Samuel H. Kim was born in New Jersey to immigrant parents from South Korea. His family then moved back to South Korea, where Samuel grew up. At the age of 10, his family moved to Los Angeles where they faced financial and health difficulties. However, through his Christian faith and working at a cardiology clinic, Samuel discovered his passion for medicine and its empowerment of our most vulnerable.
At Princeton University, Samuel developed a novel technology to study epigenetics by combining chemical synthesis with CRISPR/Cas9 genome targeting, which was published in PNAS. During this time, he worked in low-resource clinical settings in Bolivia and continued his work at the cardiology clinic, through which he recognized a disconnect between the cutting edge of scientific discovery and the clinical understanding and care available.
During his MPhil at Cambridge University under the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship, Samuel developed a method for rapid and accurate genome synthesis and replacement that was published in Nature. While at Caltech to support his family, he worked to translate epigenetics for a potential therapy to Rett syndrome, which is currently incurable. Through his work, Samuel saw the potential for capturing and understanding epigenomic information to provide appropriate care to each patient in need. Therefore, he chose to become a physician scientist in order to bridge the cutting-edge tools of science to the context of clinical experience and care.
At Stanford University, Samuel is working to understand unexplored elements of genome structure and to develop and deploy the necessary technologies to propel epigenomics into the clinic in order to address incurable diseases and provide personalized patient care.