I currently hold a Research Group Leader position at Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysics.

Having graduated from University of Jena, Germany in 2013 with a MSc degree in Physics, I moved to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany. Under the supervision of Dr. Frank Vollmer, I successfully completed my PhD entitled “Ensemble and single-molecule biosensing with optical microcavities” in 2017.

From 2017 until early 2021 I held a postdoctoral researcher position in the group of Prof. Cees Dekker at TU Delft, Netherlands. My work focused on understanding motor activities of Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC) protein complexes using single molecule fluorescence microscopy. During this time I was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research fellowship.

Education and positions held

  • 2017-2021 Postdoctoral research fellow at the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • 2013-2017 PhD in Physics at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
  • 2010-2013 MSc* in Photonics at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany
  • Master* in Photonics Engineering at the Warsaw University of Technology, Poland (*Erasmus Mundus Double Master program in Optics in Science and Technology)
  • 2006-2010 BSc in Engineering at the Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, South Korea

Research Summary

In all organisms, chromosome must be compacted nearly three orders of magnitude to fit within the confines of cells, while simultaneously allowing a myriad of DNA-based processes, including replication, transcription, repair, recombination, and integration. Yet, the basic principles of the formation and regulation of the 3D structures of genome have remained unclear.

Our group aims to unravel the molecular mechanisms governing 3D genome organization: how chromatins are folded and twisted, and how these topologies affect genome functions. To this end, we will employ single-molecule fluorescence imaging, single-molecule force spectroscopy, and correlative light and electron microscopy techniques to probe and interrogate individual molecules in vitro.

By studying individual biochemical processes that constitute genome packaging at high spatiotemporal resolution, we hope to extract the universal principles that underlie chromosome organization across all forms of life.

Key publications

  • E. Kim, J. Kerssemakers, I. A. Shaltiel, C. H. Haering, C. Dekker, DNA-loop extruding condensin complexes can traverse one another. Nature 579, 438–442(2020)
  • A.M.O. Elbatsh, E. Kim, J.M. Eeftens, J.A. Raaijmakers, R.H. van der Weide, S. Bravo, M. Ganji, J. uit de Bos, H. Teunissen, R.H. Medema, E. de Wit, C.H. Haering, C. Dekker, B.D. Rowland, Distinct Roles for Condensin’s Two ATPase Sites in Chromosome Condensation. Molecular Cell, 76 (5), 724-737. e5, (2019)
  • M. Ganji, I.A. Shaltiel*, S. Bisht*, E. Kim, A. Kalichava, C.H. Haering, C. Dekker, Real-time imaging of DNA loop extrusion by condensin. Science 360 102-105 (2018)
  • E. Kim, M.D. Baaske, I. Schuldes, P.S. Wilsch, F. Vollmer, Label-free optical detection of single enzyme-reactant reactions and associated conformational changes. Science Advances, 3 (3), e1603044, (2017)
  • E. Kim, M.D. Baaske, F. Vollmer, In Situ Observation of Single-Molecule Surface Reactions from Low to High Affinities. Advanced Materials, 28 (45), 9941-9948, (2016)