be seen in the Research Accomplishments section.