Yumie Rhee, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Research focus: Osteocyte biology, Disorders of calcium and phosphate metabolism
What brought you to the bone field and why have you stayed?
I started my residency in the Department of Internal Medicine at Severance Hospital at Yonsei University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. During the full rotation schedule, I met Professor Sung-Kil Lim whose subspecialty was Bone and Mineral Metabolism in the Endocrinology Division. He gave me tons of homework, investigating the most up-to-date research results from the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. At that time, there were only hard-copy journals, delivered by international mail, which took over a month to arrive from their published date. Dr. Lim used to read and summarize the copied articles and he held a full discussion every week on the material. This is how I became aware of all the famous bone scientists and doctors! Many thanks to Dr. Sung-Kil Lim.
Recent advances in research placed bone as the centerpiece of the human body, which encouraged me to keep studying the field with enthusiasm. Today I am proud to say that bone is not just a structural frame, but a dynamic and smart organ that tightly interacts with the body.
What’s the most memorable moment of your career thus far?
I would like to pick the most memorable period in my career rather than a moment. It was when I worked with Dr. Teresita Bellido in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine from 2008 to 2010. I was greatly enlightened by Teresita, as she introduced me to the amazing world of osteocytes through working with a genetically engineered mouse model that had osteocyte-driven bone remodeling. But it was not only the new academic knowledge and skills that inspired me – Teresita’s extraordinary insight and judgment as a scientist provided me much needed mentorship.
What has been your favorite ASBMR Annual Meeting moment?
The 2009 ASBMR Annual Meeting in Denver was my favorite and most unforgettable one since I received the Young Investigators Award there for my research: "PTH receptor signaling in osteocytes governs periosteal bone formation and intracortical remodeling". I conducted this research under the supervision of Teresita and with the collaboration of Lilian, Nico, Keith and other IU colleagues.
If you knew at the beginning of your career what you know now, what advice would you give to yourself?
Stick to "ABC”
Be Audacious: Open your eyes and mind to new challenges. Paradigm shifts can happen with your work in the field of bone biology!
Be Brave: You need to be brave in order to find a life-long mentor. Once you find one, courageously ask for guidance and advice to enhance your career and life!
Be Connected: You need to network with other scientists and colleagues for intellectual stimulation and encouragement!