Yongdeok Kim is a Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering, who works in the Bashir Lab with Professors Rashid Bashir and Gabriel Popescu.
Hometown: Cheongju, South Korea
What kind of research are you working on?
I am working on the integration of electrical or bio materials with 3D engineered in vitro neuromuscular tissue. Through the electronics integrated muscle system, electrical sensing or wireless control of 3D engineered skeletal muscle is available. Also, we study the integration of biomaterials with skeletal muscle to improve the innervation with motor neuron forming functional neuromuscular junction.
Why is this important and why do you find it interesting?
The electronics integrated 3D tissue system can be useful for the neuromuscular junction disease study such as Lou Gehrig's disease and muscular dystrophy. Also, it can be a new concept of biological machine in the soft robotics field.
How has your affiliation with the Beckman Institute helped you?
The collaborating working environment with various fields in the Beckman Institute is very motivating for me because my research project is also highly interdisciplinary. Also, the Imaging Technology Group in Beckman is very helpful for my research.
What do you like to do outside of the classroom or lab?
I like to run or work out.
How did your work change during the stay-at-home order over COVID-19 concerns?
Before COVID-19, I worked only in my office and lab not home at all. For now, I spend many hours at home for data analyzing and Zoom meetings except for experimental work in lab.
What has been the hardest adjustment for you during the pandemic?
It was unfamiliar for me to work at home. It took several months to make a routine for working at home. Also, it was frustrating not to go ARC or CRCE, which are my favorite places in this town. But, I found a way to work out at home and enjoy working from home for now.
What has been a hidden benefit of the stay-at-home order?
I could improve my cooking skills.