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Felix Kim

Felix Kim, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department: Pharmacology & Physiology


  • PhD - Université Montpellier, France
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship - Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry Program

Felix Kim, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research Overview

Dr. Kim's work focuses on understanding the cellular function of Sigma1 receptors (Sigma1) in normal and pathophysiological conditions. The lab's research goals are:

  • To elucidate the role of Sigma1 in cell growth and survival by investigating its functions in endoplasmic reticulum protein homeostasis
  • To evaluate the Sigma1 system as a therapeutic target in cancer

Visit The Kim Lab

Research Interests

Sigma 1 receptor biology, molecular pharmacology, biochemistry of sigma 1 receptors in endoplasmic reticulum protein homeostatis, cell stress response, cancer.


Sigma1 is an integral membrane protein with primarily endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localization in tumor cells. Growing evidence suggests that Sigma1 antagonists may be effective anti-tumor agents. However, the mechanisms of these Sigma1 antagonist-mediated actions are unclear. Dr. Kim's lab proposes that Sigma1 functions as an ER chaperone that regulates tumor cell survival and growth by modulating response to ER stress and by contributing to protein homeostasis (the balance of synthesis, folding, maturation, transport, and degradation of functional and defective proteins).

The lab uses pharmacological, biochemical, and cellular experimental approaches to investigate how Sigma1 receptor-ligand interactions modulate receptor function to influence ER protein homeostasis. Current projects in Dr. Kim's lab address questions regarding cellular responses to Sigma1 receptor-ligand binding, from ligand-mediated changes in Sigma1 protein-protein interactions to the characterization of antagonist-induced ER stress associated signaling pathways.


"Small-molecule Sigma1 Modulator Induces Autophagic Degradation of PD-L1"
Christina M. Maher, Jeffrey D. Thomas, Derick A. Haas, Charles G. Longen, Halley M. Oyer, Jane Y. Tong and Felix J. Kim
Molecular Cancer Research, November 8, 2017

Sigma Proteins: Evolution of the Concept of Sigma Receptors
Felix J. Kim and Gavril W. Pasternak, editors. Springer Publishing, 2017

Contact Information

Research Office

Department of Pharmacology & Physiology
245 N. 15th Street
Mail Stop 488
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215.762.2508
Fax: 215.762.7622