Minkyu Kim

Research Interests

Minkyu Kim, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona. He earned his B.S. (2004) in Mechanical Engineering from Kyung Hee University (Korea). Then, he moved to the U.S. for his graduate work, where he received a M.S. (2006) in Biomedical Engineering and a Ph.D. (2011) in Mechanical engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. During his Ph.D., he worked in the Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy group led by Prof. Marszalek. He was a postdoc at MIT from 2012 to 2016, and worked in the Bioinspired and Biofunctional Polymers group led by Prof. Olsen. Dr. Kim’s research is focused on the design and development of biopolymer-based functional materials for targeted applications in healthcare and for national defense. Based on his diverse research experiences in the areas of biopolymer nanomechanics, polymer physics and self-assembly, biomolecular engineering and soft materials, his group is currently developing (a) red blood cell-mimicking mechanically responsive soft materials that can be used as targeted drug delivery vehicles for the treatment of small vessel disease and (b) biosynthetic nuclear membrane for pharmaceutical and environmental applications. In addition to the materials development, Dr. Kim is also interested in addressing how bioinspired design and biosynthesis can be used for the preparation of novel functional materials, how the nanomechanics of folded biopolymers and artificially engineered hyperbranched biopolymer structures can be translated into the mechanics of macromolecular materials that provide new insight into polymer science, and how protein sequences can control parameters that regulate the functional properties of polymeric materials.