Advisor Profiles

Christina Kim, Ph.D.

University of California, Davis.

Christina Kim is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Davis. Her interests lie in developing and applying new technologies to link transcriptional identity with fast neural activity dynamics on the cellular level. Christina received her undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology with a concentration in Quantitative and Computational Neuroscience at Princeton University in 2011. As a graduate student with Karl Deisseroth at Stanford, she developed new optical imaging platforms to simultaneously record and manipulate neural activity during behavior. She used these methodologies to study how brain-wide dynamics and molecularly distinct circuit pathways regulate reward-related behaviors in mice. One of her key discoveries was that a subtype of prefrontal cortex-to-nucleus accumbens neurons can suppress reward-seeking behaviors in order to avoid threats. In her current research, she is developing new molecular logic gates to gain genetic access to these specific nucleus accumbens neurons that mediate this suppression of reward-seeking. By coupling these molecular tools with single-cell RNA sequencing, she is discovering their transcriptional profiles and cell-types. Christina will continue her research as a 2019 recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s Career Awards at the Scientific Interface.