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Research Centers

HOMEResearch Research Centers

Our Department comprises of nine individual research laboratories

  • Glycomics Laboratory, Professor: Do, Su-Il
  • Immune Control Laboratory, Professor: Nam, Seok Hyun
  • Developmental Physiology Laboratory, Professor: Kim, Hye Sun
  • Carcinogenesis and Metastasis Systems Biology Laboratory, Professor: Min, Churl Ki
  • Molecular Biology Laboratory, Professor: Moon, Eunpyo
  • Molecular Medicinal Biology Laboratory, Professor: Lee, Jong-Soo
  • Ecology laboratory, Professor: Park, Sangkyu
  • Innate Immunity and Cell Signaling Laboratory, Professor: Choi, Sangdun
  • Plant Systematics Laboratory, Professor: Choi, Hong-Keun.

Glycomics Laboratory, Professor: Do, Su-Il

Our laboratory focuses on Functional Glycomics on mammalian cells. We investigate the function and structure of glycoprotein and glycol-conjugates at the molecular and cellular level. Specifically, we focus on the interpretation of the functions of glycol protein associated with human innate immune defenses and the mechanisms of glycoprotein in the cranial nerve disorders such as Alzheimer’s and cancer. We do analysis to discover the key glycol-conjugate and acting point of glycoprotein associated with physical illness using a variety of biological and biochemical techniques such as PCR amplification, animal cell culture, HPLC analysis, glycoprotein electrophoresis and western blotting, along with the Molecular Biology techniques for analyzing DNA and RNA. In addition, we conduct in vivo semi-clinical trials using model organisms to verify the acting point of glycoprotein related to physical illness. Moreover, glycol-medical experiments are underway to develop drugs targeting the glycoproteins.

Immune Control Laboratory, Professor: Nam, Seok Hyun

Our research area focuses in vivo immune responses by Bio Reactive Material (BRM) on the mechanism of the regulation of chronic inflammation. Inflammatory response has been identified as the cause of various chronic diseases ranging from cancers to graft rejection, and evaluating the effects of BRM on the inhibition of chronic inflammation. Also finding the working mechanism is very important to develop chronic inflammatory medication and health supplements in the future. Moreover, we explore the infectious disease caused by microorganisms. Additionally, we develop BRM alternative for antibiotics that can suppress and prevent the occurrence of disease by activating cells of the innate immune system instead of killing the microorganism.

Developmental Physiology Laboratory, Professor: Kim, Hye Sun

Our laboratory conducts research on the signal transduction controlling late development of animal cells. Specifically, we deal with the final differentiation (terminal differentiation) muscles and to study intracellular regulating factors, their effects in the course of root canal tissue (myotube) formation from the cultured myoblast cells (myoblast).

Muscle is an assembly of repeating contraction and relaxation subsequently this action consumes a lot of energy. As a result, vigorous cellular respiration leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species and muscle can be easily exposed to oxidative stress. However, muscle tissue has the ability to resist the oxidative stress. We investigate on the specific effects of intracellular signaling mechanisms caused by this oxidative stress.

It is widely known that oxidative stress works as an important factor in the process of Duchenne muscular dystrophy which is fatal genetic disease that occurs in the muscle. In our laboratory, we study about the signal transduction mechanisms via syntrophin which combines with dystrophin – the protein causing Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In recent years, we collaborate with the School of Medicine researchers and conduct research on the genetic variation of clotting factors (coagulation factor VIII and IX) that causes hemophilia, a rare incurable genetic disease. In addition, we do biochemical studies to propose effective diagnostic techniques.

Carcinogenesis and Metastasis Systems Biology Laboratory, Professor: Min, Churl Ki
Our lab focuses in the following four research areas

  1. 1. We explore the channelopathy hypothesis that ion channel genes in the carcinogenic process can act as oncogene. We examine the relationships between TRP channel and T-type Ca2+ionchannelsactivitiesandtheoccurrenceorprogressofcarcinogenicandcellcycle.
    Inaddition,studiesofthecorrelation between in tracellularCa2+influxthroughthese channels and cancerarealsounderway.
  2. 2. We identify the paracrine signaling mediators between cancer cells and stromal cells among the elements that causes the cancer microenvironment in the process of carcinogenesis and metastasis. And for the cancer microenvironment study, we also conduct researches on metastasis mediators such as hormones or cytokines by co-culturing the tumor cells and normal stromal cells three-dimensionally. These mediators may provide important means to control cancer in the future.
  3. 3. We also study the correlation between the occurrence of syndecan – an extracellular matrix material (ECM) and cancer metastasis. We synthesize the xylose derivatives artificially that suppress the initial biosynthesis of the syndecan -1 competitively and to develop the new anticancer drugs with the study on syndecan-dependent cancer progression and metastasis using in vitro and in vivo studies.
  4. 4. In addition, we do researches in the field of reproductive medicine and specifically in “In vitro fertilization”. We are developing nano-scaffolds that helps in vitro differentiation of immature sperm of infertile men and also in vitro methods for sperm differentiation and maturation are under development.

Molecular Biology Laboratory, Professor: Moon, Eunpyo

Our laboratory focuses on the analysis of genome structure and function. We use genomics and bioinformatics tools along with a variety of genome database as well as genome analysis program, mutants and chemical libraries to identify the overall network in the molecular and cellular level.

We have been actively performing the identification and functional analysis of toxin-antitoxin genome in various microorganisms. Moreover, we also identify the key genes of drug metabolism and cell replication in the human using comparative genome analysis.

Molecular Medicinal Biology Laboratory, Professor: Lee, Jong-Soo

Our laboratory focuses research on integrated adjustment of sensing, signaling, checkpoint/ repair process of genome to maintain the stability of the genome along with the epigenetic genomes that are essential for the basic phenomenon of life such as cell division, heredity, development, differentiation, and apoptosis.

Genome stability – for cell survival and the maintenance of species, genome should be stably maintained and passed to the offspring cells. Therefore, all organisms are equipped with a molecular mechanism to preserve the stability of the genome and perform sensing, signaling, checkpoint / repair process of genome.

Diseases associated with Genome instability - Living organisms are exposed to various genome damage factors like replication errors, and DNA damage factors such as radiation, telomere wear, etc. If the genome stability preservation mechanism is damaged, the instability of the genome (DNA cutting and mutation, chromosomal and structural abnormalities, etc.) can be induced, and it may cause cancer, and degenerative diseases. Thus, adequate control of the molecular system that regulates the genome reliability functions can improve the effect of the prevention and treatment of related diseases.

  1. 1. Building molecular networks of genome stability checkpoint and finding acting point: Identifying the important molecules in the genome stability and building organic network among the processes of sensing-signaling-checkpoint/repair.
  2. 2. Identifying the factors and mechanisms for the cause genome instability:
    Failures in maintaining the genome instability can cause disorder in structure/function of chromosomes and accumulation of these DNA mutations leads to diseases such as cancer and aging. We are looking for the factors and targets that are responsible for the diseases.
  3. 3. Candidate drug development and therapeutic strategies for genome instability diseases: We propose new concepts of therapeutic strategies and the mechanism of actions of candidate substances (compounds / plasma) for the genome instability diseases.

Ecology laboratory, Professor: Park, Sangkyu
Our laboratory studies a wide variety of ecological phenomena occurring in the freshwater, marine, estuarine, and terrestrial ecosystems from the view of the energy flow and material circulation.

  1. 1. We have performed limnology of lakes, wetlands, estuaries and paddy fields with the focus on identification of food web system using techniques related with fatty acids, stable isotopes, and molecular biology. Identification of food web system allows us the information about the energy flows in the ecosystems and thus this information is important to understand ecosystem processes such as material circulation, eutrophication, and toxic substances dynamics. For the quantitative identification of food web system, studies on biomarker such as fatty acid analysis using gas chromatography as well as carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis are being conducted.
  2. 2. Currently, we use molecular biological methods such as T-RFLP and develop a community analysis method of phytoplankton and zooplankton in soil and a prey detecting method with the analysis of feces of endangered animal species such as seal, black-faced spoonbill, and otters. Identifying these feeding relationships can be an important tool for the studies of the food webs of the entire ecosystem.
  3. 3. Chemical Ecology is the subject of recent interest in our laboratory. We intend to investigate what ecological condition is necessary for the terrestrial plants producing secondary metabolites to produce these materials. Many plants are induced to synthesize secondary metabolites by the physical environmental factors or by interaction with other organisms. Therefore, studies on this mechanism can reveal when and in what situation medicinal plants can produce active ingredient.

Innate Immunity and Cell Signaling Laboratory, Professor: Choi, Sangdun
The followings are the research activities performed in our laboratory.

  1. 1. TLRs: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are the class of proteins that play a key role in the innate immune system. There are more than ten types of TLRs have been reported in the humans. TLRs activate the NF-κB pathway, which regulates cytokine expression, through several molecules including MyD88. Activation of the NF-kB pathway links innate and adaptive immune response by production of inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines protect our bodies against cancer or pathogens by activating the body's immune system through complex network. We focus on the molecular modeling studies of these TLRs and related proteins to understand the complex signaling mechanisms.
  2. 2. GPCRs: G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute a large protein family of receptors that sense molecules outside the cell (visual, olfactory, gustatory sensory receptor system, even pain, ontogeny, differentiation, learning and memory) and activate the inside signal transduction pathways and ultimately cellular responses. More than 50% of the drugs exist today in the market target these GPCRs. GPCRs are divided into different families based on the functions. Each family carries various signals through their unique pathway.
  3. 3. To study the mechanism of toxicity and development of control method: Molecular biological techniques and gene expression (omics) technologies enable us to analyze the effects of various toxic substances including drugs (treatments for cancer, immune therapies, antibiotics, nano-materials, etc.) and to develop the toxicity assessment technology for the prediction and control with the network analysis using systems biology. These technologies can secure environment-friendly for the public and be used for new drug development.
  4. 4. Systems Biology: Systems biology is to explain biological phenomenon in terms of the overall change on the network with the enormous amount of biological information from the omics technologies such as genomics (Microarray), and proteomics (Yeast two hybrid and 2-D gel electrophoresis). It is a study predicting new mechanism with the visualization of in vivo signaling on a computer simulation. This study can be effective for the development of new drugs by the comprehensive understandings in vivo signal transduction networks.

Plant Systematics Laboratory, Professor: Choi, Hong-Keun.

Our laboratory performs research on the classification of vascular plants, systems, and phenomenon of evolution. To investigate the limits of the species and the propagation path and evolution mechanism of wild vascular plants in our country, materials are being collected through outdoor gathering and ample survey. With the basic investigations on the shape and anatomical features of these collected materials, we conduct analysis on the evolutionary relationships of species with the analysis on genes and genome. In addition, we study systematic geography for Pteridophyta and conduct molecular phylogenetic for flowering plants and endangered plants using molecular taxonomic methods. Species-specific molecular marker research and development are also proceeding. Any students interested in the study of plant phylogeny and evolution can join this lab. If you want to go to graduate school, you are encouraged to take the lectures and laboratory courses for majors such as general biology, plant phylogenetic, genetics, cytology, economic botany and biochemistry, molecular biology, evolution, ecology, biostatistics and probability statistics, etc.


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