Dr. Park received her PhD from Jongkyeong Chung lab at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Daejeon, South Korea), where she studied the molecular mechanism of Parkinson’s disease. She completed postdoctoral training in Huda Zoghbi lab at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, USA) and studied spinocerebellar ataxia type 1.
Dr. Park’s lab's current focus is investigating the molecular pathogenesis of a neurodegenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and identify therapeutic targets to develop treatments for ALS patients. Mutations within RNA binding protein (RBP)-encoding genes have been implicated in ALS, but how mutations in RBPs lead to motor neuron degeneration is not clear.
Her lab studies one of the under-characterized RBPs called Matrin3 (MATR3) involved in RNA splicing and we are investigating how ALS-linked mutations alter the function of MATR3 and thereby cause motor neuron degeneration. The research team is trying to answer this by using an interdisciplinary approach combining biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, fruit fly and mouse genetics, high-throughput forward genetic screens and whole transcriptome analysis.
Education and experience
- 2016–Present: Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
- 2015–Present: Scientist, Genetics and Genome Biology Program, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, ON
- 2008–2015: Postdoc, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
- 2004–2008: Doctorate, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Adv Inst of Sci and Tech, Korea
- 2016: Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Molecular Genetics and Neurodegenerative Diseases, Canada Research Chairs Program
- 2014: Best Paper Award, Dept. of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
- 2013: Keystone Symposia Scholarship Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
- 2007: Outstanding Research Award Department of Biological Sciences, KAIST, Daejeon, South Korea
- 2006: UNESCO-L'OREAL Co-Sponsored Fellowships for Young Women in Life Sciences, Seoul, South Korea
- Zhao M, Kim JR, van Bruggen R & Park J. (2018). RNA-binding proteins in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. (Review paper) Molecules and Cells 41(9): 818-829.
- Tan Q*, Yalamanchili HK*, Park J*, De Maio A, Lu H, Wan YW, White JJ, Bondar VV, Sayegh LS, Liu X, Gao Y, Sillitoe RV, Orr HT, Liu Z & Zoghbi HY. (2016). Extensive cryptic splicing upon loss of RBM17 and TDP43 in neurodegenerative models. Human Molecular Genetics 25(23): 5083-93. (* co-first authors)
- Park J*, Al-Ramahi I*, Tan Q, Mollema N, Diaz-Garcia JR, Gallego-Flores T, Lu H-C, Lagalwar S, Duvick L, Kang H, Lee Y, Jafar-Nejad P, Sayegh LS, Richman R, Liu X, Gao Y, Shaw CA, Arthur JSC, Orr HT, Westbrook TF, Botas J & Zoghbi HY. RAS/MAPK/MSK1 pathway modulates Ataxin-1 protein levels and toxicity in SCA1. Nature (2013) 498(7454):325-31. (*: co-first authors)
- Park J, Kim Y & Chung J. Mitochondrial dysfunction and Parkinson’s disease genes: insights from Drosophila. Dis. Model Mech. (2009) 2(7-8):336-40. (Review paper)
- Park J*, Lee SB*, Lee S, Kim Y, Song S, Kim S, Bae E, Kim J, Shong M, Kim JM & Chung J. Mitochondrial dysfunction in Drosophila PINK1 mutants is complemented by parkin. Nature (2006) 441(7097):1157-61. (*: co-first authors)
- ALS Canada
- Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation
- Canada Research Chairs