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2020-07 27 Important News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Customizing Breast Cancer Treatment through Big Data

In 2015, Professor Kong Gu (College of Medicine) was a pioneer in the field of breast cancer research and treatment, laying the foundation for web-based precision by mapping 560 breast cancer whole-genome sequences. Kong is now developing a screening system for breast cancer with multiomics and big data, paving the way for customization and personalized breast cancer treatment. Professor Kong Gu (College of Medicine) developed a target gene screening system for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women, causing death to 1 out of 38 women. The cancer is classified into three subtypes, which are Estrogen Receptor (ER) positive, HER2 positive, and triple-negative. The latter two – which make up fewer than 30 percent of all cases – usually have bad prognoses. Through this research project, Kong sought to find the target gene of malignant tumors through multiomics. Multiomics is a new approach where the data sets of different omic groups, such as the genome, proteome, and transcriptome, are combined during analysis. By unpacking 41 data sets from METABRIC, TCGA, and GEO, Kong made a target gene screening system that allows researchers to customize the treatment of potential patients. “It is a platform to provide the individualized surgical target with data visualization,” explained the professor. Data visualization, survival analysis, and target gene screening are three main points in this research. (Photo courtesy of Kong) Kong, who is one of the first Korean scholars to introduce the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, said it was a challenge for him to conduct this research. “Most of what I have studied as a researcher was on biotechnology(BT),” said Kong. The latest research, however, involved informational technology (IT). He said a lot of help was given to him from Kim Hyung Yong, a Ph.D. candidate who majored in bioinformatics for his master’s degree. Kong tried to learn IT himself, as well as to pass his knowledge of breast cancer on to his doctoral student. “It was an opportunity to remind me that the path of learning is long and winding," recalled Kong. Kong said it was definitely a challenge to encounter informational technology (IT) in his research. Kong advised the members of Hanyang to be engrossed in their path. “Stay focused on your interests with constant effort,” advised the professor. “You will eventually become an expert in the field.” Oh Kyu-jin

2020-07 20 Important News

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Building a System for Urban Ecosystems

When engineers did urban planning in the past, the feasibility and economic efficacy that it would bring were the top priorities. Recently, however, there has been increasing attention given to environmental factors, and the research on urban ecosystems has gained popularity within the field of urban planning. Professor Oh Kyushik (Department of Urban Planning and Engineering) is building up a spatial decision support system to maintain and manage urban ecosystem services. Professor Oh Kyushik (Department of Urban Planning and Engineering) is creating a platform for the maintenance and management of urban ecosystem services. Oh’s project aims to make a platform that assists with the decision-making process of the government. “What I am trying to do is to connect developmental and environmental issues in one framework,” explained Oh. The professor presented four standards in providing ecosystem services: resilience, buffer power, carbon storage capability, and heat stress mitigation capability. Considering these four standards, Oh collected research data provided by the collaborating labs and incorporated them in a readily accessible platform with an easy-to-use interface. Oh collected research data provided by collaborating labs and incorporated them into a readily accessible platform with an easy-to-use interface. Previously, Oh has been in charge of two national-level research and development projects conducted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport. However, this was his first time participating in a project conducted by the Ministry of Environment. "The two ministries have some common ground but see from different points of view,” said Oh. He said he was determined to learn and combine both standards through this project. Oh revealed his will to make his research beneficial by reflecting the views of both the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport and the Ministry of Environment. Oh reminded the members of Hanyang to look with eyes wide open at the past, but more importantly at the future. “I feel the world is changing at a rapid pace, especially after the coronavirus outbreak,” said Oh. The professor said that the field of urban planning is changing in parallel, as it is a discipline that is deeply related to the daily life of the public. Oh advised students to keep a broad vision and to build up extensive knowledge for the future. Oh Kyu-jin

2020-06 01 Important News

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Standing at the Center of Cutting-Edge Technology

