Dr. Jerome Kim
Dr. Jerome Kim is the Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in Seoul, South Korea. He is a third generation Korean American and from a family with long established roots in Hawaii. His grandmother was one of the first Koreans to be born in Hawaii and his grandfather was a Hawaiian correspondence and community organizer for the Korean Independence Movement. English was the primary language spoken in his home with his grandparents speaking Korean with each other and recalls being required to learn Japanese from the third to fifth grade.
Upon graduating college, Dr. Kim joined the Air Force to help him go to medical school at Yale by the suggestion of his cousin. He had desires to continue his education following his residency and fellowship at Duke but was pulled to Texas to begin officer training in 1990 due to the Gulf War. The war was short lived and the Air Force sent him to Baltimore seeing that he was a good fit to provide assistance for HIV vaccine trials and research with the former head of the CDC, Robert Redfield. As he transitioned from the Air Force to the Army, he continued this research to further explain why the vaccine was proper protection as well as how to combat further mutations.
Throughout his career, Dr. Kim has moved every two to three years and worked with a variety of different people. It was always an eye opening experience and continued to shed light on the possibilities of working together with other nations while understanding each other’s differences. As we become more of a global society, Dr. Kim hopes to further his work with different countries and to collaborate with them to reach a common goal.