Lab Members


Tae-Hyung Kim, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. As a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Horowitz at North Carolina State University, I identified the transcription factor Sp2 as a novel oncogene by generating Sp2 overexpressing transgenic mice. Then I studied cancer cell metabolism focused on the role of ribosomal protein-MDM2-p53 pathway in the laboratory of Dr. Yanping Zhang at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. As a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA mentored by Drs. Amy Rowat and Erica Sloan, I studied cancer mechanobiology and demonstrated that beta-adrenergic signaling pathway in highly metastatic breast cancer cells and macrophages regulates cell mechanotypes and functions.

In my laboratory, I am very excited to study the role of diverse soluble and mechanical cues from tumor microenvironment on regulating cancer progression through altered cell mechanotypes. Ultimately, we aim to understand the basic biology of cancer mechanotype and to develop novel therapeutics to suppress cancer progression, especially metastasis, by modulating the mechanotypes of cancer.

Mijung Oh, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my Ph.D. degree from Sungkyunkwan University under the mentorship of Dr. Sang Yong Song and Dr. Kyungsook Park. As a graduate student, I discovered that calpain-6 is a novel VEGFA-interacting protein and demonstrated that their interaction is necessary to enhance VEGF secretion. As I became more interested in molecular mechanisms of cancer progression, especially cancer metastasis, I joined Dr. Kim's lab as a postdoctoral researcher to further expand my research expertise into the field of cancer mechanobiology. I am currently working on identifying soluble factors from tumor microenvironment that impact mechanotypes of cancer and immune cells, and ultimately cancer metastasis. I am also interested in elucidating the role of cell mechanotype in regulating immune cell function/activity and cancer cell metabolism.

Halima Akter

Undergraduate Student Research Volunteer

As an undergraduate researcher at the Kim lab, I’m grateful and excited for the unique opportunity to learn and work on cancer progression and the role mechanobiology has on it. The work being done in understanding the tumor microenvironment and how it affects the mechanical properties of cancer cells is fascinating and piques my interest.

I’m currently pursuing a Biology and Psychology major at the University of New Mexico and in the future, I want to attend medical school and continue doing research in the biomedical field as a medical student and beyond. This research experience will help me be a better physician as I’ll be able to critically evaluate new evidence and provide the best patient care.

To fill in the gaps, I volunteer at various organizations, read books, and try out new recipes

Nayan Banerjee

Undergraduate Student Research Volunteer

I am a sophomore undergraduate majoring in Chemistry at IACS, India. I am interested in the interdisciplinary interface of chemistry, biology and physics with special emphasis on addressing real world biochemical problems. As an undergraduate, while being associated with an organic synthesis research group, I believe in challenging the notion of science compartmentalization and actively drift towards an interdisciplinary approach to science. The field of cancer biochemistry has always been intriguing to me and Prof. Kim’s lab helps me to explore the science in its full rigor. In my leisure time, I love travelling to places, exploring various cultures and making new friends. My hobbies include reading scientific literature, watching cartoons and walking down the beautiful streets of Kolkata.


Skylar Batty (Summer 2021)

Undergraduate Pipeline Network Summer Research Program (UPN) Fellow

I am currently an undergraduate at the University of Arizona where I am majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and minoring in Mathematics. I have been given the great opportunity to work in Dr. Kim’s lab this summer through the UPN program at UNM. I have previous research experience studying insulin resistance and type II diabetes in Dr. Paul Langlais’ lab at the University of Arizona, where I have gained an immense amount of knowledge about metabolism and the involvement of the cytoskeleton in insulin action. I am very excited to extend my research into the field of cancer mechanobiology and cancer metabolism this summer with Dr. Kim, as I find cancer biology both very interesting and exciting. This fall, I plan to apply for PhD programs so I can continue to experience the thrill of research every day! In my free time I enjoy gardening, hiking, reading, and trying new restaurants. A big thanks to UPN and Dr. Kim for providing this amazing opportunity for me this summer!

Joshua Minster (May 2021 - Sep. 2021)

Research Technician

After attending New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Materials Engineering. During my time at New Mexico Tech I was able to conduct research in several labs studying amphibian disease dynamics, cancer cell-microbubble binding mechanisms, and novel anticancer treatments. I then furthered my research training at the University of New Mexico in Chemical and Biological Engineering formulating novel biomimetic red blood cells for cargo loading, ATP biosensing, drug delivery, and toxic biosensing. These experiences helped to foster my passion for scientific research at the interface of biology, chemistry, engineering, and medicine. I am currently a research technician in the Kim lab where I am assisting in mechanobiology research and the day to day operations of the lab. My main interests lie in multifaceted approaches to developing novel anti-cancer treatments. My future goals include applying to PhD programs and continuing my education as a doctoral student. Outside the lab, my hobbies include travelling, climbing, learning new languages, cooking, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.