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Welcome to the Kim Laboratory


The Kim laboratory focuses on nitric oxide (NO), a crucial molecule involved in maintaining vascular homeostasis. Patients with obesity or diabetes are known to have reduced levels of nitric oxide levels in their blood vessels and the consequence for reduced in nitric oxide levels effects these patients in two ways.

First, it is well established that a deficiency in nitric oxide bioavailability increases the risk of vascular disease such as atherosclerosis and we are interested in the molecular mechanisms by which excess nutrition (increased dietary fat) results in reduced NO levels. By understanding these mechanisms we may be able to reverse or restore NO levels in patients with obesity or diabetes, thus preventing vascular complications.

Second, a reduction of NO may actually increase the risk of developing diabetes in patients with obesity. Several years ago our lab made the observation that endothelial nitric oxide levels fall well before the onset of insulin resistance or diabetes and we have begun investigations to examine whether strategies to increase nitric oxide levels could delay or attenuate the development of diabetes. We have shown that pharmacologic strategies utilizing phosphodiesterase inhibitors can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fat accumulation in the liver. Current research efforts are aimed at determining the molecular mechanisms by which nitric oxide may improve insulin sensitivity.

Our work is or has been funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the John Locke Foundation, and an endowment from the Kenneth Cooper Professorship.


UW Diabetes Institute Researcher Francis Kim Receives NIH R01 Award

DOCE Researchers Francis Kim and Savitha Subramanian Elected to the Western Society for Clinical Investigation (WSCI)

DOCE researchers Bornfeldt, Sweet and Kim awarded an NIH Supplemental Grant

Francis Kim MD appointed as the first Kenneth H. Cooper MD Endowed Professor in Cardiology

Recent Publications

Cheng AM, Rizzo-De Leon N, Wilson C, Lee WJ, Tateya S, Clowes AW, Schwartz MW, Kim F. Vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein reduces vascular inflammation and insulin resistance. American Journal of Physiology (2014) In-Press

Tateya S, Rizzo NO, Handa P, Cheng AM, Morgan-Stevenson V, Ogimoto K, Kanter JE, Bornfeldt KA, Daum G, Clowes AW, Chait A, Kim F. VASP increases hepatic fatty oxidation by activating AMPK in mice. (2013) Diabetes. June; 62(6):1932-22. Jan 24 (Epub ahead of print).

Tateya S, Rizzo NO, Handa P, Cheng A, Morgan V, Daum G, Clowes AW, Schwartz MW, Kim F. Endothelial Nitric Oxide/cGMP/Vasodilator-stimulated Phosphoprotein Signaling Attenuates Kupffer Cell activation and hepatic insulin resistance induced by High Fat Feeding. (2011) Diabetes Nov;60(11):2792-801. Epub Sept 12.

Handa P, Tateya S, Rizzo NO, Cheng AM, Morgan-Stevenson V, Han CY, Clowes AW, Daum G, O’Brien KO, Schwartz MW, Chait A, Kim F. Reduced vascular nitric oxide/cGMP signaling contributes to adipose tissue inflammation during high fat feeding. (2011) Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. Dec; 31:2827-2835. Epub Sept 8.

Cheng AM, Handa P, Tateya S, Schwartz J, Tang C, Mitra P, Oram JF, Chait A, Kim F. Apolipoprotein A-1 attenuates palmitate-mediated NF-kB activation by reducing toll-like receptor-4 recruitment into lipid rafts. (2012) Plos One 7(3): e33917


Lab Life



  • People

     Francis Kim, MD Francis Kim, MD, Principal Investigator, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology.
     Tupper Joan Tupper, PhD (Research Scientist)
     Gallis Byron Gallis , PhD (Research Scientist) is a protein biochemist who worked for many years in the Goodlett mass spectrometry lab and in the Division of Cardiology.
     Hwang 1 Arnold Hwang, BS (Research Scientist) is a graduate from Columbia University who majored in biomedical engineering with a concentration in cell & tissue culture. He has experiences in diverse research backgrounds such as fabricating a skin-on-chip device, signal processing using electroencephalography (EEG) and molecular biological techniques. Currently, he is a research scientist who helps manages the laboratory and conducts experiments with collaboration of other laboratories. In his free time, Arnold likes to watch movies of various genres, read novels and run on an occasional basis.
     Lee Woo Je Lee, MD PhD (Visiting Scholar) Woo Je Lee is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • Contact Us

    Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence
    University of Washington School of Medicine
    South Lake Union Campus
    850 Republican Street Rm S270
    Seattle, WA 98109-8055

    Fax: (206) 543-3567
    Francis Kim: (206) 744-8712
    Lab: (206) 897-5217

    CareersTo inquire about Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Openings click on: