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Youlim K

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Stanford University


Microbiology, Infectious disease, Biology, Immunology, Film Production


I am currently a PhD student at Stanford University in the Microbiology and Immunology department. I fell in love with research when I was an undergraduate student at Duke University thanks to a supportive lab mentor and research environment. While at Duke, I studied the spread of antibiotic resistance, which encouraged me to continue my studies in microbiology in graduate school. I am now working with a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, and studying its interactions with human hosts. To date, I have authored two publications, and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2020 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program competition. Outside of research, I also enjoy volunteering in science outreach and mentoring first-generation/low-income and underrepresented students. In addition, I studied film production at Duke and graduated with a certificate in the Arts of the Moving Image Program (now known as Cinematic Arts). I have crewed many short films that have been featured in international film festivals.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Microbiology 101

Bacteria and viruses and parasites, oh my! Most high school and even college science students never receive a formal education on the world's simplest forms of life. Designed for students with little to no exposure to microbiology, I will first introduce topics ranging from microbial ecology to human health with some guidance based on your interests. Then, you will choose a microbe or community of microbes and write a research paper similar to how scientific review articles are written.

Infectious Disease Research

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a lot of misinformation and uncertainty about infectious disease. How do we know how it is spread? What are possible treatments? If you think you might be interested in infectious disease research, or scientific research in general, this project is for you! You will be reading and dissecting scientific papers from peer-reviewed journals covering infectious diseases of your choice. This will also act as your background reading for developing a research question you would like to answer. Finally, you will write an original research proposal. This project can be tailored to students with no or minimal experience reading scientific papers, although having such experience is a plus. I also welcome students who intend to submit their proposals to public or private agencies for fellowships.


In today's digital age, anyone can create above average visual media content with just their cell phone cameras. Whether you possess a $400+ DSLR, or an iPhone 7, you can learn the rules of cinematography and put them to use. Early sessions will cover the rules of shot composition and camera techniques. Then, we will move on to analyzing clips from movies and shows, and learning some basic video editing. The final project will be to create a 2-3 minute short film of any genre along with a short paper detailing the shots used in the film. Students of all experience levels are welcome!

Coding skills

R Studio

Languages I know

Korean, conversational

Teaching experience

While I was in high school, I worked at Kumon and worked mostly one-on-one with elementary and middle school students. In college, I taught hands-on science lessons to groups of 8-15 elementary school students every week. I also taught ESL classes in Korea for two months to both elementary school students and adults in groups of six to ten. As a mentor, I have been active in working with Stanford's ADVANCE Undergraduate Institute to support college students underrepresented in STEM who are interested in graduate school. I also mentor First-generation/Low-income undergraduates at Stanford.



Duke University
BS Bachelor of Science (2019)
Stanford University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Microbiology and Immunology


"I enjoyed my experience. Youlim was kind, knowledgeable, experienced, understanding, and funny. As I said before, I think without her help I wouldn't have been able to complete my project. I struggle with procrastination, and she helped me manage that effectively."


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