Although there have been notable advances in the study of natural science, research related to high pressure has not been active in Korea due to the lack of groundwork technology. Professor Kim Jaeyong (Department of Physics) is opening up the route to high pressure research through the HYU-HPSTAR-CIS High Pressure Research Center, the hub of collaboration between the world-class institutes. Professor Kim Jaeyong (Department of Physics) is paving the way for high pressure research in Korea. The HYU-HPSTAR-CIS High Pressure Research Center was established in 2016 with support from The Ministry of Science and ICT. The research center is in a collaborative relationship with the Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS) of the United States and the Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research (HPSTAR) of China. The three institutes are consistently sharing their research outcomes by holding joint symposiums and reinforcing researcher exchanges. Kim explained the collaboration as “a successful case of acquiring advanced technologies by bringing in world-class institutes,” referring to the research spirit of the center as “Moon Ik-jeom spirit.” Moon is a historical figure who brought cottonseed from China into Korea, allowing the country to produce and distribute cotton to citizens. Just as Moon did in the past, Kim attained three diamond anvil cells, high pressure devices that enable the compression of a small piece of material with extreme pressure, from HPSTAR in 2016. Within a short period, Kim succeeded in producing a unique version of the cell. The center’s main focus is on hydrogen energy storage. The have recently reported successful results in the reversible storage of hydrogen energy. By imposing high pressure in Ti-Zr-Ni Quasicrystals, the research team was able to keep 4.2 wt of hydrogen at room temperature. Kim hopes that the results will contribute to the commercialization of hydrogen-powered cars. Kim hopes to contribute to the commercialization of hydrogen-powered cars with his recent research. Kim has demonstrated his will to help position the HYU-HPSTAR-CIS High Pressure Research Center as the hub of high pressure research. Kim also encouraged more students to participate in the research. “Our university has sufficient human resources, research conditions, and support systems to conduct the research,” said the professor. “I hope the students can feel the sense of thrill that comes from standing at the center of cutting-edge technology.” Oh Kyu-jin

2020-05 03

[Academics][Excellent R&D] How Data Science Connects with Society

Data science is the use of the scientific method to obtain useful information from computer data. As it gives new insights into a vast amount of data, there exists an interdisciplinary approach in social science to compensate for what they might have missed through traditional methods with data science. Professor Cha Jae-hyuk (Division of Computer Science and Engineering) developed a platform that accelerates the convergence of the two disciplines. Professor Cha Jaehyuk (Division of Computer Science and Engineering) established a platform that merges data science with social science. Data science is expected to bring about a new horizon in social science as social issues are becoming more complex. “We are now in a hyper-connected society where small changes bring about significant ripple effects,” explained Cha. Traditional social research methods could easily result in biases as they rely on surveys which only take a small amount of data into consideration. Cha expects computational social science to contribute to the analysis of potential risk factors and to establish sustainable policies for vulnerable, multi-dimensional social issues. Cha is currently working to build a platform that integrates data science into social science. The platform consists of three subgroups that make social models through continuous monitoring and data collection. One deals with societal anxiety through analysis of social networking, whereas another group covers disability rights in relation to social mobility. The third digs deeper into public health issues, especially related to infectious disease control. Cha’s role is the general management of the platform. He added that the research is mainly done in association with seven social scientists and nine data scientists. There are the three subgroups which researchers use to create social models through monitoring and data analysis. (Photo courtesy of the Computational Social Science Center) Cha highlighted the importance of the platform as a channel for conversation. “Interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches open the way into problems that are difficult to address through the methods of traditional disciplines,” said Cha. This platform lets researchers from two disciplines share the outcomes and objectives of the study through visualization. Cha also revealed his plans as a director of the Computational Social Science Center. “I have seen researchers struggling due to academic barriers between the two disciplines,” said the director. Cha expects to foster interdisciplinarians who grasps the essentials of both data science and social science and can bridge the gap between the two fields of study. A breakthrough occurs when we bring down boundaries and encourage disciplines to learn from each other. Cha is opening the way to the resolution of social issues through the convergence of data science and social science. Oh Kyu-jin

2020-04 06

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Into the Unknown through Convergence

