Dr Jee Hyun Kim is a behavioral neuroscientist, whose work focuses on emotional learning and memory during childhood and adolescence.
Kim completed her undergraduate degree at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), graduating with the prestigious University Medal in Psychology. After completing her PhD in Psychology at UNSW, Kim continued in research as a postdoctoral research fellow at UNSW, followed by the University of Michigan. Kim then gained a position as a Senior Research Officer at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health, before becoming head of the Developmental Psychobiology Laboratory at the institute. Kim is the youngest laboratory head at the Florey.
Kim's research shows that the acquisition and retrieval of fear memories is different across childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Kim was also the first to demonstrate that fear memories can be permanently erased early in life. Kim’s research uses preclinical paradigms to model human behaviors, in order to understand the neurobiological basis of learning. Specifically, her work investigates the role of memory and forgetting in the development and treatment of two major mental disorders across childhood and adolescence: anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorder. Kim has published over 40 original papers to date, and her work has been cited over 800 times.
Kim is an active science communicator, and has given public lectures at TEDx Melbourne, Australian Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Victorian Science Week, and City of Melbourne. She has written several articles for The Conversation, and has interviewed for ABC Radio, Radio New Zealand, SBS TV, and Channel 10 (The Project). Kim is also a vocal advocate for women in science, and was acknowledged for her work as a proponent in the manuscript of Kate White’s book, 'Building effective career paths for women in science research: a case study of an Australian science research institut
2015-2018 Kim JH ; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship ‘Extinguishing fearful and addictive brain during adolescence’ 2015-2017 Kim JH & Paolini AG ; Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project Grant ‘Neural network underlying memory erasure’ 2014-2016 Kim JH & Lawrence AJ ; NHMRC Project Grant ‘Novel therapeutics to treat adolescent drug abuse’ 2012-2014 Kim JH ; ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2012-2014 Lawrence AJ & Kim JH ; NHMRC Project Grant
Education and training
University of New South Wales 2008
University of New South Wales 2004
Awards and honors
Kucharski Young Investigator Award, International Society for Developmental Psychobiology,
Victorian Tall Poppy Award, Australian Institute of Policy and Science,
D.G. Marquis Award for Best paper published in Behavioral Neuroscience, American Psychological Association,
International Brain Research Organisation,
Federation of European Neurosciences,
Early Career Research Award, Australian Psychological Society,
National Institute of Health,
U-Committee Award for Research Excellence in Science, University of New South Wales,
Dissertation, International Society for Developmental Psychobiology,
Excellence in PhD thesis in Psychology, Australian Psychological Society,
Student Investigator, International Society for Developmental Psychobiology,
Best Poster (Inaugural), International Society for Developmental Psychobiology,
UNSW Postgraduate Travel Scholarship,
University of New South Wales,
Best performance, Psychology Honours, Australian Psychological Society,
Joseph P. Forgas Prize for best performance in Social Psychology, University of New South Wales,
Available for supervision
The aim of my lab is to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying emotional memory across development.
Memory and emotion both govern so much of how we feel, think, and act – and ultimately can decide the maladaptive motivations that drive mental disorders. Brain changes that are normally involved in our development from infancy through adolescence and into maturation contribute enormously to the onset, progression, and treatment of mental disorders such as anxiety and addiction. Our brain and memory also continue to change throughout ageing, hence, we are also examining ways to improve and maintain memory late in life.
We will identify the mechanisms involved in pathological learning, memory, and behavior to design more effective treatment interventions. Our projects involve use of behavioural paradigms, transgenic models, and molecular/gene assays. By investigating the neural and the behavioural causes and consequences of youth susceptibility to mental health problems, and memory impairment in the aged, our lab aims to change understandings of mental health across the lifetime, and improve treatment outcomes for vulnerable populations.