Kim’s interest in neuroscience began in 1993 when she joined the Neuropharmacology Laboratory of Emeritus Professor Ann Crocker at Flinders University as a Research Assistant. Some years later, encouraged and mentored by Ann, she undertook a PhD investigating the mechanisms and brain regions involved in mediating the extrapyramidal side effects caused by antipsychotic drugs.
In 2002 Kim took up a post-doctoral position in the Hopwood Centre for Neurobiology (formally the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit) and began to establish the Childhood Dementia Research Group, whose goal was to better understand how and why degeneration of brain function and structure occurs in a lysosomal storage disorder called Sanfilippo syndrome. A second even more important aim is to develop and test potential treatments for this (currently) untreatable disorder.
Whilst her main research focus is on Sanfilippo syndrome and the brain, Kim is collaborating with colleagues to study the broader effects of this disorder. She is also involved in studies examining brain-related changes in the lysosomal storage disorder, Gaucher disease, and is interested more broadly in the effect of lysosomal deficiencies on neuronal processes.