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2019-12 07

[Academics][Excellent R&D] A Step Closer to Curing Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is one of the worst fears of the elderly and their families. There are more and more cases of early onset Alzheimer's disease affecting people as young as 27, and the number of patients is increasing at an alarming speed. By 2025, the number of patients will increase to one million, and by 2035, one out of four people will have Alzheimer's disease. Despite the urgent need for a cure, Alzheimer's is one of the diseases that does not have a medication for complete recovery. However, it was with great news that recently, Professor Kim Hee-jin (Department of Medicine) demonstrated the positive possibility of curing Alzheimer's disease using the medicine BAN2401. Professor Kim Hee-jin (Department of Medicine), in her recent medical test using the medicine BAN2401, saw possibilities in curing early Alzheimer's disease patients. Although the cause of Alzheimer's disease has not beem clearly identified, the most probable explanation is brain damage caused by the proteins called Amyloid Beta. The abnormal deposits of Amyloid Beta in the brain destroy the brain cells responsible for memory and cognitive functions. Developed by the pharmaceutical company, Eisai Co., Ltd. and the biotechnology company, Biogen Inc., BAN2401 is an experimental medicine currently under clinical trials to remove these deposits and cure this disease. It works as an antigen, clinging onto Amyloid Beta and removing them from the brain. Kim explained that up until now, the testing of BAN2401 was mainly done on patients who have already progressed far into the disease. The results were disappointing. Patients who had the Amyloid Beta successfully removed still died from Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, they were unable to recover from the cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer's. In the recent test, Kim altered the test subjects. Patients at the initial stage of brain damage--who did not yet have Alzheimer but had a slight accumulation of Amyloid Beta and symptoms of short term memory loss--were tested instead. The test achieved a significant result. The patients who were given BAN2401 showed significant improvement in their cognitive ability. This result means an entirely new possibility of complete recovery and prevention for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, activating full-fledged research on BAN2401. Kim explained that the younger generations are not entirely safe from Alzheimer's disease and emphasized the importance of keeping a healthy lifestyle according to age. “Alzheimer’s disease can even affect young students, so it is extremely important to keep a healthy lifestyle to prevent it,” explained Kim. "Until 40, sleeping at night is crucial to deposit the brain’s waste products (with recommended bedtime being 10pm). Also, watch your weight and muscle mass, and avoid drinking and smoking. After 50 years of age, keep a close eye on blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, and blood sugar. After 65, it is important to stay occupied with favorable work and remain socially active." Kim expressed concern that students nowadays keep to a bad habit of staying up all night and are generally stressed and depressed. “I hope they take better care of themselves, both physically and mentally,” said Kim. “When I was their age, I too felt like I was too old already, becoming excessively concerned about the future and socially withdrawn. Now that I look back, I feel like if I were to be 26 again, I would be able to do anything. Remember, you are still very young. Stay happy, positive, and active.” Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr 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 alex684@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-11 25

[Academics][Excellent R&D] The Institute for Knowledge Services Selected as a Pivotal Laboratory

