Researcher Kim Jaimes mixes science with raising family and passion for running and painting

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Researcher Kim Jaimes mixes science with raising family and passion for running and painting

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It is not often you meet someone who has BS in biology, is training to run a 10K, trilingual, paints pet portraits, sings and does medical editing. But Pelham resident Kim Jaimes does that and more.

Jaimes grew up in Minnesota and later went to the University of Minnesota where she got her degree. Afterward, she spent 25 years in various types of research labs studying nephrology, cardiology, vascular biology, immunology and protein crystallization. The hardest part of all that research, she said, was working with the data, “When you’re working in science, you want to have things that can be reproduced, so you know the numbers mean something. And there are days when you feel tired and you don’t want to work as hard as you should, but you have to do it because, otherwise, what’s the point of being in the lab?”

“I really liked working in science because of the variety and the discovery,” she said. “Sometimes you find out something new that you didn’t know before or when you do an experiment it turns out really well. I also just liked working with all different kinds of people. In the sciences, you’re going to meet people from all over the world.”

When Jaimes moved to Pelham, she put her career on pause to be at home for her kids. However, she hopes that this is only a temporary thing, “My favorite part of staying home is the freedom to do anything that comes up at the drop of a hat, but it’s also boring to be at home sometimes, which is why I want to go back to work.”

Another benefit of being at home is that Jaimes gets to pursue her hobbies. She said she’s “always been an artist on the side just for fun… Since moving here I’ve done some freelance work as a pet portraitist and muralist, painting various images for clients on canvas or on the walls. I did the murals on the walls at the Oui Oui Preschool here in Pelham, as well as painting the sign they have outside.” Her pet portraits started when one of her friend’s dog died and Jaimes thought it would be nice to paint a portrait of the animal and give it to her friend. Somebody else saw it and said “oh I want one,” and others saw paintings in Facebook posts and wanted their own.

Along with researching in labs, Jaimes has also been a clinical study coordinator in internal medicine and cardiology. While at home she’s done, “some medical editing for people who I know from my research career, helping to prepare scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.” 

Jaimes speaks English, German and Spanish. She studied German in high school and college and she is self-taught in Spanish. “My husband’s family is from Columbia, and when I met him, his parents didn’t know one word of English. Also, when we were living in Miami, my Spanish improved a lot because you hear it all over the streets there.”

Editor’s note: This profile is a part of a four-part series on women in science in Pelham, in cooperation with Pelham Reads.