For a long time, scientists have wanted to figure out how the elements which constitute the universe were formed. Still, there is not much known about this mechanism. Heavy-ion particle accelerators now provide a clue to the generative processes as they reproduce what the universe has been going through since its creation. Professor Kim Yong-kyun (Department of Nuclear Engineering) contributed to the establishment of a new heavy-ion particle accelerator RAON by building the most powerful and accurate μSR (Muon spin rotation). Professor Kim Yong-Kyun (Department of Nuclear Engineering) is engaging in the domestic heavy-ion particle accelerator project called RAON. RAON is a heavy-ion particle accelerator propelled by the Institute of Basic Science, which is a machine that can be used to find undiscovered elements or reenact the formation process of existing elements. It will be the first heavy-ion particle accelerator that uses both Isotope Separation On-Line and In-flight Fragmentation methods. Because the machine is so complex, researchers are conducting the project in collaboration with many other accelerator research groups including Radiation Instrument and Sensor Engineering Lab (RAISE), a Hanyang University Research Laboratory led by Kim. Kim’s team has been specifically working on μSR. μ (Muon) is an unstable elementary particle similar to the electron which is created by collision between high-energy protons and the atmosphere. Owing to its greater mass, μ accelerates slower than electrons in electromagnetic fields. μ lets scientists probe the properties of novel materials as it penetrates far deeper into the matter than X-rays. μ exist all around the world, but is useless because of its short meantime of 2.2 μs (microseconds). “That is why we use heavy-ion particle accelerators to create μ,” explained Kim. μ helps probe the properties of novel materials as μSR has become a tool of measurement. (Photo Courtesy of Kim) μSR measures the decay and spin information with μ produced by the accelerators, offering new insights into the property of a matter. μSR is a technique based on the implantation of spin-polarized μ in the matter and on the detection of the influence of the atomic, molecular or crystalline surroundings on their spin motion. Kim’s team is now building the most powerful and precise μSR in the world. “Our μSR is expected to further the development of new semiconductors and superconductors as well as shed light on material science,” said Kim. Ten years ago, when the government first launched the project of building the domestic heavy-ion particle accelerator, no one in the field believed that there would be a notable achievement. However, within a decade, RAON is becoming the cutting-edge convergence technology of basic science. Kim attributes its success to Korea’s competitiveness in interdisciplinary education between basic science and practical studies. “STEM education in Korea is top-notch,” said Kim. “The Department of Nuclear Engineering's curriculum contributed to a certain extent.” Kim ascribed its success to the education system that highlights interdisciplinary studies. Kim advised students to find new possibilities and integrate different interests, saying “You should challenge yourself to achieve what you aim for.” With these initiatives in mind, Kim is pioneering his way into science and technology that is yet unknown. Oh Kyu-jin

2020-03 29

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] A Cause of Parkinson’s Disease Recently Discovered

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The cause of PD is still unknown, other than its suggested correlation with genetic and environmental factors. Professor Lee Sang-hun (College of Medicine) has recently come up with a model that supports the hereditary cause of disease. Professor Lee Sang-hun's (College of Medicine) research presents a new clue about the cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). PD is found to be associated with the degeneration of midbrain-type dopamine (mDA) neurons. Lee’s research team found out that the RNA-binding protein Lin28 plays a role in neuronal stem cell development, and that the gene mutation of Lin28 causes the degeneration of mDA neurons. Also, the experiment showed that when the Lin28 mutation was corrected, the symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease disappeared. Lee came up with an in vitro human embryonic stem cell/human induced pluripotent stem cell‐based disease model. The model proposes that the Lin28 R192G mutation leads to developmental defects and modification of Lin28 opens up the possibility of rescuing the patient from the disease. “People normally think that PD is deeply related to one’s age,” said Lee. “This research suggests that it is also highly likely to be a genetic defect. This finding will provide a more accurate diagnosis model.” Lee's team found out that an RNA-binding protein called Lin28 plays a role in the manifestation and treatment of PD. (Photo courtesy of Lee) Researchers spent four years trying to identify the distinct characteristics that two young PD patients shared with each other. The team conducted numerous biological trials to prove their findings. The model was a reward for their ceaseless efforts, taking them a step closer to finally identifying the cause of PD. However, there is still no cure for PD or for many other neurodegenerative diseases. Lee said he intends to develop a practical treatment during his last five years of tenure. “I am now working on projects with bio-venture companies,” explained Lee. “I hope my research enables a more pragmatic approach in overcoming neurodegenerative diseases.” Lee plans to work on pragmatic treatments during his last five years of tenure. Lee asked students to be more ambitious in deciding what they long to achieve. “He who works hard will get the chance to show himself,” advised the professor, leading by example for all young scholars. Oh Kyu-jin

2020-02 25

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Establishing the Basis for Drug Development

