Nayun Kim, Ph.D.

Dr. Nayun Kim

Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Research Interest:

The main research interest in the Kim lab is the study of genome instability.  We investigate the mechanism underlying how mutations and chromosomal rearrangements occur as well as how such genome instability events are suppressed using the simple eukaryotic system Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  Recent interest focuses on the non-canonical DNA conformation formed by multiple guanine bases interacting with each other called G-quadruplex DNA.  These unusual structures of DNA can inhibit DNA replication and other DNA-involving transactions on the one hand but can function as conduits for transcriptional activation on the other.   

Current projects supported by NIH funding include:

  1. The study of proteins suppressing the formation of G-quadruplex DNA (G4).
  2. The effect of CPT-resistant Topoisomerase I mutants on G4-associated genome instability.
  3. Identification and characterization of Zn-finger proteins interacting with G4 DNA.
  4. The role of G4 DNA in the mitochondrial genome maintenance.

Recent Publications: 

Yeast transcription factor Msn2 binds to G4 DNA.” 
Duy DL, Kim N. 
Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 Oct 13;51(18):9643-9657. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkad684. PMID: 37615577

Pirh2-dependent DNA damage in neurons induced by the G-quadruplex ligand pyridostatin.” 
Escarcega RD, Patil AA, Moruno-Manchon JF, Urayama A, Marrelli SP, Kim N, Monchaud D, McCullough LD, Tsvetkov AS. 
J Biol Chem. 2023 Oct;299(10):105157. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2023.105157. Epub 2023 Aug 12. PMID: 37579947 

G4-interacting proteins endangering genomic stability at G4 DNA-forming sites.
Kim N. 
Biochem Soc Trans. 2023 Feb 27;51(1):403-413. doi:10.1042/BST20221018. PMID: 36629511 

Cleavage-defective Topoisomerase I mutants sharply increase G-quadruplex-associated genomic instability.
Berroyer A, Bacolla A, Tainer JA, Kim N. 
Microb Cell. 2022 Jan 31;9(3):52-68. doi: 10.15698/mic2022.03.771. eCollection 2022 Mar 7.PMID: 35291312 


Current Position:
2023 - 
Associate Professor 
Division of Pharmacology & Toxicology
College of Pharmacy
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin TX

Previous Position
2019 – 2023
Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston/McGovern Medical School
Houston TX

2013 – 2019
Assistant Professor 
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston/McGovern Medical School
Houston TX

2010 – 2013
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Duke University Medical Center
Durham NC

Education and Training:

Post-doctoral Fellow with Dr. Sue Jinks-Robertson
Emory University, Atlanta, GA and
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

Post-doctoral Fellow with Dr. Richard Wood
University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

B.S. in Chemistry
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL



Contact Information