Associate Program Director, Pediatric Surgery Fellowship Program
Attending Physician

Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics and Clinical Scholar, Keck School of Medicine of USC
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Dr. Kim received his undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University and his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency in general surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he served as the Administrative Chief Resident. During this time, he completed a two year research fellowship in Tumor Biology under the mentorship of Dr. Jessica Kandel and Dr. Darrell Yamashiro. He also completed an ECMO fellowship under the training of Dr. Charles Stolar. Dr. Kim subsequently completed a fellowship in pediatric surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Kim served as an Attending Pediatric Surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, for nine years, where he developed expertise in pediatric surgical oncology and the surgical management of complex solid tumors, the surgical repair of chest wall deformities (pectus excavatum), and anorectal malformations. Dr. Kim balances his clinical practice with a basic science research laboratory that is focused on novel treatments for the aggressive childhood cancer neuroblastoma.

Dr. Kim is currently the Associate Program Director of the Pediatric Surgery Fellowship Program.

Clinical Interests

Pediatric Surgical Oncology, Solid Tumors, Surgical Repair of Chest Wall Deformities (Pectus Excavatum and Pectus Carinatum), Anorectal Malformations, Esophageal Disorders


Medical School: 

Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons


Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY


Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY


Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH



American Board of Surgery, General Surgery; American Board of Surgery, Pediatric Surgery

Professional Memberships: 

Fellow, American College of Surgeons

Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Surgery

Member, American Pediatric Surgical Association

Member, Children’s Oncology Group

Member, American Association for Cancer Research

Member, Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association

Member, Society of University Surgeons

Member, Association for Academic Surgery


2019 Finalist Nominee, Medical Category, Morris and Mary Press Humanism Award, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

2017 Recipient of the Association for Academic Surgery and Taiwan Surgical Association International Visiting Professorship

2013 Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Faculty Excellence Award for Development of Enduring Educational Materials, Baylor College of Medicine

2012 Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching and Evaluation, Baylor College of Medicine

2010 Childhood Cancer Research Grant Recipient, St. Baldrick’s Foundation

2009 Recipient of the Hankamer Foundation Grant, Baylor College of Medicine

2008 Young Investigator Award, Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation

2003 Blakemore Prize for Research, Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Surgery

Los Angeles Magazine Top Doctors

Pasadena Magazine Top Doctors

Best Doctors in America, Pediatric Surgery, 2011-present

U.S. News and World Report Top Doctors in Pediatric Surgery

Other Information

Specialty Interest: 

Pediatric Surgical Oncology, Neuroblastoma research


Barry WE, Jackson JR, Asuelime GE, Wu HW, Sun J, Wan Z, Malvar J, Sheard MA, Wang L, Seeger RC, Kim ES. Activated natural killer cells in combination with anti-GD2 antibody dinutuximab improve survival of mice after surgical resection of primary neuroblastoma. Clin Cancer Res, 2019; 25(1):325-333. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1317 PMID: 30232225

Tran HC, Wan Z, Sheard MA, Sun J, Jackson JR, Malvar J, Xu Y, Wang L, Sposto R, Kim ES, Asgharzadeh S, Seeger RC. TGFβR1 blockade with Galunisertib (LY2157299) enhances anti-neuroblastoma activity of the anti-GD2 antibody Dinutuximab (ch14.18) with natural killer cells. Clin Cancer Res, 2017; 23(3):804-813. PMID: 27756784

Agarwal S, Lakoma A, Chen Z, Hicks J, Metelitsa LS, Kim ES*, Shohet JM*. G-CSF promotes neuroblastoma tumorigenicity and metastasis via STAT3-dependent cancer stem cell activation. Cancer Res, 2015; 75:2566-2579; published OnlineFirst April 23, 2015; doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-2946. PMID: 25908586 PMCID: PMC4470771 (*co-senior authors)

Caruana I, Savoldo B, Hoyos V, Weber G, Liu H, Kim ES, Ittman MM, Marchetti D, Dotti G. Heparanase promotes tumor infiltration and antitumor activity of CAR-redirected T-lymphocytes. Nature Med, 2015; 21(5):524-29. doi:10.1038/nm.3833. PMID: 25849134 PMCID: PMC4425589

Hsu DM, Agarwal S, Benham A, Coarfa C, Trahan DN, Chen Z, *Stowers PN, Courtney AN, *Lakoma A, Barbieri E, Metelitsa LS, Gunaratne P, Kim ES* and Shohet JM*. G-CSF receptor positive neuroblastoma subpopulations are enriched in chemotherapy-resistant or relapsed tumors and are highly tumorigenic. Cancer Res, 2013; 73(13):4134-46. PMID: 23687340 PMCID: PMC4298227 (*co-senior authors)

Research Interests: 

Dr. Kim’s basic science laboratory has two main areas of interest in the study of neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood malignancy. Dr. Kim’s primary focus of his laboratory involves the study of cancer stem cells, which are highly tumorigenic cells and believed to be the cause of tumor relapse in neuroblastoma. Our lab has isolated and characterized a novel cancer stem cell population in neuroblastoma based on the expression of CD114, the receptor for G-CSF. We have also shown that exogenous G-CSF activates the STAT3 molecular pathway, leading to increased tumor growth and metastasis, while the blockade of the STAT3 pathway leads to inhibition of tumors and metastasis. The laboratory is currently studying mechanisms and pathways of metastasis and tumor recurrence using an in vivo model of minimal residual disease. Dr. Kim’s lab is also focused on the study of novel molecular pathways in neuroblastoma. Specifically, Dr. Kim has investigated the dual role of the oncogene MDM2 in neuroblastoma. Dr. Kim has published findings which show that inhibition of MDM2 in neuroblastoma is both anti-tumoral, via a p53-mediated pathway, and anti-angiogenic, via a p53 independent pathway by modulating the expression of HIF-1a and downstream VEGF. Other areas of research development include the study of the recently FDA-approved immunotherapeutic anti-GD2 antibody (ch14.18) in our novel, orthotopic murine model of neuroblastoma, and how this drug is modulated by the effects of the immune system.

Research Topics

Neuroblastoma, Metastasis, Cancer Stem Cells, Immunotherapy, Minimal Residual Disease

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