Student Awarded Prestigious Summer Research Fellowship at Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Glory Kim ’17 Excels in Research Lab and in Teaching Hip-Hop to Youth Around the World

​Hartford, Connecticut, April 26, 2016 – Class of 1963 Scholar Glory Kim ’17 has won a summer research fellowship at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia at the Janelia Research Campus. The highly selective Janelia Undergraduate Scholars program offers the Trinity College student an opportunity to work at one of the top research facilities in the country. The program connects students from around the world with prominent researchers. “It’s very unique because a lot of the people are world-class at what they’re doing,” Kim said. “I think that being in that kind of environment and having that opportunity is very humbling.”

During the 10-week program, Kim will be working in a lab under the guidance of neuroscientist Davi Bock. Together they will conduct research using a technique called electron microscopy to map out brain circuitry. While Kim’s background is in biology, he has a great deal of experience with electron microscopy through his lab work at Trinity.

Kim’s extensive research at Trinity has provided him with the experience needed to secure this prestigious fellowship. His faculty advisor, Thomas S. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Biology Daniel G. Blackburn, has worked closely with Kim and has collaborated with him to publish their research. “Glory has amassed a very strong record of research for an undergraduate,” Blackburn said. “He already has two peer-reviewed scientific papers to his name, on which he is the senior author – a fact that undoubtedly impressed the HHMI and the principle investigator of the lab where he will be working.”

Kim has been working in Blackburn’s lab since his first semester at Trinity, totaling six semesters and two full summers worth of research. The results of his work in the lab were extremely noteworthy. “Glory has proven to be a truly extraordinary research student,” Blackburn said. “While a first semester junior, he had already had a paper with me published in a top-notch scientific journal – The Journal of Morphology. In fact, we got the ‘cover’ photo. A second paper is in final stages of review in The Journal of Experimental Zoology.”

In reflecting on his achievements in the classroom and laboratory, Kim emphasized the role that Trinity faculty members have played in his development as a student and researcher. “The faculty made all the difference because whenever I would be interested in something, they would take time out of their busy schedule and really thoroughly explain, ‘This is why this works this way,’” Kim said. “I think that kind of patience and guidance has really been crucial.”

While Kim continues to excel in his research endeavors, his achievements extend beyond the realm of science. As a biology and theater and dance double major, he has also been able to pursue his passion for dance. At Trinity, he started and serves as the captain of the Free Styles Club, which focuses on hip-hop and street styles of dance. He has also traveled to Zimbabwe and Peru as a dance instructor to teach hip-hop in urban settings to underprivileged youth. For him, dance becomes a universal language that can connect and communicate to people, regardless of their native tongue or background. Kim said he sees hip-hop as a way to keep kids off the streets and have access to more opportunities. “I think the most rewarding thing is being able to give back and help other people,” Kim said. “I think Trinity has allowed me to do that to my fullest.”

Written by Elizabeth Goetz ’16

Photo by Andrew J. Concatelli