Byungkook Lim, PhD

Assistant Professor
Division of Biological Sciences, Neurobiology

Contact Information

Phone: 858.822.1860

Location: Pacific Hall, 3100D

Mailing Address:
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #0357
La Jolla, CA 92093

Lab Website

The basal ganglia and interconnected cortical, amygdalar and thalamic circuits subserve several crucial brain functions including reward-based learning, motor learning, motivated behavior and stress-related behaviors. Dysfunction in these circuits due to alterations of synaptic properties has been proposed to play a critical role in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders including anxiety, addiction, autism spectrum disorder and major depressive disorder. However, the brain circuits relaying information from or to basal ganglia and their detailed synaptic organization have not been clearly delineated.

The main objective of research in our laboratory is to understand the role of the circuit-specific synaptic organization in basal ganglia in animal models of neuropsychiatric disease including drug addiction, feeding disorder, depressive disorder, and movement disorder. Given the circuit and synaptic complexity of the brain, characterizing specific neural circuitry responsible for behavioral changes has been challenging.

Schwartz, N., Temkin, P., Jurado, S., Lim, B. K., Polepalli, J. S., Malenka, R. C. (2014) Decreased motivation during chronic pain requires plasticity in the nucleus accumbens core. Science 345(6196) 535-542.

Fuccillo, M. V., Rothwell, P. E, Maxeiner, S., Hayton, S. J., Lim, B. K., Malenka, R. C., Südhof, T. C. (2014) Autism-associated Neuroligin-3 mutations impair striatal circuits underlying repetitive motor routins. Cell. 158(1):198-212.

Lammel, S.*, Lim, B. K.*, Malenka, R. C. (2014) Reward and aversion in a heterogeneous midbrain dopamine system. Neuropharmacology. 76 Pt B:351-9.

Kim, S. Y., Adhikari, A., Lee, S. Y., Marshel, J. H., Kim, C. K., Mallory, C. S., Lo, M., Pak, S., Mattis, J., Lim, B. K., Malenka, R. C., Warden, M. R., Neve, R., Tye, K. M., Deisseroth, K. (2013) Diverging neural pathways assemble a behavioural state from separable features in anxiety. Nature. 496(7444): 219-223.

Lammel, S.*, Lim, B. K.*, Ran, C., Huang, K. W., Tye, K., Deisseroth, K., Malenka, R. C. (2012) Input-specific control of reward and aversion in the ventral tegmental area. Nature. 491(7423): 212-217.(* equal contribution)

Lim, B. K., Huang, K. W., Grueter, B. A., Rothwell, P. E., Malenka, R. C. (2012) Anhedonia requires MC4R-mediated synaptic adaptation in nucleus accumbens. Nature. (Article) 487(7406): 183-189.

Shelly, M., Cancedda, L., Lim, B. K., Popescu, A. T., Cheng, P. L., Gao, H., Poo, M. M. (2011) Semaphorin3A regulates neuronal polarization by suppressing axon formation and promoting dendrite growth. Neuron. 71(3):433-446.

Lu, H., Cheng, P. L., Lim, B. K., Khoshnevisrad, N., Poo, M. M. (2010) Elevated BDNF expression after cocaine withdrawal facilitates LTP in medial prefrontal cortex by suppressing GABA inhibition. Neuron. 67(5):821-833.

Lim, B. K., Cho, S. J., Sumbre, G., Poo, M. M. (2010) Region-specific contribution of ephrin-B and Wnt signaling to receptive field plasticity in developing optic tectum. Neuron. 65(6):899-911.

Shelly, M.*, Lim, B. K.*, Cancedda, L., Heilshorn, S. C., Gao, H., Poo, M. M. (2010) Local and long-range reciprocal regulation of cAMP and cGMP in axon/dendrite formation. Science. (Article) 327(5965):547-552. (* equal contribution)

Lu, H., Lim, B., Poo, M. M. (2009) Cocaine exposure in utero alters synaptic plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex of postnatal rats. J Neurosci. 29(40):12664-12674.

Lim, B. K., Matsuda, N., Poo, M. M. (2008) Ephrin-B reverse signaling promotes structural and functional synaptic maturation in vivo. Nat Neurosci. 11(2):160-169.

Rho, S. H., Park, H. H., Kang, G. B., Im, Y. J., Kang, M. S., Lim, B. K., Seong, I. S., Seol, J., Chung, C. H., Wang, J., Eom, S. H. (2008) Crystal structure of Bacillus subtilis CodW, a noncanonical HslV-like peptidase with an impaired catalytic apparatus. Proteins. 71(2):1020-1026.

Shin, O. H., Maximov, A., Lim, B. K., Rizo, J., Südhof, T. C. (2004) Unexpected Ca2+-binding properties of synaptotagmin 9. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 101(8):2554-2559.

Kang, M. S., Kim, S. R., Kwack, P., Lim, B. K., Ahn, S. W., Rho, Y. M., Seong, I. S., Park, S. C., Eom, S. H., Cheong, G. W., Chung, C. H. (2003) Molecular architecture of the ATP-dependent CodWX protease having an N-terminal serine active site. EMBO J. 22(12):2893-2902.

Kang, M. S., Lim, B. K., Seong, I. S., Seol, J. H., Tanahashi, N., Tanaka, K., Chung, C. H.(2001) The ATP-dependent CodWX (HslVU) protease in Bacillus subtilis is an N-terminal serine protease. EMBO J. 20(4):734-742.