Jang Ah Kim, Research Associate in Biosensing, Department of Materials

Jang Ah Kim

“I use nanotechnology to boost light-matter interactions with the aim of developing a sensing platform to detect disease biomarkers.”

I am a Research Associate in Biosensing at the Department of Materials. My academic journey to date has been dynamic and crossing boundaries. Having graduated in mechanical engineering at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, I chose to study nanoscience and nanotechnology for my PhD at the same university. Then I dived into biomedical engineering research at the Hamlyn Centre at Imperial for my first postdoctoral role. After four and a half years at the centre, I moved to the Stevens Group at the Department of Materials to further dig into biosensing studies, where I have been working on developing a next-generation biosensing platform for disease screening of broader diseases.

Light contains so much information about all the materials in nature. The more we analyse all the shades of light interacting with matter in-depth, richer details emerge. I use nanotechnology to boost light-matter interactions with the aim of developing an innovative sensing platform that uses these interactions to detect disease biomarkers. It is envisaged that the sensing platform could aid the fast screening of diseases and, accordingly, early screening and treatment of diseases in the future.  

The previous and current groups I have worked at are exceptionally diverse in academic and cultural backgrounds. In such an environment, there are unlimited pearls of wisdom to learn from my colleagues around me, not only academically but also personally. This unique environment inspires me to grow every single day to be a better researcher and, eventually, to become an inspiring leader in the field in the future. Moreover, I hope to become a role model one day for young women to promote women in STEM, especially in South Korea where the gender balance in STEM is very poor. 

I am a music enthusiast, so I listen to, play and sing music (it doesn’t mean that I’m good at it, though) and love to go to gigs in my free time. Like my academic career, my musical taste has been cross-boundary, from punk rock, sentimental ballads, jazz, soul, R&B, and classical music to ska music. I also like to watch Korean dramas and films on Netflix, which makes me feel at home and connected to the trends in my home country.  


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