SC CTSI’s KL2 Scholar Mimi S. Kim, MD, MSc, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC and co-director, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Comprehensive Care Clinic, CHLA, wondered if a novel application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be used to understand thyroid dysfunction in children.

Kim worked with a team of clinicians and radiologists to study a type of fat called brown adipose
tissue — also known as brown fat. Brown fat is specifically evolved to generate heat. The team found that thyroid hormone deficiency led to an increase in brown fat, possibly the body’s attempt to increase heat production. Treatment with thyroid hormone reduced brown fat. Part of the work was featured as the front cover image for a recent issue of the leading endocrinology journal in the United States, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Kim said her research could not have succeeded without the teamwork and mentorship that SC CTSI’s KL2 program is structured to enable. “The group was more powerful than the sum of its parts,” she said.

It really takes a village to make a researcher. By protecting time in busy professional schedules for researchers to find mentorship and collaboration, as well as the coursework and seminars, the KL2 program has become a self-sustaining community that provides unique support to rising clinical researchers.

Mimi Kim, MD, MSc – Assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC; co-director, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Comprehensive Care Clinic, CHLA

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.