Na Yeon Kim PhD

Technology Specialist

Na Yeon Kim focuses on the preparation and prosecution of domestic, international and foreign patent applications for clients in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. In addition to patent prosecution and counselling, Dr. Kim assists lawyers in conducting scientific journal and patent searching, preparation of patentability, validity, freedom to operate and infringement opinions, as well as analyses of issues that arise in patent litigation matters.    

Dr. Kim is currently pursuing her JD degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. 

Dr. Kim has extensive research experience. She joined WilmerHale in 2020 after serving as a postdoctoral research scientist at Stanford University’s Südhof Laboratory, where, under the supervision of Nobel Prize–winning researcher Dr. Thomas C. Südhof, she studied Alzheimer’s disease genetic risk factors. 

Dr. Kim also completed a postdoc at the Institute of Basic Science in Korea, where she studied optogenetic control of mRNA localization and translation in live cells. As a doctoral student at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, she researched the optogenetic control of biological dynamics in live cells and patented a method of protein tagging. 


  • Co-first author: Kim, N. Y.*, Lee, S.*,†, Kim, N., Park, H. R., Heo, W. D.† Optogenetic control of mRNA localization and translation in live cells. Nature Cell Biology 22, 341-352 (2020). (*Co-first author, †Co‐corresponding author)
  • Co-first author: Park, H.*, Kim, N. Y.*, Lee, S., Kim, N., Heo, W. D. Optogenetic protein clustering through fluorescent protein tagging and extension of CRY2. Nature Communications 8, 30 (2017). (*Co-first author)
  • Co-author: Kyung, T.*, Lee, S.*, Kim, J. E., Cho, T., Park, H., Jeong, Y.-M., Kim, D., Shin, A., Kim, S., Baek, J., Kim, J., Kim, N. Y., Woo, D., Chae, S., Kim, C.-H., Shin, H.-S., Han, Y.-M, Kim, D., and Heo, W. D. Optogenetic control of endogenous Ca2+channels in vivo. Nature Biotechnology 33, 1092 (2015). Cover Article. This article was recommended by the faculty of 1000.
  • Co-author: Lee, S.*, Park, H.*, Kyung, T., Kim, N. Y., Kim, S., Kim, J., and Heo, W. D. Reversible protein inactivation by optogenetic trapping in cells. Nature Methods 11, 633 (2014). This article was highlighted by Nature Methods.


  • Education

    • PhD, Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 2018

      Outstanding Dissertation Award
    • BS, Biological Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 2012

  • Languages

    • Korean