Min Woo Kim

MSTP in PhD Training

Program: Immunology

Current advisor: Jonathan Kipnis, PhD

Undergraduate university: University of California-Los Angeles, 2016

Enrollment year: 2018

Research summary
Protecting against autoimmunity through the presentation of autoantigens

The focus of my project is to better understand central nervous system (CNS) autoantigens and their function in CNS immunosurveillance. To do so, we characterized the MHC II peptidome of CNS tissues and identified an abundance of endogenous peptides being presented. Fascinatingly, we found that cultivating T cells against myelin basic protein (MBP) could ameliorate autoimmune CNS disease; we utilized myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35-55 peptide immunization in C57BL/6J mice as our model for active experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE). Further analyses by flow cytometry unveiled marked increase in regulatory T cells in the CNS-draining lymph nodes in mice co-immunized with MOG and MBP when compared to MOG immunization alone. The role MBP presentation plays in modulating T cell response towards that of suppression remains an intriguing question.

Graduate publications
Chen X, Firulyova M, Manis M, Herz J, Smirnov I, Aladyeva E, Wang C, Bao X, Finn MB, Hu H, Shchukina I, Kim MW, Yuede CM, Kipnis J, Artyomov MN, Ulrich JD, Holtzman DM. 2023 Microglia-mediated T cell infiltration drives neurodegeneration in tauopathy. Nature, 615(7953):668-77. PMCID: PMC10258627