Homin Kim


Homin Kim


Structural Biology (X-ray Crystallography & Cryo-EM)BiochemistryProtein Engineering


Dr. Ho Min Kim received Master degree at the department of biological science, KAIST in 2001, and his PhD degree on the crystal structure of angiotensin I-converting enzyme bound to hypertension drug and B cell-activating factor (BAFF)/their receptor (BAFFR) complex at KAIST in 2005. After two and half years postdoctoral fellow at KAIST under the supervision of Dr. Jie-oh Lee to determine TLR4/MD2 crystal structure, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Yifan Cheng at University of California, San Francisco, USA to receive the training in single particle Cryo-EM.
Since he joined Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering (GSMSE), KAIST as an assistant professor in 2011, his research has focused on the structure analysis of disease-related protein complexes using X-ray crystallography and Cryo-EM to unveil their underlying molecular mechanisms and pathophysiological roles. Particularly, he investigated the dynamic transfer cascade of bacterial endotoxin LPS to TLR4/MD2 via LBP and CD14 for activating innate immune response. He also determined the 3D structure of various synaptic adhesion complex which are critical for synapse formation and maturation. More recently, he has applied his expertise in structural biology to protein engineering for developing therapeutic proteins to treat cancer.
He is currently a tenured Associate Professor at Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering (GSMSE), Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), and a Chief Investigator at Center for Biomolecular & Cellular Structure, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Korea.


Dr. Takashi Suzuki at Tokyo Institute of Technology has been focused on the pioneering work, “Formation of functional neuronal circuits” using drosophila visual system, and discovered several key proteins for axon targeting of photoreceptor cells. Now, his group is investigating how these key proteins influence the targeting specificity of photoreceptor axons and trying to identify their novel interacting partners. My research group have determined the crystal structure of several key proteins on neuronal synapse and has been undertaking the protein engineering-based technology development to discover the novel binding targets. I’m very sure that the unique WRHI program enable to combine my expertise in structural biology and protein engineering with Dr. Suzuki’s expertise in neuroscience and drosophila physiology. Through this close collaboration supported by WRHI, we can understand the functional neural circuit in visual system from molecules to cellular and individual organism level comprehensively in near future. I’m also expecting that my visit enables me to come in contact with many of talented Japanese students and researchers for developing new scientific projects.


  • Our research group has been undertaking innovative research to discover the novel binding targets of uncharacterized LRR-containing proteins and their cellular signaling network. These newly identified binding partners for uncharacterized LRR-containing proteins as well as the supramolecular signaling complexes will be the key targets for our structural research. Our challenging approach will contribute to understand the molecular mechanism of uncharacterized LRR-containing proteins as well as their physiological and pathological roles.


Visiting Associate Professor, Tokyo Tech World Research Hub Initiative (WRHI), School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology


Chief Investigator, Center for Biomolecular & Cellular Structure, Protein Communication Group, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Korea


Associate Professor, Graduate School of Medical Science & Engineering (GSMSE), KAIST, Korea


Adjunct Professor, Department of Biological Science, KAIST, Korea


Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Medical Science & Engineering (GSMSE), KAIST, Korea


Adjunct Professor, KI for Biocentury, KAIST, Korea


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco, Department of Biophysics & Biochemistry, USA (Advisor : Yifan Cheng)


Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, KAIST, Korea (Advisor : Jie-oh Lee & Ook Joon Yoo)


Postdoctoral Fellow, Biomedical Research Center, KAIST, Korea (Advisor : Jie-oh Lee & Ook Joon Yoo)


Presidential Young Scientist Awards in Life Science, Korean Academy of Science and Technology & Ministry of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea


National R&D Excellence 100, Best Research (Biology), Minister of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea


Asan Award in Medicine for Young Medical Scientists, Asan Foundation


KAIST Top 10 Representative Researches Award, KAIST


Award for Academic Excellence, Korean Society for structural biology


Award for Academic Excellence, KAIST, Republic of Korea


Ewon Assistant Professor, KAIST, Republic of Korea


Agarwal Award, Biomedical Research Center, KAIST, Republic of Korea


Award for Young Scientist, Ministry of Science & Technology, Republic of Korea


Lee DH, Lee MY, Seo Y, Hong HJ, An HJ, Kang JS, Kim HM. Multi-paratopic VEGF decoy receptor have superior anti-tumor effects through anti-EGFRs and targeted anti-angiogenic activities. Biomaterials. 2018 Apr 16;171:34-45.


Ahn B, Lee S-G, Yoon HR, Lee JM, Oh HJ, Kim HM, Jung Y. Four-fold Channel-Nicked Human Ferritin Nanocages for Active Drug Loading and pH-Responsive Drug Release. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2018 Mar 5;57(11):2909-2913


Won SY, Kim CY, Kim D, Ko J, Um JW, Lee SB, Buck M, Kim E, Heo WD, Lee JO, Kim HM. LAR-RPTP Clustering Is Modulated by Competitive Binding between Synaptic Adhesion Partners and Heparan Sulfate. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. 2017 Oct 13;10:327.


Kim JA, Kim D, Won SY, Han KA, Park D, Cho E, Yun N, An HJ, Um JW, Kim E, Lee JO, Ko J, Kim HM. Structural Insights into Modulation of Neurexin-Neuroligin Trans-synaptic Adhesion by MDGA1/Neuroligin-2 Complex. Neuron. 2017 Jun 21;94(6):1121-1131. Selected as Issue Highlights.


Ryu J-K, Kim SJ, Rah S-H, Kang JI, Jung HE, Lee D, Lee HK, Lee J-O, Park BS, Yoon T-Y, Kim HM. Reconstruction of LPS transfer cascade reveals structural determinants within LBP, CD14 and TLR4-MD2 for efficient LPS recognition and transfer. Immunity. 2017 Jan 17;46(1):38-50.


Lee J, Kim C, Yang H, Park I, Oh N, Hua S, Jeong H, An H, Kim SC, Lee GM, Koh GY, Kim HM. Novel Glycosylated VEGF Decoy Receptor Fusion Protein, VEGF-Grab, Efficiently Suppresses Tumor Angiogenesis and Progression. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2015 Feb;14(2):470-9. Selected as Issue Highlights.


Um JW, Kim KH, Park BS, Choi Y, Kim D, Kim CY, Kim SJ, Kim MH, Ko JS, Lee S-G, Choii G, Nam J, Heo WD, Kim E, Lee J-O, Ko J*, Kim HM*. Structural basis for LAR-RPTP/Slitrk complex-mediated synaptic adhesion. Nature Communications. 2014 Nov 14;5:5423..


Park S, Li X, Kim HM, Singh CR, Tian G, Hoyt MA, Lovell S, Battaile KP, Zolkiewski M, Coffino P, Roelofs J, Cheng Y, Finley D. Reconfiguration of the proteasome during chaperone-mediated assembly. Nature, 2013 May 23; 497(7450):512-6.


Kim HM, Park BS, Kim JI, Kim SE, Lee J, Oh SC, Enkhbayar P, Matsushima N, Lee H, Yoo OK, Lee JO. Crystal structure of the TLR4-MD-2 complex with bound endotoxin antagonist Eritoran. Cell, 2007 Sep 7; 130(5):906-17.


Kim HM, Yu KS, Lee ME, Shin DR, Kim YS, Paik SG, Yoo OJ, Lee H, Lee JO. Crystal structure of the BAFF-BAFF-R complex and its implications for receptor activation. Nature Structural Biology. 2003 May;10(5):342-8.