Kim received a B.S. in Molecular Biology from UC San Diego before doing her Ph.D. work in Cell Biology at UC San Francisco, where she used green alga to study cilia construction and structure. After graduating she worked in the synthetic biology field with several different companies, where she particularly focused on developing new chassis for the production of compounds of interest.

She joined L’Oreal in November 2013 as a member of the CRC where she maintains a focus on synthetic biology, and has been working on a diverse set of projects relating to different aspects of cosmetic production and testing.