Each year, the National Research Foundation of Korea selects the ‘pivotal’ university laboratories to support the research of national value. This year, the Institute for Knowledge Services (IKS) of ERICA Campus was given the honor of becoming a pivotal laboratory. They will receive governmental support of 200 million won annually for three years, up to six years. IKS has conducted many notable studies on services of knowledge, and their current research topic, the ‘IC-PBL Education Method for leading consultants of middle and small-sized companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ aims to strengthen one of the primary fields of knowledge services -- business consulting. Specifically, the aim is to design an education method to grow competent consultants, targeting Korea’s middle and small-sized companies in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The head of IKS is Professor Hwang Seung-june (Division of Business Administration, ERICA Campus). Professor Hwang Seung-june (Division of Business Administration, ERICA Campus) and his Institute for Knowledge Services of Hanyang's ERICA Campus was recently selected by the National Research Foundation of Korea as a ‘pivotal' university research laboratory. “One of the weaknesses of Korea is in the service of knowledge,” said Hwang. “A prime example of that weakness shows in the domain of business consultation.” Hwang pointed out that there are critical limitations in Korea’s current education of business administration. Most case studies are based on large foreign companies. Moreover, education is theory-based and outdated. In order to address this problem, Hwang suggested IC-PBL as the most suitable education model. “We are implementing IC-PBL as the main class model.” IC-PBL (Industry-Coupled Problem-Based Learning) is Hanyang’s own experimentative class method which focuses on practical problem-solving exercises using real-life issues. The class will be conducted through five steps: on the first week, a company’s personnel will explain the actual problem the company is currently experiencing. Then, students will first comprehend and analyze the situation, define the problem, name the root cause, provide a solution, and implement the solution. The results will receive feedback from the company’s personnel. His proposal of such a class model is significant, not only because it addresses the problem of current Korean service of knowledge, but also because, as Hwang emphasized, there is a need to grow powerful domestic business consultants and consulting knowledge that could be implemented on Korea’s small and medium-sized companies. Also, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new model of business consultation that handles big data and AI effectively is in demand. In order to achieve this, a practical analysis of on-site cases is necessary. The Institute for Knowledge Services has conducted many notable studies on services of knowledge. With their latest research, they aim to develop powerful Korean business consultants. Hwang said that starting next semester, this education model will be implemented on Management Consulting post graduate school. The fields of industries will vary each class and each semester, including food, automobile, and service companies. Students of each class will experiment with drawing their own solutions using big data or AI analysis, paving their way to becoming a competent business consultant. "Our ultimate goal is to come up with a new, practical Korean business consultant model for small and medium-sized companies, and disseminate that knowledge,” said Hwang. Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-11 18

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Highly Sensitive, Power Efficient H2 and H2S Gas Sensors Adoptable to Mobile Forms

Professor Choa Yong-Ho (Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering) has written a thesis titled, "Facile tilted sputtering process (TSP) for enhanced H2S gas response over selectively loading Pt nanoparticles on SnO2 thin films," which depicts the development of highly sensitive gas sensors that are driven by ultra low power (ULP). Having began the research with the development of gas sensors of various mechanisms through the syntheses of gas inductors in 2010, it was developed through the Fundamental R&D Program for Core Technology of Materials and the NanoMaterial Technology Development Program hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). Around 10 patents were registered, and some portion of the technology was transferred to Gastron. Professor Choa Yong-Ho (Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering) anticipates the development of various gas sensors including hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide sensors to apply to real life. A typical gas sensor has a heater built in in order to increase its sensing capabilities. However, this has resulted in an increase in power consumption that has limited mobile application and the manufacturing of small sized gas sensors. The research team led by Choa developed ultra low power gas sensors driven in room temperature of 25C, which satisfies the rising need of ultra low power, as well as highly sensitive hydrogen (H2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas sensors. While the use of natural gas is increasing day by day, the current state of homes and industrial settings are increasingly prone to gas explosion and pollution. Methods such as the ability to sense gas leakage, the ability to measure and record gas concentration, the recognition of it, and the ability to control and warn of the various pollutants discharged from combustion apparatus are in dire need as of now -- since it is impossible to detect or distinguish the type of gas or the dangers that they entail through only the human sensory organs. H2S gases are generated as a by-product of a petroleum purification process or in the manufacturing processes of glue, leather, and raw fluorescent material. The gas sensor that detects hydrogen sulfide can stop the interior breathing of cells, paralyze central nerves, and show symptoms of asphyxiation, due to its strong toxicity. Therefore, H2S gas requires successive monitoring in order to achieve local industrial development and to create a safe atmosphere. The international world is responding by actively implementing regulations regarding industrial atmosphere control and pollution emissions. The following images (from left) are an integrated wireless smart sensor module, a gas detection graph, and the sensing graph on a mobile display. (Photo courtesy of Choa) In addition, the world is rapidly shifting its focus to hydrogen energy as our interest for low-pollution alternative energy is on the rise, along with the growing concern for environmental pollution and exhaustion of fossil energy. However, hydrogen has drawbacks in itself in that it goes through spontaneous combustion or explosion when combined with oxygen in the air. Until a system is developed, hydrogen fuel can only be widely used when the system promptly detects the leakage of hydrogen and prevents the outflow of it in the first place by devising a safety measure in the production, storage, and usage of hydrogen. Choa’s research team have created a chemical resistance sensor that changes according to gas concentration, as well as a thermochemistry sensor that selectively reacts to target gas to generate heat in the reaction and applies this to the sensing. The thermochemistry sensor has the benefit of minimizing power consumption thanks to its form which signals itself generating voltage. Kim Hyun-soo - soosoupkimmy@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-11 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] RNA Discovery Brings Light to Curing Cancer and Brain Disease