Membrane proteins are proteins that function as the gatekeepers of cells, controlling all interactions between cells. Due to its crucial role in cell activity, the protein is often recognized as the factor in many diseases. However, there have been limitations in figuring out the structure of protein due to its vulnerability in modification, without effective amphiphiles that stabilize the protein. Professor Chae Pil Seok (Department of Bionano Engineering, ERICA Campus) recently made progress in facilitating the research on membrane protein by producing a new type of amphiphiles—the TEMs. Professor Chae Pil Seok (Department of Bionano Engineering, ERICA Campus) developed a new type of amphiphiles. Amphiphiles—more commonly, detergents—are necessary tools to isolate membrane proteins from biological membranes for studies. “Amphiphiles with hydrophobic properties were found to have advantages in the stabilization of otherwise vulnerable membrane proteins,” said Chae. For a few decades, a molecule named DDM (dodecylmaltoside) was primarily used in the research as the amphiphiles. Unfortunately, the molecule could not provide the required stability for a large number of protein. Thus, many scholars devoted themselves to inventing the new amphiphilic molecules that could replace DDM. Many scholars, including Chae, are working on to develop new amphiphilic molecules that could replace the conventional amphiphiles. Chae registered success in such a trend, developing 1,3,5-Triazine-Cored Maltoside Amphiphiles, also known as TEMs. Chae’s team, a joint research team from Stanford University, Texas Tech University, Imperial College London, Copenhagen University, and Tsinghua University, introduced variations in the alkyl chain linkage and an amine-functionalized diol linker by designing and synthesizing 1,3,5-triazine-cored dimaltoside amphiphiles derived from cyanuric chloride. “TEMs have significant potential in membrane protein study for their structural diversity and universal stabilization efficacy for several membrane proteins,” said Chae. The professor expects TEMs to play a crucial role in the development of new pharmaceuticals for terminal illnesses. Chae's team will continue their research on membrane protein and amphiphiles. Chae seeks to continue his research on developing a better amphiphile. “I would like to implement a system that can maximize the stability of membrane protein in aqueous solution,” he said. Moreover, Chae is digging deeper into the process of membrane protein modification, especially focusing on post-translational modifications in his current research on native mass spectrometry with Professor Ying Ge of the University of Wisconsin. Chae is building the groundwork for treating incurable diseases through continuous research on figuring out the structure of membrane protein. Oh Kyu-jin

2020-02 16

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Stepping Stone to Overcome Stratospheric Conditions

Aircraft usually fly at the top of the troposphere or the lower end of the stratosphere. Although there is less turbulence and weather constraints in the stratosphere, launching an aircraft into the stratosphere is difficult because there exists no efficient battery that can stand the harsh conditions of the atmosphere as of now. Here to change this dilemma is Professor Kim Han-su (Department of Energy Engineering) who is working on developing a secondary battery that can withstand the harsh conditions of the stratosphere. Professor Kim Han-su (Department of Energy Engineering) is developing a secondary battery that can withstand the harsh conditions of the stratosphere. In order to survive in the stratosphere, the battery must have high-density (meaning it can store more energy in the given mass) as well as be resistant to low temperatures. Kim’s solution was to use the sulfide electrolyte based all-solid-state secondary battery. The fire-retardant characteristics of the battery ensured the battery’s stability. However, there remained a problem that all-solid-state batteries have relatively lower energy density compared to other secondary batteries on the market. Thus, Kim’s team is currently in the progress of attempting to use high-density lithium in the battery development process to create a battery that has high energy density and is temperature resistant. Kim’s research is especially valuable since the batteries can be used in drones, which are expected to substitute satellites in the future. According to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), it takes about 30 million won per kilogram to launch a satellite. Scientists expect the drones in the stratosphere to perform the same but in a cost-efficient way. “Most of what we anticipate from satellites can be embodied by drones,” said Kim. “Even though we cannot replace the satellites’ roles in observing outer space, drones can be an alternative in a practical sense.” Kim's research is expected to support future military and commercial drones. Kim expressed his goals in creating a battery that can be utilized for both military and commercial purposes. The common facts of today are the products of yesterday’s research. The effort of Kim’s team will be a stepping stone to an unprecedented technology. Oh Kyu-jin

2020-01 26

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Bridging the Educational Gap through Welfare

