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02/28/2020 Interview > Faculty > 우수연구자

Title

[HY's Excellence] Pioneering precision medicine using the largest cohort of SLE and RA combining clinical and genetic epidemiologic research

Professor Sang-Cheol Bae (Department of Rheumatology)

한양뉴스포털

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Professor Sang-Cheol Bae
a Full Professor (1993~) and Distinguished Professor (2012~) of the Hanyang University; the former Director of the Hanyang University Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (2005-2019); and Director of Hanyang University Institute for Rheumatology Research (2019~), Seoul, Korea. He is known to have an authority in the medical community who won the Wunsch Medical Award in 2018 and the Paiknam Great Scholar Award in 2020 which are the most prestigious awards. He has been acknowledged for his diagnosis and treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus [SLE] and Rheumatoid Arthritis [RA] in addition to other various clinical and translational research. His illustrious career shows excellent leadership as a medical service provider. And he is taking on the roles of a full member of SLICC (Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics) (1998~), a full member of National Academy of Medicine of Korea (2011~), the president of Korean Society of SLE Research (2016~), a full member of APLC (Asia Pacific Lupus Collaboration) (2016~), Vice president of Korean Academy of Medical Sciences (2018~), a full member of Korean Academy of Science and Technology (2018~) and the elected president of 15th International Congress on SLE (2023). Based on clinical and genetic epidemiologic research with his largest SLE and RA cohorts, he is currently preparing to develop new therapeutics and personalized treatment of SLE and RA according to the causes of the disease.

In 2016, Professor Bae produced significant results related to lupus through research that was a joint effort with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) of the U.S. with the involvement of a large number of national and international university hospitals. With Koreans mainly constituting the research subjects, the genetic variant of the immune genes of a total of 17,000 patients in East Asia and those of healthy people were analyzed with high density through Immunochip platform technology, coming up with the result of identifying 10 new genes that cause lupus and specifying functional genetic variants that directly result in causing the disease. Through the research, it was confirmed that many lupus genes become genetically modified to engage in various immune mechanisms due to genetic variants. They also discovered 56 therapeutics that affect the activity of the 10 genes which can be used in the customized treatment of lupus. These drugs have been applied to the “drug repositioning concept” which means an approach to accelerate the drug discovery process through the identification of a novel clinical use for an existing drug approved for a different indication.

The large-scale SLE cohort research of Korea, China, and Japan organized by Professor Bae is still being conducted. “There are still too few research projects that focus on Asians as the subject of study. The current cohort study of Korea, China, and Japan is 13 times larger (about 220,000 people) than the previous study (about 17,000 people), and it is expected to show some notable results by the middle of this year.” He added that there is another joint international research project that he is a part of. “It is still too early to describe the research in detail, but we are planning to go beyond genetics and conduct thorough integrated analyses with epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics and more, hoping to perform precise assessment of patients’ prognosis, drug response, and reasons for worsening conditions.” Professor Bae is currently focusing on ensuring that SLE and RA treatment advances to the level of precise medical treatment. He explained that he is striving to realize a future medical service which can predict and prevent the occurrence of rheumatic diseases, along with targeted treatment of the disease which would be used for patients that show signs of improvement with the correct and proper amounts of medicines.

As a medical person, Professor Bae chose a path that many doctors do not take “the path of a rheumatologist” in Korea about 30 years ago. Since committing to that path, he has pioneered in precision medicine through the cohort research in Korea, which was less common at that time, studying SLE and RA which are notorious for having unclear and various causes, finding out not only their causation but also targeting treatment methods and more. The faithful and diligent mind of one pioneer has shed light on the dark path of rheumatic diseases.

   
2019-present  Director, Hanyang University Institute for Rheumatology Research, Seoul, Korea
2018-present  Editorial Board, Annals of Rheumatic Diseases
2018-present  Vice President, Korean Academy of Medical Sciences
2018-present  Full member, Korean Academy of Science and Technology
2016-present  Full member, APLC (Asia Pacific Lupus Collaboration)
2016-present  President, Korean Society of SLE Research
2012-present   Hanyang University Distinguished Professor, Seoul, Korea
2011-present  Full member, National Academy of Medicine of Korea
2008-2015    Clinical Research Center for Rheumatoid Arthritis by Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea (PI, Director)
2006-2007    Presidential Medical R&D advisory committee member
2005-2019    Director, Hanyang University Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Seoul, Korea
1998-present  Full member, SLICC (Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics)
1997-1998    Ad hoc Committee on Neuropsychiatric SLE nomenclature (co-chair)
1996-1998    Research Fellow and Instructor, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
1993-present  Professor in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea
1996-1998  MPH, School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
1985-1993  PhD (Medicine), Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea
1978-1984  MD, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea
Professor Sang-Cheol Bae acquired his MD in 1984, and subsequently a PhD in 1993, from the Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. From 1996 to 1998, he worked as a rheumatology research fellow and instructor at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. In 1998, he also obtained a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.
Throughout his illustrious career, he has been honoured with numerous academic awards, including the 2008 Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award by the Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology, 2010 Hanmi Proud Doctor Award by the Korean Medical Association, 2011 Korean Rheumatology Academic Award by the Korean College of Rheumatology, 2012 Hanyang University Distinguished Scholar Professor award, 2016 Minister of Health & Welfare Award, 2017 National R&D Excellence Award by Minister of Science and ICT, 2018 Wunsch Medical Award by the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences, and 2019 Paiknam Distinguished Scholar Professor award by Hanyang University.

- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus [SLE] and Rheumatoid Arthritis [RA]
- Clinical Epidemiology (including clinimetrics, clinical trials and innovative treatment development, clinical and pharmaco-economics, and outcomes research)
- Genetic Epidemiology including drug discovery and repurposing
- Precision Medicine
Prof Bae’s research has the overall theme of understanding clinical, environmental & genetic factors associated with SLE and RA and their individual prognosis and drug response prediction for the precision medicine. For this purpose, as one of the most prominent clinician and researchers in Asia in this field, he has established largest Korean SLE & RA cohorts, solved clinically important questions, and identified clinical predictors and dozens of common genetic variants and epidemiologic factors conferring risk of the diseases using the advanced methodology like GWAS, NGS, immunochip, and HLA imputation for multiple ancestral populations. With these studies, he has also discovered novel biologic insights and therapeutic targets which implicate a potential guiding role of human SLE/RA genetics data in drug discovery and repurposing. In addition, he has already started to go beyond genetics and conduct thorough integrated analyses with epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics and more. He has successfully administered and participated in many multinational and multicenter projects as a principal investigator and co-investigator and he is always well aware of the factors needed for a successful research project which he will carry out.

He has published ~700 articles on these topics in national and international peer-reviewed journals including, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature communications, American Journal of Human Genetics, PLoS genetics, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Arthritis and Rheumatology, Human Molecular Genetics, and Rheumatology, to name a few. Selected articles are as follows.
“Trial Investigators. Trial of Anifrolumab in Active Systemic Lupus Erythematosus”, N Engl J Med., 2020 Find more
“Deletion at 2q14.3 is associated with worse response to TNF-α blockers in patients with rheumatoid arthritis”, Arthritis Res Ther, 2019 Find more
“Amino acid signatures of HLA Class-I and II molecules are strongly associated with SLE susceptibility and autoantibody production in Eastern Asians”, PLoS Genet, 2019 Find more
“Biological function integrated prediction of severe radiographic progression in rheumatoid arthritis: a nested case control study”, Arthritis Res Ther, 2017 Find more
“Influence of HLA-DRB1 Susceptibility alleles on the clinical subphenotypes of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Koreans”, Arthritis Rheumatol, 2016 Find more
“Identification of a systemic lupus erythematosus risk locus spanning ATG16L2, FCHSD2, and P2RY2 in Koreans”, Arthritis Rheumatol, 2016 Find more
“High-density genotyping of immune-related loci identifies new SLE risk variants in individuals with Asian ancestry”, Nat Genet, 2016 Find more
“Interactions between amino-acid-defined MHC class II variants and smoking for seropositive rheumatoid arthritis“, Arthritis Rheumatol, 2015 Find more
“High-density genotyping of immune loci in Koreans and Europeans identifies eight new rheumatoid arthritis risk loci”, Ann Rheum Dis., 2015 Find more
“Genetics of rheumatoid arthritis contributes to biology and drug discovery”, Nature, 2014 Find more
“The HLADRβ1 amino acid positions 11-13-26 explain the majority of SLE-MHC associations”, Nat Commun, 2014 Find more
“Smoking, the HLA-DRB1 shared epitope and ACPA fine-specificity in Koreans with rheumatoid arthritis: evidence for more than one pathogenic pathway linking smoking to disease”, Ann Rheum Dis, 2014 Find more
“Variation in the ICAM1-ICAM4-ICAM5 locus is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus susceptibility in multiple ancestries”, Ann Rheum Dis, 2012 Find more
“Smoking increases rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility in individuals carrying the HLA-DRB1 shared epitope, regardless of rheumatoid factor or anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody status”, Arthritis Rheum, 2010 Find more
“Increased Susceptibility to Rheumatoid Arthritis in Koreans Heterozygous for HLA-DRB1*0405 and *0901” Arthritis Rheum, 2004 Find more

 

  Go! Hanyang WIKI : http://wiki.hanyang.ac.kr/Sang-Cheol_Bae

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