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Professor Carol Kim Named UMaine Vice President for Research

Based upon the recommendation of Provost-designate Jeffrey Hecker, University of Maine President Paul W. Ferguson has named Carol Kim vice president for research, effective Sept. 1, 2013, and will initially serve a two-year term.

Kim, a professor of molecular and biomedical sciences, is the director of UMaine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering. She also is a cooperating professor in the School of Marine Sciences.

President Ferguson commented that, “I am extremely pleased that Dr. Carol Kim has accepted our offer to become UMaine’s next Vice President for Research. In this role, Carol will effectively bring her remarkable combination of deep research experience, administrative acumen, and broad respect among all UMaine constituencies to advance the strong research agenda of the Blue Sky Plan.”

“The call for nominations for the Vice President for Research yielded tremendous support for professor Kim,” said Provost-designate Hecker. “Faculty across campus nominated Carol for the position. She is highly respected as a scientist, administrator and spokesperson for UMaine’s research mission.”

Kim said she looks forward to “working with the faculty, Provost Hecker and President Ferguson to build on the tremendous research, scholarship and creative strengths of the UMaine community.”

Kim received a Ph.D. in microbiology from Cornell University in 1992 and conducted postdoctoral research in biochemistry at Molecular Probes Inc., the following year, and in microbiology at Oregon State University from 1993–97. She earned a B.A. in biological chemistry and philosophy at Wellesley College in 1987.

Kim joined the UMaine faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology. She was promoted to professor in 2010. Kim is the director of the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, established in 2006.

In her research, which has been published extensively, Kim uses the zebrafish as a model organism to study innate immune response to pathogens. The goal is to identify factors that influence the regulation of innate immunity and the role of environmental toxicants in modulating the immune response to pathogens. The University of Maine Zebrafish Facility, which Kim established in 1999, supports her research and that of seven other UMaine scientists.

Kim has successfully received funding from diverse sources including the National Science Foundation, USDA, National Institutes of Health and NASA. Most recently, her research is part of a nearly $11 million NIH grant to Dartmouth Medical School. Kim is leading a $1.8 million study on the effects of low levels of arsenic in a zebrafish model for cystic fibrosis.

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