People refer to education as the passport to the future. Nowadays, education is considered a type of welfare—provided from cradle to grave. However, school education cannot help but be emphasized due to its role in society. Here is Professor Song Ji-hoon (Department of Educational Technology) who is leading the research on the execution of welfare in school education. Professor Song Ji-hoon (Department of Educational Technology) is leading an institution that specializes in educational welfare. Song is the incumbent president of the Institute for Educational Research—a Hanyang-affiliated research institute on educational welfare. Educational welfare not only considers the infrastructure of a classroom but also the affective filter of the students. The institute is currently building a masterplan of school education with its point of reference. “We are surveying all authorities related to educational welfare,” said Song. There exists controversy on welfare catching up with one’s political stance. Educational welfare cannot escape from this dispute as well, especially in terms of providing the educational environment. “There are two types of welfare: universal welfare and selective welfare,” explained Song. The institute aims to verify educational policies from a utility point of view. For instance, people show different opinions on complimentary school uniforms. What the institute does is to make a report that evaluates the policy from both points of view. The goal is to avoid both reckless management and stigmatization—which are the double-edged swords of the two standpoints. Song also seeks to afford the emotional equilibrium to students through educational welfare. “Success in education derives from immersion,” defined the professor. “Students should be interested in what they learn and who they learn from.” Song emphasized the need for the right atmosphere, which is a key in narrowing down the educational gap. “The institute aims to pave the way for better conditions where students enjoy their school life.” Song proposes both physical and psychological welfare in bridging the educational gap. Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Song’s efforts are being carried over to a long-range plan where education serves as a way of resolving the social polarization in substance. Oh Kyu-jin Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2020-01 06

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] When Exception Becomes a New Finding

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international, collaborative research program that clinched complete mapping and understanding of human genes. HGP offered clues to the resolution of diseases through genetic modifications. The base editors – which inserts, deletes, modifies, and replaces targeted DNA in a genome with engineered nucleases – are technological embodiments that integrate follow-up studies from HGP. Professor Bae Sangsu (Department of Chemistry), who has pointed out unreported issues in Adenine base editors, shared his insights with us. Professor Bae Sangsu (Department of Chemistry) published his new findings of Adenine base editors in Nature Biotechnology. Base editing technology has undergone technological innovations in the last decade. The CRISPR gene editing is the third-generation base editor following zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) gene editing and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) gene editing. The method allows the cell’s genome to be cut at the desired location by using a simplified version of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 antiviral defense system. The CRISPR gene editing was selected as the 2015 Breakthrough of the Year by Science. The base editing systems are now more influenced by nucleic acid sequences. A nucleic acid sequence is a succession of base-pairs signified by a series of Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, and Thymine, which determines the biological characteristics of a living organism. Cytosine base editors (CBEs) and adenine base editors (ABEs) are the two major base editors that efficiently enable base substitutions. Recently, some researchers have reported their observations of unexpected ABE-induced cytosine conversions in mouse embryos. These conversions were thought to be exceptional cases. However, Bae’s research team found out that ABEs convert cytosine to guanine or thymine in a narrow editing window and a confined TC*N sequence context. These figures present cytosine editing by ABEs. (Photo courtesy of Bae) “What we found is that cytosine conversion in ABE is a systematic consequence in a certain situation,” said Bae. “Our findings are like bugs in smartphone applications.” This research has proven that the ABE cytosine deamination activity is relatively minor compared to the canonical ABE adenine deamination activity, but is an independent one. “It is clear that CRISPR-based base editing technologies have advanced the genome-editing field,” said Bae. The professor is looking forward to making a better tool by overcoming these unexpected results. His research team is working to develop ABE which does not convert Cytosine as an improvement study. At the same time, Bae is also involved in developing a more efficient CBE through his findings. Bae is trying to carry on his research into the advancement of both ABE and CBE base editors. Some say that even a minor error may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement. Bae’s effort to systemize exceptions are set to support the quality of human life by enhancement in base editing technology. Oh Kyu-jin Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-12 02

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Power Electronics: A Way of Providing Cost-Efficient Power Supply

