Kwang Jin Kim, PhD

Professor of Pathology

Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, of the USC Mann School of Pharmacy

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Kwang-Jin Kim, Ph.D. is Professor of Medicine at the University of Southern California – Keck School of Medicine. He also has secondary appointments in the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering at USC.

He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electronics Engineering from the Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, in 1971 and 1973, respectively.

He served in the Republic of Korea Army from March 1973 through June 1976.

He was admitted to the Department of Bioengineering, Graduate School, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) in September 1976. After getting his Ph.D. in Bioengineering in May 1980, he moved to the University of California (Los Angeles, CA) as a postdoctoral fellow. He was a recipient of the postdoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association – Greater Los Angeles Area from July 1980 to June 1982. From July 1982 through August 1986, he did research and teaching at UCLA as Assistant Research Physiologist.

From September 1986 through December 1990, he was at the Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY, as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Physiology.

In January 1991, he moved to USC as Associate Professor of Medicine (and Physiology and Biophysics) and got his tenure in 1994.

He has been a member of New York Academy of Sciences, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Society of Cell Biology, Controlled Release Society, and Biomedical Engineering Society. He is a current member of American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and American Physiological Society (APS). [He serves as a councillor of the APS Epithelial Transport Group Steering Committee, starting in April 2010 for three years.] He has served as an Editorial Advisory Board member of the Pharmaceutical Research from 1998 to 2005. He has been actively participating in various national and international meetings/workshops as a presenter/teacher.

His research interests encompass electrophysiology and cell pathophysiology of pulmonary (airways and alveoli) and ocular (conjunctiva) epithelial barriers. He has been studying the active/passive barrier properties of respiratory epithelia utilizing amphibian lungs, isolated perfused rat lungs, and alveolar /airway epithelial cells in primary culture. Transport cell physiology of various epithelial barriers has been studied in his laboratories utilizing Ussing chamber techniques and other approaches (e.g., confocal laser scanning microscopy and electron microscopy, short-circuiting techniques, patch clamping techniques, impedance analysis, permselectivity assessment of paracellular pathways using dilution and bi-ionic potential measurements, equivalent pore/slit analysis, water transport estimations using capacitance probes, and western/northern analyses).


  • Public Health Service: New Investigator Award, 1985-1988
  • American Heart Association: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 1980-1982
  • University of Pennsylvania: Research Fellowship, 1977-1980


  • Real-Time Autophagic Flux Measurements in Live Cells Using a Novel Fluorescent Marker DAPRed Bio Protoc. 2024 Mar 05; 14(5):e4949. . View in PubMed
  • Kinetics of autophagic activity in nanoparticle-exposed lung adenocarcinoma (A549) cells Autophagy Rep. 2023; 2(1). . View in PubMed
  • Characteristics of Passive Solute Transport across Primary Rat Alveolar Epithelial Cell Monolayers Membranes (Basel). 2021 Apr 30; 11(5). . View in PubMed
  • In vitro and ex vivo models in inhalation biopharmaceutical research – advances, challenges and future perspectives Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2021 10; 177:113862. . View in PubMed
  • Biokinetic modeling of nanoparticle interactions with lung alveolar epithelial cells: uptake, intracellular processing, and egress Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2021 01 01; 320(1):R36-R43. . View in PubMed
  • Evidence for Nanoparticle-Induced Lysosomal Dysfunction in Lung Adenocarcinoma (A549) Cells Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Oct 23; 20(21). . View in PubMed
  • Alveolar epithelial cell processing of nanoparticles activates autophagy and lysosomal exocytosis Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2018 08 01; 315(2):L286-L300. . View in PubMed
  • Oligopeptide Transport in Rat Lung Alveolar Epithelial Cells is Mediated by Pept2 Pharm Res. 2017 Dec; 34(12):2488-2497. . View in PubMed
  • Knockout Mice Reveal a Major Role for Alveolar Epithelial Type I Cells in Alveolar Fluid Clearance Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2016 09; 55(3):395-406. . View in PubMed
  • Claudin 4 knockout mice: normal physiological phenotype with increased susceptibility to lung injury Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2014 Oct 01; 307(7):L524-36. . View in PubMed
  • Knockout mice reveal key roles for claudin 18 in alveolar barrier properties and fluid homeostasis Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Aug; 51(2):210-22. . View in PubMed
  • Polystyrene nanoparticle exposure induces ion-selective pores in lipid bilayers Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Sep; 1828(9):2215-22. . View in PubMed
  • Nanoparticle translocation across mouse alveolar epithelial cell monolayers: species-specific mechanisms Nanomedicine. 2013 Aug; 9(6):786-94. . View in PubMed
  • Troglitazone attenuates TGF-ß1-induced EMT in alveolar epithelial cells via a PPAR? -independent mechanism. PLoS One. 2012; 7(6):e38827.. View in PubMed
  • Polystyrene nanoparticle trafficking across MDCK-II Nanomedicine. 2011 Oct; 7(5):588-94. . View in PubMed
  • Role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in epithelial-mesenchymal transition of alveolar epithelial cells: effects of misfolded surfactant protein Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2011 Sep; 45(3):498-509. . View in PubMed
  • Nanomaterial interactions with and trafficking across the lung alveolar epithelial barrier: implications for health effects of air-pollution particles Air Qual Atmos Health. 2011 Mar 01; 4(1):65-78. . View in PubMed
  • Translocation of PEGylated quantum dots across rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Int J Nanomedicine. 2011; 6:2849-57. . View in PubMed
  • The particle has landed–characterizing the fate of inhaled pharmaceuticals J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2010 Dec; 23 Suppl 2:S71-87. . View in PubMed
  • Alveolar epithelial cell injury due to zinc oxide nanoparticle exposure Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Dec 01; 182(11):1398-409. . View in PubMed
  • Mechanisms of alveolar epithelial translocation of a defined population of nanoparticles Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2010 May; 42(5):604-14. . View in PubMed
  • Characterization of mouse alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009 Jun; 296(6):L1051-8. . View in PubMed
  • Conjugation with cationic cell-penetrating peptide increases pulmonary absorption of insulin Mol Pharm. 2009 Mar-Apr; 6(2):492-503. . View in PubMed
  • PKC delta signaling: a dual role in regulating hypoxic stress-induced autophagy and apoptosis Autophagy. 2009 Feb; 5(2):244-6. . View in PubMed
  • Novel roles for protein kinase Cdelta-dependent signaling pathways in acute hypoxic stress-induced autophagy J Biol Chem. 2008 Dec 05; 283(49):34432-44. . View in PubMed
  • Characterization of protein factor(s) in rat bronchoalveolar lavage fluid that enhance insulin transport via transcytosis across primary rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2008 Aug; 69(3):808-16. . View in PubMed
  • Polystyrene nanoparticle trafficking across alveolar epithelium Nanomedicine. 2008 Jun; 4(2):139-45. . View in PubMed
  • Molecular and functional expression of multidrug resistance-associated protein-1 in primary cultured rat alveolar epithelial cells J Pharm Sci. 2008 Jun; 97(6):2340-9. . View in PubMed
  • Functional characterization and cloning of amino acid transporter B(0,+) (ATB(0,+)) in primary cultured rat pneumocytes J Cell Physiol. 2008 Mar; 214(3):645-54. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of KGF on alveolar epithelial cell transdifferentiation are mediated by JNK signaling Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2008 Feb; 38(2):239-46. . View in PubMed
  • Nanoparticle effects on rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayer barrier properties Toxicol In Vitro. 2007 Dec; 21(8):1373-81. . View in PubMed
  • Glutathione and its transporters in ocular surface defense Ocul Surf. 2007 Oct; 5(4):269-79. . View in PubMed
  • Interrelations/cross talk between transcellular transport function and paracellular tight junctional properties in lung epithelial and endothelial barriers Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007 Sep; 293(3):L520-4. . View in PubMed
  • Enhancement of insulin transport across primary rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayers by endogenous cellular factor(s) Pharm Res. 2007 Sep; 24(9):1713-9. . View in PubMed
  • Protein kinase Cdelta-dependent and -independent signaling in genotoxic response to treatment of desferroxamine, a hypoxia-mimetic agent Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2007 Jun; 292(6):C2150-60. . View in PubMed
  • Conserved elements within first intron of aquaporin-5 (Aqp5) function as transcriptional enhancers Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Apr 27; 356(1):26-31. . View in PubMed
  • Hypertonic induction of aquaporin-5: novel role of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2007 Apr; 292(4):C1280-90. . View in PubMed
  • Expression of ABC-transporters in human corneal tissue and the transformed cell line, HCE-T J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Apr; 23(2):172-81. . View in PubMed
