T-type Ca2+ channels in motor coordination

Daesoo Kim
KAIST, Korea
16:45~17:30,November 19th, 2015


Specific behavioral patterns are determined by the complex coordination of muscle excitation and relaxation. Tremor, which is characterized by rhythmic muscle contractions, is one of the simplest types of motor coordination, and has been the focus of studies on motor coordination mechanisms in the brain. We have revealed that CaV3.1 gene play a critical role in the generation of two types of tremor. First, CaV3.1-/- mice are resistant to harmaline-induced tremor and lacked 4-10 Hz tremor-related activity initiated in the inferior olive. Intracellular recording in vitro showed that CaV3.1-/- inferior olive neurons lacked both subthreshold membrane potential oscillations and low threshold calcium spikes, and failed to trigger rhythmic burst discharges in response to harmaline. In addition, CaV3.1 channels mediate Parkinson-like tremor in a mouse model of dopamine deficiency (spr-/-). Knockdown of CaV3.1 gene ameliorate tremor events in spr-/- mice. In wildtype, GABA-mediated potentiation of these channels leads to 4~7 Hz resting tremor. Single unit recording reveal that post-inhibitory firing dependent on CaV3.1 channels are associated with resting tremor. Thus, CaV3.1 is a molecular substrate for tremorogenesis in critical motor circuits responsible for the higher motor control in the brain.





  • Mouse genetics & behavior
  • Gene knockout & transgenic mice
  • Electrophysiology: In vivo recording, EEG/EMG, Intracellular recording
  • Optogenetics (course completion, 2013 OIL workshop, Stanford Univ.)



Honors & Prizes:


  • 1992 AΣN, Sogang University, Seoul, Korea
  • 1993 Cum Laude, Sogang University, Seoul, Korea
  • 1998 The best thesis award, Korea Society of Molecular Biology (KSMB)
  • 2001 AKN President’s Outstanding Research Award for 2001, Association of Korean Neuroscientists (AKN), San Diego, USA
  • 2003 Outstanding Young Scientist Awards, International Behavioral and Neural Genetics Society (IBANGS), USA
  • 2006, 2008, 2015 The Best Teaching Award, KAIST
  • 2013 Member, Leading scientist, The Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST)



Professional  Activities:


  • 1998-1999 Postdoctoral associates, SUNY Downstate Health Science Center at Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 1999-2001 Postdoctoral research, POSTECH, Korea
  • 2001-2004 Senior Research Scientist, Korea Institute of Science & Technology (KIST), Korea
  • 2004-2011 Assistant professor, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST)
  • 2011-2012 Visiting professor, Rockefeller university, New York, NY, USA
  • 2011-present Associate professor, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST)