Jin Kwon Jeong's scientific journey started in 1993 when he joined Dr Byung Ju Lee’s laboratory at the University of Ulsan, South Korea, as an undergraduate research assistant. With strong enthusiasm and drive, his own research project in studying molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopment and neuroendocrine systems was extended to a postgraduate program, and he received a Master’s of Science in Biology in 1996 at the University of Ulsan.
Following the completion of his mandatory national service, in 2000 he pursued an opportunity to train in neuroscience in the USA, and obtained quality experience in many aspects of neuroscience including neuroanatomy, neurodevelopment, neurobehavior and neurophysiological aspects of sensory learning and memory at Dr Sergio Ojeda and Dr Claudio Mello’s laboratory at the Oregon Health Sciences University. With this experience, he received a PhD in Biological Sciences in 2008 under Dr Byung Ju Lee’s supervision at the University of Ulsan. His dissertation explored a sex steroid-dependent sexual differentiation and development of mammalian brain as well as central mechanisms on feeding behavior and whole body energy balance.
Since then, Jin's research has been focused on two distinguished but interconnected areas: the brain mechanisms in 1) sensory learning and memory processes, and 2) whole body energy homeostasis and metabolic disorders including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
During his first postdoctoral period (2008-2010), he worked on a project aimed at understanding how the hearing function is controlled by steroid hormones, more specifically the hormone estrogen, at the University of Rochester, USA. His work, together with his collaborators, was the first demonstration that a brain-generated steroid hormone controls sensory processing in the awake brain and likely explains why hormonal deficiency or manipulations (e.g. menopause, anti-estrogen chemotherapy, aging) correlates with hearing loss.
This work received widespread and significant attention from the public and general media, having been covered in newspapers in over 70 countries, as well as in TV and radio interviews. Jin's work also resulted in the first demonstration of the neurochemical organization and the activation of these estrogen-associated circuits in the auditory forebrain of adult vertebrate. As a result, he was awarded as a PI in 2009 for the Schmitt Fellowship Grant on integrative brain research.
In 2010, Jin extended his postdoctoral training at Dr Sabrina Diano and Tamas Horvath's group at the Yale School of Medicine, USA, studying brain mechanisms relying on energy homeostasis and food intake. Here, he established modern technology in advanced neuroscience, such as in situ hybridization for detecting and characterizing gene expression in preserved tissue, and made a series of groundbreaking contributions to overcome a leading health issues in developed countries, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
He is currently working with Dr Colin Young, an expert in brain-cardiometabolic regulation, at the George Washington University School of Medicine, USA, as a Research Scientist. His projects focus on molecular and cellular mechanisms in the brain in controlling cardiometabolic regulation. In particular, he is trying to understand the role of insulin receptor signaling both in the brain hypothalamus as well as in an extrahypothalamic region, such as the subfornical organ, on cardiometabolic regulation, using multiple approaches including viral gene manipulation, histology, molecular biology, behavior, and metabolic/cardiovascular recordings in rodents.
Jin's publication history is available by clicking here.