Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Jun Hee Kim, Ph.D.



Our research interest is to understand regulatory mechanisms of presynaptic excitability and synaptic transmission in the central nervous system (CNS) during physiological or pathological conditions (e.g. central demyelination or brain hypoxia-ischemia), using electrophysiology and imaging techniques. Presynaptic excitability is crucial for the reliable transmission of neuronal information in the central nervous systems. However, it is very difficult to study presynaptic excitability and vesicular glutamate release directly at the CNS nerve terminals, because the sub-micron size of CNS nerve terminals has precluded direct recordings. To study presynaptic properties directly, we take advantage of the calyx of Held, a large nerve terminal that allows direct presynaptic recordings. Using the calyx of Held synapse, we have studied 1) Fundamental role of CNS myelination in synaptic functions in the auditory nervous system, 2) Cellular mechanisms of neuronal injury during hypoxia-ischemia, and 3) Cellular mechanisms of auditory processing disorder in premature newborn.

Selected Publications

Lee SY and Kim JH (2015). Mechanisms underlying presynaptic Ca2+ transient and vesicular glutamate release at a CNS nerve terminal during in vitro ischemia. J Physiol. doi: 10.1113/JP270060. [Epub ahead of print]

Kim SE, Lee SY, Blanco CS and Kim JH (2014). Developmental profiles in intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in term or preterm baboon neonates. J. Neurosci. 34:11399-11404

Kim SE, Turkington K, Kushmerick C, Kim JH. Central dysmyelination reduces the temporal fidelity of synaptic transmission and the reliability of postsynaptic firing during high-frequency stimulation. J Neurophysiol. 2013 Oct;110(7):1621-30.

Kim JH, Renden R, von Gersdorff H. Dysmyelination of auditory afferent axons increases the jitter of action potential timing during high-frequency firing. J Neurosci. 2013 May 29;33(22):9402-7.

Kim JH, von Gersdorff H. Suppression of spikes during posttetanic hyperpolarization in auditory neurons: the role of temperature, I(h) currents, and the Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase pump. J Neurophysiol. 2012 Oct;108(7):1924-32.

Kim JH, Kushmerick C, von Gersdorff H. Presynaptic resurgent Na+ currents sculpt the action potential waveform and increase firing reliability at a CNS nerve terminal.. J Neurosci. 2010 Nov 17;30(46):15479-90.

Assistant Professor

Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology


Ph.D., Physiology, Sungkyunkwan University Medical School, South Korea, 2004 

M.S., Medicine, Physiology, Sungkyunkwan University Medical School, South Korea, 2001



Phone: 210-567-4375

Research Profile
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Graduate Students

Tara Holmgren, Neuroscience