Daria Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. She is a synthetic organic chemist with training in natural products total synthesis and chemical biology who will begin her independent career at Vanderbilt Summer 2022. Daria grew up in Southern California and obtained her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. She completed her Ph.D. with Prof. Timothy R. Newhouse at Yale University in 2019. During her graduate career, she synthesized several natural products from within the biologically active indole diterpene family and developed a DFT-based method for in silico substrate screening for application to retrosynthetic planning. Following her doctoral training, Daria joined Prof. Laura L. Kiessling’s group at MIT as a postdoctoral fellow. During this time, she developed a new approach to monomer-specific glycan bioconjugation that leverages the endogenous reactivity and selectivity of native glycosyltransferases. This labeling strategy has enabled the direct visualization of the localization and dynamics of key cell surface structures in pathogenic bacteria such as M. tuberculosis.
Here at Vanderbilt, the Kim group will be working in the areas of complex molecule synthesis and catalysis, focusing on the design of novel ligands and catalysts that enable site selective reactivity in highly oxidized systems by leveraging phenomena like molecular recognition and non-covalent directing effects. These species will then be used to access new disconnections in complex molecule synthesis, expand access to chiral molecules and develop bioconjugation reagents for monomer-selective labeling of biological glycans.