Smart devices have become an integral part of our lives. They operate interactively and autonomously, supporting people’s daily lives. Electricity by far provides the main source of convenience. Professor Kim Rae-young (Division of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering) has worked in the field of power electronics to support efficient energy processing. Professor Kim Rae-young (Division of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering) studies power electronics, which deals with cost-effective control and conversion of electricity. Power electronics is the study that covers the control and conversion of electric energy. “When electricity is generated, they have unregulated voltage and frequency, and, thus, are not suitable to use,” said Kim. “Power electronics deals with converting raw electric power into the regulated energy that is available to people.” Power electronics technologies are expected to serve important roles in future society. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Traditionally, the electric power grid system has been highly dependent on large-scale power plants, such as thermal or nuclear power plants, with high-capacity power transmission and distribution lines to generate and to deliver power energy for the last hundred decades. “Unfortunately, building this kind of traditional power grid system is almost impossible in the future,” said Kim. “Nobody wants to have these kinds of large-scale power plants or high-capacity power transmission and distribution lines near their home.” This is why Kim has paid special attention to microgrid technology. A microgrid is a small-scale power grid that can operate independently or collaboratively with other small power grids. “A microgrid provides a personal, local power supply and storage system with multiple and distributed power sources,” said Kim. He aims to build up the microgrid system through the 'Versatile Lego-block Smart Power Electronics Platform.' A model of a Versatile Lego-block Smart Power Electronics Platform (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim’s platform is connecting energy sources in parallel with the capacity of the microgrid. Kim continued his explanation by citing the example of sunlight generation. “When solar farm collects energy via its panels, voltage and frequency may vary according to weather conditions,” said Kim. “By using the Lego-block platform, a microgrid can offer a homogeneous power supply by making use of other sources of energy simultaneously.” Kim expects his platform to corroborate a more cost-effective way of generating power. Kim wants to expand his research on power electronics in a more practical direction. “I am now working on the 3D space wireless power transmission system,” said Kim. “My goal is to acquire the core technology of cordless charging which shares similarity with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology.” Furthermore, Kim is showing progress in constructing a direct current (DC) electric power transmission system in collaboration with KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation). A DC electric power transmission system is expected to improve the stability and economy of an electric power grid system, which leads to cost-efficiency. Kim is working to further his research in a more practical sense. Some people say that what has now been proven was once only imagined. Kim is contributing to the world with innovation as he seeks to provide more convenient, new, and wonderful experiences achieved through power electronics. Oh Kyu-jin Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-10 06

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] A New Association Between Muscle and Metabolic Syndrome

According to the National Institution of Health (NIH), metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. As metabolic diseases become more prevalent over the past few decades, researchers have been working to figure out the underlying cause. Professor Jun Dae-won (College of Medicine) has made a breakthrough over this field by discovering its association with muscle health. Professor Jun Dae-won (College of Medicine) discovered the link between muscle and metabolic diseases. “As people get older, they tend to lose muscle mass. This increases the risk of falls, which might cause the death of the elderly,” said Jun. “However, most of the researchers did not acknowledge why muscular issues lead to the aggravation of metabolic diseases.” Jun’s team, in collaboration with Professor Kim Ji-young’s team, made progress on finding the links between muscle and metabolic syndrome. What caught Jun's eyes was psoas muscle, which is an internal muscle of the loin. Jun made use of this muscle, as it is widely known to be proportional to the total muscle mass. Jun collected 1000 PET-CT (Positron emission tomography–computed tomography) images on psoas muscle and kept an eye on glucose inside the muscle. Jun found out that Fluorine‐18‐labelled fluoro‐2‐deoxy‐d‐glucose (18F‐FDG) uptake of psoas muscle is a promising surrogate marker for existing and incipient metabolic derangement. Jun's team identified Fluorine‐18‐labelled fluoro‐2‐deoxy‐d‐glucose (18F‐FDG) uptake through PET-CT as it provides a clear picture of psoas muscle. (Photo courtesy of Jun) Jun admitted that he could not eliminate all confounding variables, despite endless efforts to minimize them. "There are limitations in clinical trials, as it is not easy to find action mechanisms through these tests. That is the reason why we went abreast with animal testing and cell experiment,” explained Jun. “There may be some hindrance in interpretation due to differences between human and laboratory animals. But they still provide clues to action mechanisms.” Thus, he stated his plans to work on the revalidation of the research, digging deeper into the degree of association. Jun underlined the need for continued endeavor, as it eventually pays off, in an unexpected way at times. Jun highlighted the importance of being industrious and strong-minded. “My original research intended to find the relation between liver function and metabolic syndrome,” said Jun. “Unfortunately, I could not draw meaningful results.” Jun was on the verge of giving up the research. It was his continuous subgroup analysis that led to eureka. Just as what people say, sometimes coincidence is a plan in disguise. Oh Kyu-jin Photos by Kim Ju-eun