Dr. Park joined UT Southwestern in 2023. He graduated from the University of Western Australia where he received a Ph.D. in anatomy and human biology and a B.Sc. in biochemistry and microbiology. Before joining UT Southwestern, Dr. Park was a professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. From 2007 to 2010, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Neurology at Harvard University/Children’s Hospital Boston. 

Since 2008, Dr. Park’s research has been supported by federal and foundation grants, including his current R01 on 3D Visualization and Investigation of Retinal Axon Regeneration. His past research awards include three R01 and three R21 grants, as well as awards from the Department of Defense, the Pew Biomedical Trust (Pew Scholar Award), and the Karl Kirchgessner Foundation, among others. Dr. Park has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and a book chapter “Regeneration of Retinal Ganglion Cell Axons” in The Senses: A Comprehensive Reference (2020). He is a member of several professional organizations, including the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics and ARVO.

Dr. Park’s research focuses on the visual system and how the projection neurons in the retina, the retinal ganglion cell axons, find their targets and form synapses in the brain. His lab on North Campus will continue investigating two areas: 1) cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the death of neurons and lack of regeneration in the central nervous system after injury and in degenerative diseases like glaucoma and 2) mechanisms by which neurons form proper connections with each other.


Uni of Western Australia (the) (2007), Anatomy
Graduate School
Uni of Western Australia (the) (2007)

Research Interest

  • Neural regeneration, axon guidance, neuroprotection, glaucoma, visual system development, visual system circuit


Retrograde AAV-mediated gene modulation reveals chloride intracellular channel proteins as potent regulators of retinal ganglion cell death
Tapia M, Levay K, Tsoulfas P, Park KK Experimental Neurology 2024 Jul 377
IC100, a humanized therapeutic monoclonal anti-ASC antibody alleviates oxygen-induced retinopathy in mice
Yuan H, Chen S, Duncan MR, de Rivero Vaccari JP, Keane RW, Dalton Dietrich W, Chou TH, Benny M, Schmidt AF, Young K, Park KK, Porciatti V, Elizabeth Hartnett M, Wu S Angiogenesis 2024
Retinal ganglion cell repopulation for vision restoration in optic neuropathy: a roadmap from the RReSTORe Consortium
Author Collaboration TR, Soucy JR, Aguzzi EA, Cho J, Gilhooley MJ, Keuthan C, Luo Z, Monavarfeshani A, Saleem MA, Wang XW, Wohlschlegel J, Baranov P, Di Polo A, Fortune B, Gokoffski KK, Goldberg JL, Guido W, Kolodkin AL, Mason CA, Ou Y, Reh TA, Ross AG, Samuels BC, Welsbie D, Zack DJ, Johnson TV, Fouda AY, Ashok A, Moshiri A, Chedotal A, Reed AA, Askary A, Su AJ, La Torre A, Jalligampala A, Silva-Lepe A, Das A, Wirostko B, Frankfort BJ, Sivyer B, Alapure B, Young B, Clark B, Jones BW, Hellmer C, Mitchell C, Ufongene C, Goldman D, Feldheim D, Park KK, Varadarajan S Molecular neurodegeneration 2023 Dec 18
GSDMD deficiency ameliorates hyperoxia-induced BPD and ROP in neonatal mice
Sonny S, Yuan H, Chen S, Duncan MR, Chen P, Benny M, Young K, Park KK, Schmidt AF, Wu S Scientific reports 2023 Dec 13
Single-nucleus RNA sequencing of developing superior colliculus identifies neuronal diversity and candidate mediators of circuit assembly
Choi JS, Ayupe AC, Beckedorff F, Catanuto P, McCartan R, Levay K, Park KK Cell Reports 2023 Sep 42
Optic nerve diseases and regeneration: How far are we from the promised land?
Cen LP, Park KK, So KF Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2023 Aug 51 627-641
Editorial: Promoting nervous system regeneration by treatments targeting neuron-glia interactions
De Lima S, Mietto BS, Ribas VT, Ribeiro-Resende VT, Oliveira AL, Park KK Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 2023 17
Awakening dormant neurons long after spinal cord injury
Tapia ML, Park KK PLoS biology 2022 Sep 20
Retinal ganglion cell expression of cytokine enhances occupancy of NG2 cell-derived astrocytes at the nerve injury site: Implication for axon regeneration
Ribeiro M, Ayupe AC, Beckedorff FC, Levay K, Rodriguez S, Tsoulfas P, Lee JK, Nascimento-dos-Santos G, Park KK Experimental Neurology 2022 Sep 355
Subtype-specific survival and regeneration of retinal ganglion cells in response to injury
Tapia ML, Nascimento-dos-Santos G, Park KK Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 2022 Aug 10


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Honors & Awards

  • Federation of American Societies for Experiemental Biology
    BioArt category (2014)
  • Association of Korean Neuroscientists
    Junior Faculty Award (2013)
  • E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation Research Award
  • Pew Biomedical Scholar
  • Karl Kirchgessner Foundation Research Award
  • Stanley J. Glaser Foundation Research Award
  • Woodside Energy Excellence in Ph.D. Award

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • ARVO
  • Association of Korean Neuroscientists
  • Society for Neuroscience