Sangwon Kim, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Kim, Sangwon


233 South 10th Street
Room 728
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Email Sangwon Kim


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Sangwon Kim, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Research and Clinical Interests

Inflammation is a critical element of how the immune system functions to eliminate foreign pathogens, injured cells, and tumors. However, excess inflammation can be harmful to the host and to counteract this process, the immune system has also evolved to modulate anti-inflammatory responses. This equilibrium between pro- and anti-inflammatory immune responses, termed “immune homeostasis”, is critical for the health of the host. While disruption of immune homeostasis can occur systemically, it can also be localized to a specific tissue as seen in inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and tumors, thus underscoring the importance of immune homeostasis at tissue level in maintaining health. However, at present, we have an extremely limited understanding of how immune homeostasis is maintained locally in non-lymphoid tissues. Furthermore, local immune balance can be affected by other factors perturbing tissue environment, such as diet (in the intestine), commensal microbiota or infectious pathogens (in the intestine, skin, and other mucosal surfaces), adding another element of complexity.

In my laboratory, I plan on continuing studies to dissect the mechanisms underlying immune homeostasis in non-lymphoid tissues (peripheral tissues) such as the intestine, by focusing not only on GPR15 but also beyond, by setting up novel approaches, with the hope that such findings can be used to develop therapeutic methods for restoring the immune balance that is lost in inflammatory or infectious diseases and cancer. More specifically, I will first focus on the mechanisms of T cell homing to the intestine, how immune tolerance to gut microbiota is maintained.