Seung K. Kim is Professor in the Department of Developmental Biology and, by courtesy, in the Department of Medicine (Oncology Division) at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he has been a faculty member since 1998. He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University in 1985, then his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1992. From 1992 to 1994, Dr. Kim was a resident physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. Dr. Kim served from 1994 to 1997 as a Medical Oncology Fellow and Instructor at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellow at Harvard University from 1995-1998.
In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Kim has received multiple awards, including selection in 2008 as an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Gerald and Kayla Grodsky Basic Science Research Award from the JDRF in 2013, and in the Ho-Am Prize in Medicine in 2014. Dr. Kim is also an award-winning teacher and mentor who has contributed to science education in multiple ways in secondary school, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate training programs over the past 18 years. For 14 years, from 2000 to 2013, he served as co-director or director of the Stanford MSTP, overseeing the dual MD/PhD training of hundreds of students. He is a past recipient of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Service in the Biosciences Graduate Programs at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Kim has served as an external advisor to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, to the Seoul National University School of Medicine, and multiple private Foundations and Trusts, including the JDRF, and the Harry and Leona Helmsley Trust.
For over two decades, Dr. Kim has been an illuminative force and thought leader, in the vanguard of his research fields. Dr. Kim’s laboratory at Stanford has discovered new approaches to create, expand, and regenerate pancreatic islets, the tissue that makes the vital hormone insulin, which is deficient in diabetes. He and his team have isolated stem and progenitor cells from the pancreas and elucidated new molecular pathways that control expansion of pancreatic cells in normal settings or cancer. These efforts have created unprecedented opportunities for harnessing knowledge about the molecular and cellular basis of pancreatic development and growth to restore pancreas islet function and to diagnose pancreas cancers. His discoveries have generated tools and expertise needed to produce islet regeneration therapies for type 1 diabetes, to improve treatments and tests to mitigate or prevent type 2 diabetes, and to generate new diagnostic strategies for pancreas cancer.
In 2016 Dr. Maahs moved from the University of Colorado/Children’s Hospital Colorado/Barbara Davis Center to become Professor of Pediatrics and Division Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at Stanford University and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. His research focuses on improving care and preventing complications in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Dr Maahs has played a unique role in advancing science in this field by using large epidemiologic studies to identify clinical problems and generate hypotheses for randomized clinical trials (RCT) to test interventions to improve care for people with T1D. His role in spanning these areas of clinical research has led to a key role in numerous research collaborations nationally and internationally and a leadership role in T1D research and clinical care.
Dr Maahs’ NIDDK sponsored K23 focused on cardiovascular and kidney complications in young adults with T1D. He continued this work as part of the Coronary Artery Calcification in Type 1 Diabetes (CACTI) Study and in the pediatric population locally and as investigator with the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study nationally. He is a past co-Chair for Protocols and Publications with the T1D Exchange and continues as a Steering Committee member and director of International Collaborations which complements his role as Secretary-General for the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD).
While in Colorado Dr Maahs was the local PI on the Preventing Early Renal Loss (PERL) study, an RCT funded by the NIDDK. PERL is testing the hypothesis generated by epidemiologic data that lowering uric acid with allopurinol will prevent early kidney function decline in T1D. He is a PI on another NIDDK sponsored RCT, Flexible Lifestyles 3mpowering Change (FL3X), an innovative behavioral intervention for adolescents with T1D that addresses specific needs for improved care identified in the SEARCH study and T1DX registry. As a logical extension of this research to prevent T1D complications and improve care, his research has increasingly focused on the development of the artificial pancreas as improved glucose control is the best proven method to prevent T1D complications. In Colorado, Dr Maahs was the local PI on 3 UC4 funded artificial pancreas studies and he continues these JDRF, NIDDK, NSF, Helmsley Charitable Trust and industry funded studies at Stanford with Drs Bruce Buckingham and Korey Hood. He was co-PI on the University of Colorado T32 and K12 training grants in Pediatric Endocrinology with Dr Georgeanna Klingensmith and is co-director developing the Stanford University Diabetes Research and Training Center with Drs Seung Kim and Frederic Kraemer.
The website Expertscape lists Dr Maahs 5th in T1D expertise worldwide based on research publications. In addition, Dr Maahs is active clinically and was co-author with Dr Peter Chase on the 12th and 13th editions of Understanding Diabetes, or Pink Panther education books which are the most widely used patient education books for pediatric diabetes worldwide and are translated into Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese.