Dr. Park received her PhD from Jongkyeong Chung lab at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Daejeon, South Korea), where she studied the molecular mechanism of Parkinson’s disease. She completed postdoctoral training in Huda Zoghbi lab at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, USA) and studied spinocerebellar ataxia type 1.
Dr. Park’s lab's current focus is investigating the molecular pathogenesis of a neurodegenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and identify therapeutic targets to develop treatments for ALS patients. Mutations within RNA binding protein (RBP)-encoding genes have been implicated in ALS, but how mutations in RBPs lead to motor neuron degeneration is not clear.
Her lab studies one of the under-characterized RBPs called Matrin3 (MATR3) involved in RNA splicing and we are investigating how ALS-linked mutations alter the function of MATR3 and thereby cause motor neuron degeneration. The research team is trying to answer this by using an interdisciplinary approach combining biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, fruit fly and mouse genetics, high-throughput forward genetic screens and whole transcriptome analysis.
Education and experience
- 2022–Present: Senior Scientist, Genetics and Genome Biology Program, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, ON
- 2016–Present: Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
- 2015–2022: Scientist, Genetics and Genome Biology Program, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, ON
- 2008–2015: Postdoc, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
- 2004–2008: Doctorate, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Adv Inst of Sci and Tech, Korea
- 2016: Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Molecular Genetics and Neurodegenerative Diseases, Canada Research Chairs Program
- 2014: Best Paper Award, Dept. of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
- 2013: Keystone Symposia Scholarship Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
- 2007: Outstanding Research Award Department of Biological Sciences, KAIST, Daejeon, South Korea
- 2006: UNESCO-L'OREAL Co-Sponsored Fellowships for Young Women in Life Sciences, Seoul, South Korea
- You J.*, Maksimovic K.*, Lee J., Khan M., Masuda R. & Park J. Selective loss of MATR3 in spinal interneurons, corticospinal motor neurons and hippocampal neurons in a MATR3 S85C knock-in mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Biology (2022) 11(2), 298. DOI: 10.3390/biology11020298 (*: co-first authors)
- van Bruggen R.*, Maksimovic K.*, You J., Tran D. D., Lee H. J., Khan M., Kao C. S., Kim J. R., Cho W., Chen X., & Park J. MATR3 F115C knock-in mice do not exhibit motor defects or neuropathological features of ALS. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (2021) 568, 48–54. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.06.052. PMID: 34182213 (*: co-first authors)
- Kao C. S.*, van Bruggen R.*, Kim J. R.*, Chen X. X. L.*, Chan C., Lee J., Cho W. I., Zhao M., Arndt C., Maksimovic K., Khan M., Tan Q., Wilson M. D. & Park J. Selective neuronal degeneration in MATR3 S85C knock-in mouse model of early stage of ALS. Nature Communications (2020) 11, 5304. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18949-w. PMID: 33082323 (*: co-first authors)
Chosen as an ‘Editor’s highlight’ article. https://www.nature.com/collections/mjkksldswr/content/fiona-carr
- Zhao M.*, Kao C. S.*, Arndt C., Tran D.D., Cho W. I., Maksimovic K., Chen X. X. L., Khan M., Zhu H., Qiao J., Peng K., Hong J., Xu J., Kim D., Kim J. R., Lee J., van Bruggen R., Yoon W.H. & Park, J. Knockdown of genes involved in axonal transport enhances the toxicity of human neuromuscular disease‐linked MATR3 mutations in Drosophila. FEBS Letters (2020) 594, 2800-2818. DOI: 10.1002/1873-3468.13858. PMID: 32515490 (*: co-first authors)
Featured as an ‘Editor’s choice’ article.
- Zhao M.*, Kim J. R.*, van Bruggen R. & Park, J. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and RNA binding proteins. (Review article) Molecules and Cells (2018) 41, 818-829. DOI: 10.14348/molcells.2018.0243. PMID: 30157547 (*: co-first authors)
- ALS Canada
- Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation
- Canada Research Chairs