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Meanhwan Kim, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist


Meanhwan Kim joined the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2017 to support the Human Cell Types program. He is contributing on the institutional research efforts for identification and classification of cell types in human canonical circuits at molecular/cellular/circuits level. His expertise is implemented by looking at local connectivity in cortical column and their synaptic physiology/membrane biophysics in vitro and spike activities in vivo.

As a postdoctoral fellow, he worked with Dr. Thomas Mrsic-Flogel to discover the rules of connectivity of local and long-range projection neurons in mouse visual cortex at the Biozentrum, University of Basel. Previously he also worked with Dr. Henrique von Gersdorff to understand sensory neurotransmission, especially at ribbon-type synapses in retinal microcircuits at the Vollum Institute, Oregon Health & Science University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) and earned his B.S. in Physics from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea.

Research Focus:

My research is focused on understanding biophysical properties of single neurons, their rules of synaptic connectivity including strengths and dynamics, and corresponding functional roles in human neocortex. Hopefully this effort will help to understand the mechanisms of cortical computation and bridge the gap among different levels of cell types taxonomy. Ultimately I would like to understand structure-function relationships in human canonical circuits, then link this knowledge to decipher how our own brain works in normal and disease condition, and what makes our intelligence unique, also different from the other species.


  • Cellular signal transduction, membrane proteins

  • Synaptic transmission, exocytosis

  • Local and long-range synaptic connectivity

Research Programs

  • Human Cell Types

  • Synaptic physiology

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