Min-Kyoo Shin, PhD

Min-Kyoo Shin, PhD, is a postdoctoral research associate at Case Western Reserve University in the Department of Psychiatry, working in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew A Pieper, who also serves as Director of Neurotherapeutic Discovery in the Harrington Discovery Institute of the University Hospitals of Cleveland Medical Center. Min-Kyoo earned his bachelors, masters and philosophy degrees from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, where he studied biology and neuroscience. There, Dr. Shin’s research focused on discovery of novel peptides that regulate brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression. BDNF plays an important role in neuronal cell survival, neurogenesis and cognition, and its expression is down-regulated in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. Several novel peptides were identified through a positional scanning-synthetic peptide combinatorial library technique, and exposure of cellular and animal models of AD to these peptides was shown to have neuroprotective effect. Dr. Shin also investigated the neuronal function of gangliosides in AD, finding that GQ1b, a low abundant ganglioside, regulates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor signaling to control synaptic plasticity and memory. In addition, GQ1b, but not GT1b or GD1b derived from GQ1b by membrane sialidase, regulated BDNF expression via the NMDA receptor signaling pathway. As a postdoctoral fellow at Sungkyunkwan University, Dr. Shin demonstrated that intrahippocampal GQ1b infusion ameliorates cognitive impairments in an AD mouse model. Dr. Shin has devoted his career in medical research to the discovery of novel neuropathological mechanisms of AD that will expand our understanding of the disease process and also identify new therapeutic opportunities for patients. In the Pieper lab, Dr. Shin is continuing to develop this focus by investigating the novel role of 15-prostagrandin dehydrogenase in neurodegeneration in a mouse model of AD.