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. 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.


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Optic nerve diseases and regeneration: How far are we from the promised land?
Cen LP, Park KK, So KF, Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2023 Aug 51 6 627-641
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, Sci Rep 2023 Jan 13 1 143
Awakening dormant neurons long after spinal cord injury.
Tapia ML, Park KK, PLoS Biol 2022 Sep 20 9 e3001830
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, Exp Neurol 2022 Sep 355 114147
Proteomics and systems biology in optic nerve regeneration.
Meehan SD, Abdelrahman L, Arcuri J, Park KK, Samarah M, Bhattacharya SK, Adv Protein Chem Struct Biol 2021 127 249-270
Multi-Omic Analyses of Growth Cones at Different Developmental Stages Provides Insight into Pathways in Adult Neuroregeneration.
Chauhan MZ, Arcuri J, Park KK, Zafar MK, Fatmi R, Hackam AS, Yin Y, Benowitz L, Goldberg JL, Samarah M, Bhattacharya SK, iScience 2020 Feb 23 2 100836


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

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