  • Thermodynamic stoichiometry of Na+-coupled glutathione transport Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Nov; 84(11):1223-7. . View in PubMed
  • Assessment of transport rates of proteins and peptides across primary human alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Eur J Pharm Sci. 2006 Jun; 28(3):196-203. . View in PubMed
  • SUMOylation attenuates sensitivity toward hypoxia- or desferroxamine-induced injury by modulating adaptive responses in salivary epithelial cells Am J Pathol. 2006 May; 168(5):1452-63. . View in PubMed
  • Towards an in vitro model of cystic fibrosis small airway epithelium: characterisation of the human bronchial epithelial cell line CFBE41o- Cell Tissue Res. 2006 Mar; 323(3):405-15. . View in PubMed
  • Claudin-8 modulates paracellular permeability to acidic and basic ions in MDCK II cells J Physiol. 2006 Feb 15; 571(Pt 1):15-26. . View in PubMed
  • Functional and pharmacological mechanisms of nucleoside transport across the basolateral membrane of rabbit tracheal epithelial cells Life Sci. 2005 Dec 05; 78(3):310-20. . View in PubMed
  • Nucleoside transport in primary cultured rabbit tracheal epithelial cells J Drug Target. 2005 Sep-Nov; 13(8-9):509-19. . View in PubMed
  • Fine tuning of rabbit equilibrative nucleoside transporter activity by an alternatively spliced variant J Drug Target. 2005 Sep-Nov; 13(8-9):521-33. . View in PubMed
  • Etk/Bmx mediates expression of stress-induced adaptive genes VEGF, PAI-1, and iNOS via multiple signaling cascades in different cell systems Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2005 Aug; 289(2):C444-54. . View in PubMed
  • Roles of the conjunctiva in ocular drug delivery: a review of conjunctival transport mechanisms and their regulation Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2005 Jul; 60(2):227-40. . View in PubMed
  • Tissue distribution of moxaverine-hydrochloride in the rabbit eye and plasma J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jun; 21(3):210-6. . View in PubMed
  • Characterization of active ion transport across primary rabbit corneal epithelial cell layers (RCrECL) cultured at an air-interface Exp Eye Res. 2005 Jun; 80(6):827-36. . View in PubMed
  • Development of a lung slice preparation for recording ion channel activity in alveolar epithelial type I cells Respir Res. 2005 Apr 27; 6:40. . View in PubMed
  • Isolation and culture of human alveolar epithelial cells Methods Mol Med. 2005; 107:207-16. . View in PubMed
  • Salbutamol is actively absorbed across human bronchial epithelial cell layers Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2005; 18(3):165-70. . View in PubMed
  • Net absorption of IgG via FcRn-mediated transcytosis across rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2004 Sep; 287(3):L616-22. . View in PubMed
  • Spectrum of ion channels in alveolar epithelial cells: implications for alveolar fluid balance Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2004 Sep; 287(3):L460-4. . View in PubMed
  • Impairment of conjunctival glutathione secretion and ion transport by oxidative stress in an adenovirus type 5 ocular infection model of pigmented rabbits Free Radic Biol Med. 2004 Jul 15; 37(2):229-38. . View in PubMed
  • Alveolar epithelial type I cells express beta2-adrenergic receptors and G-protein receptor kinase 2 J Histochem Cytochem. 2004 Jun; 52(6):759-67. . View in PubMed
  • Subunit-specific coordinate upregulation of sodium pump activity in alveolar epithelial cells by lentivirus-mediated gene transfer Hum Gene Ther. 2004 May; 15(5):457-68. . View in PubMed
  • Modulation of ion conductance and active transport by TGF-beta 1 in alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2003 Dec; 285(6):L1192-200. . View in PubMed
  • Clathrin and caveolin-1 expression in primary pigmented rabbit conjunctival epithelial cells: role in PLGA nanoparticle endocytosis Mol Vis. 2003 Oct 15; 9:559-68. . View in PubMed
  • Specialized protective role of mucosal glutathione in pigmented rabbit conjunctiva Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2003 Oct; 44(10):4427-38. . View in PubMed
  • Transcytosis of GCSF-transferrin across rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Pharm Res. 2003 Aug; 20(8):1231-8. . View in PubMed
  • Nucleotide-induced restoration of conjunctival chloride and fluid secretion in adenovirus type 5-infected pigmented rabbit eyes J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2003 Jun; 305(3):1206-11. . View in PubMed
  • 16HBE14o- human bronchial epithelial cell layers express P-glycoprotein, lung resistance-related protein, and caveolin-1 Pharm Res. 2003 Apr; 20(4):545-51. . View in PubMed
  • Absorption of intact albumin across rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2003 Mar; 284(3):L458-65. . View in PubMed
  • Regulation of L-cystine transport and intracellular GSH level by a nitric oxide donor in primary cultured rabbit conjunctival epithelial cell layers Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2003 Mar; 44(3):1202-10. . View in PubMed
  • Protein transport across the lung epithelial barrier Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2003 Feb; 284(2):L247-59. . View in PubMed
  • Coordinating Etk/Bmx activation and VEGF upregulation to promote cell survival and proliferation Oncogene. 2002 Dec 12; 21(57):8817-29. . View in PubMed
  • Characterization of cyclic AMP-regulated chloride conductance in the pigmented rabbit conjunctival epithelial cells Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2002 Jun; 80(6):533-40. . View in PubMed
  • Influence of apical fluid volume on the development of functional intercellular junctions in the human epithelial cell line 16HBE14o-: implications for the use of this cell line as an in vitro model for bronchial drug absorption studies Cell Tissue Res. 2002 Jun; 308(3):391-400. . View in PubMed
  • Hypoxia decreases active Na transport across primary rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2002 Apr; 282(4):L659-65. . View in PubMed
  • Net glutathione secretion across primary cultured rabbit conjunctival epithelial cell layers Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002 Apr; 43(4):1154-61. . View in PubMed
  • Na transport proteins are expressed by rat alveolar epithelial type I cells Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2002 Apr; 282(4):L599-608. . View in PubMed
  • Estimation of paracellular conductance of primary rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayers J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Jan; 98(1):138-43. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of transdifferentiation and EGF on claudin isoform expression in alveolar epithelial cells J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Jan; 98(1):322-8. . View in PubMed