Dr Ki Wook Kim

Dr Ki Wook Kim

Medicine & Health
School of Clinical Medicine

Dr Ki Wook Kim is a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) International Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Clinical Medicine (Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health) within the Faculty of Medicine and Health, based at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Dr Kim completed his undergraduate degree, Honours and PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Sydney, for which he investigated the roles and interactions of various microRNAs and RNA silencing component proteins in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. During his PhD, he accumulated extensive training in molecular research and advanced microscopy at various leading institutions including the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, CSIRO and the John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU. Since 2015, Dr Kim has transitioned to medical research, focusing on the viral causes of type 1 diabetes and human viromics (characterising all viruses infecting humans). He leads the Viruses and Diabetes and the Human Viromics research groups within the UNSW-affiliated Virology Research Laboratory (Prince of Wales Hospital) and co-leads the Virology theme within the Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA) Study, following 1,500 mother-infant pairs with a first-degree relative with type 1 diabetes across Australia (https://endia.org.au).


Viral triggers of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes.

Research Interests

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects approximately 140 000 children and adults in Australia and over 16 million people worldwide. It is thought to arise from the complex interplay between genetic predisposition and exposure to various environmental agents. For decades, the involvement of Enteroviruses in the pathogenesis of this disease has been strongly debated.

Dr Kim is interested in further elucidating the molecular events initiated by Enteroviruses that might contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes, especially those involving the dysregulation of microRNAs. He is also interested in the application of Next-Generation Sequencing technologies to investigate changes in the transcriptome and virome of human pancreatic islets prior to or following the development of type 1 diabetes. 


PhD USyd, BSci (Molecular Biology & Genetics)(Hons I) USyd, GradCert (Bioinformatics) HarvardU.

Virology Research Laboratory, Clinical Sciences Building Level 3, Prince of Wales Hospital.

2021 – present
UNSW Medicine Elevate Program (Cohort leader; support A to B academic promotion of ECAs within the Medicine & Health Faculty)
2021 – 2022
UNSW SWCH Research Advisory Committee: ECA representative for the Paediatrics Discipline (competitive selection)
2021 – present
NSW Health Pathology Research Forum Organising Group (responsible for securing plenary speaker: world-leading virologist Prof. Ian Lipkin)
2021 – present
Australian Diabetes Society Expert Reference Group (for Research Advisory)
2021 – present
UNSW MEDIC Cultural Diversity Working Group (Interim Cultural Diversity Co-Champion July 2022 to Jan 2023)
2021 – present
NSW Health Pathology East Sustainability Site Champion (Green Team)
2020 – present
UNSW Medicine Early Career Academic Network Committee (Chair 2020/2021)
2020 – present
UNSW SWCH Paediatric Infectious Diseases Strategy Committee
2020 – present
UNSW SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Response Research Group
2018 – present
ENDIA Study Research Symposium Organising Committee
2018 – present
ENDIA Study QC Working Group
2017 – present
Randwick Paediatrics Research Committee (Sydney Children’s Hospital Network)
2018 – 2019
JDRF Future Research Leaders Study Steering Committee
2015, 2016, 2023
UNSW & POWH Virology Research Laboratory Seminar Series Organiser

My Research Supervision

In 2022:

  • 3 x PhD candidates (2 x School of Clinical Medicine; 1 x School of Medical Sciences)
  • 1 x 4th Year Medical Honours student (2 x committed in 2023)

My Teaching

  • Research-led teaching within the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Guest Lecturer and meet the scientists panellist for MICR3061 (BABS)
  • 13 Honours/ILP students supervised to completion (100% 1st Class/Distinction ILP)
  • UNSW Career Discovery Mentoring Program Mentor