Tribute to Dr. Kwang Sik Kim

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Kwang Sik Kim, the Division Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Kim was a Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health. He was a very kind and supportive leader who will be missed for his professional and personal contributions to Johns Hopkins and the field of infectious diseases.

Dr. Kim received his medical degree in 1971 from Seoul National University in Korea. After serving three years in the Korean Air Force, he completed a pediatric residency at Louisiana State University and a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He subsequently became the Division Head of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Kim was recruited in 2000 to Johns Hopkins as the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.  

Dr. Kim’s major scientific contributions were in the area of central nervous system infections. His work was amongst the earliest to demonstrate the mechanisms used by pathogens to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and cause neurologic disease. He had tireless passion to advance our collective understanding of the pathogenesis, prevention, and therapy of neurologic infections. Dr. Kim’s blood-brain barrier model has been used by investigators throughout the world to understand central nervous system infection and inflammation. In addition, his blood-brain barrier model was the basis for establishing novel concepts such as the neurovascular impact of Alzheimer’s disease and transendothelial migration of monocytes into the brain as a major contributing factor to HIV encephalopathy. Dr. Kim’s research program was supported by NIH R01 grants since 1984, resulting in  more than 350 peer-reviewed publications and innumerable national and international lectureships. His work has been cited more than 29,000 times.

In addition to his scientific rigor, Dr. Kim was committed to mentorship and training. Since arriving at Johns Hopkins in 2000, he secured and maintained a T32 training grant for the Pediatric Infectious Disease Division that has led to the development of many nationally recognized leaders in the field of pediatric infectious diseases. His encouragement, support, and mentorship for young investigators and physician scientists will always be remembered. We offer condolences to his wife and two children.

We will remember Dr. Kim as a giant in the field of infectious diseases. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

Sincerely,
The Johns Hopkins Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division

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