by Nick Childress
The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine welcomes Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Sehwon Koh, MSc, PhD. Koh is from South Korea, and after earning his bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University, came to the United States for his master’s degree at Purdue University, PhD at North Carolina State University, and Duke University for his postdoctoral training.
Koh found his way to Mizzou at the start of January and will be conducting research in neuroscience, especially focusing on glia-neuron interaction in health and disease. “In the central nervous system there are two different cell types, neurons and glia,” Koh said. “My major research interests are in understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms of how the glia, the non-neuronal cell type in the central nervous system, regulates neuronal activity. Many previous studies on neurological disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases, have focused on neuronal malfunction or neuronal cell death. It’s the neurons that communicate with each other through synapses, and when the neurons break down, that’s when we see all the symptoms coming from diseases. However, recent studies have actually shown that the glial cells such as astrocytes, microglia and oligodendrocytes, surrounding the neurons may be a big contributor in diseases. It’s the glia that may be messed up first, then as a result, neurons are having a problem that leads to disease. Glial dysfunction can initiate the diseases by inducing impaired neuronal functions and failing to support neuronal health. So I think it is critical to understand how glial cells modulate neuronal activity to develop treatments that can precisely fix the problems.”
Koh joins his wife, Ji-Hey Lim, DVM, PhD, at Mizzou. Lim is a clinical instructor of neurology and neurosurgery.
Outside of work, Koh enjoys skiing and snowboarding. “I love snow sports. I’m glad that the Columbia Regional Airport has a direct flight to Denver. I’d really like to use that flight one day,” said Koh.
Koh is also in search of motivated undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students interested in research. You can contact him at his email, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.