Professor Nam Jin-wu (Department of Life Science) may have discovered a key ingredient to diagnosing and curing brain disease and cancer in his research published on September 13th in Nature Communications. Nam’s research has brought light to a phenomenon regarding messenger Ribonucleic acids (RNA), a type of polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles that transfers information from the genome (genetic material of an organism) into proteins by translation (the process in which ribosomes in the cytoplasm synthesize proteins after the process of transcription of DNA to RNA in the cell's nucleus). Professor Nam Jin-wu (Department of Life Science) shared his data-driven journey for a deeper understanding of human bodily functions. Nam was the first to discover that microRNAs (small non-coding RNA molecules) and UPF1s (regulator of nonsense transcripts 1) interact with each other and conduct “post-transcriptional or translational regulation” within cells, which can bring deeper understanding to the fundamentals of gene manifestation within cells. MicroRNAs contain around 22 nucleotides (basic building blocks of DNA) found in plants, animals and some viruses, that function in RNA silencing, which prevents the expression of a certain gene, and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. UPF1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the UPF1 gene and is known to be an important factor needed to selectively recognize incorrectly generated RNAs within cells and degrade them. The conversion process of DNA to protein (Photo courtesy of www.kurzweilai.net) There are many ways to regulate the process of making protein from DNA genes within cells in the human body. Nam compared this process to switching on lights in a classroom, with the switch being a modulator of protein manifestation, and the actual turning on and off, signifying whether proteins were created. However, cells are much smarter than we think, so instead of a binary state of zero and one that signifies whether proteins were created or not, cells can actually regulate protein in a more precise way as they can have a continuous value between the two numbers. “It is like using a sensor that corrects the light’s brightness according to how bright it is outside, instead of simply turning the classroom light on and off or maintaining a degree of brightness,” said Nam. “In order to do this, genes go through the steps of DNA to messenger RNA to protein.” According to internal and external conditions of cells, the degree of protein manifestation is regulated by “transcriptional regulation,” a transferring process that creates RNA from DNA, and “post-transcriptional or translational regulation,” which regulates the process of creating protein from RNA. Nam said his research started during a lunch with Professor Hwang Jung-wook (Department of Genetics), who was at the time conducting a research on RNA quality control. The two talked about gene manifestation regulation research and questioned why UPF1 dependent decay appeared in messenger RNAs. Nam and Hwang soon created a theory and joined hands to test their theory using various data open to the public for around one year. Most of Nam’s research relied on data-driven science, which uses statistical and computational verification using dozens of terabytes of data. Programs, algorithms and pipelines (a set of data processing elements connected in series) were created to analyze and interpret the data. Then, various experiments and samples were used to develop his research. A total of some four years and six months had passed until Nam published his research. Nam (left on front row) poses with students from the Department of Life Science lab. "Data biology’s biggest attraction is its systematic approach to research," said Nam. With the newly discovered gene control regulation principle, Nam believes that it could be used to diagnose and treat various diseases, and can also be used to develop treatment platforms. Jung Myung-suk kenj3636@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-11 04

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Giving Voice to Those With Developmental Disabilities

Many societies seek to create equal standing for all social groups, which also advances human societies toward democratic order. An important factor in societal evolution is hearing what people have to say, but there are those who are shunned to the outskirts of discussion as their voice is ignored or is transferred to their guardians, who are trusted to speak for those who have difficulties speaking or expressing their mind through gestures. Professor Je Cheol-ung (School of Law) has been fighting for people with developmental disabilities, which includes dementia, mental diseases and disorders, to make society listen to their voices instead of suppressing them in the name of protection. Professor Je Cheol-ung (School of Law) seeks to improve the rights of people with developmental disabilities. “There are those who cannot speak well, but one can see dislike in their expression, which is an expression of refusal,” said Je. “In this way, even if one cannot express themselves through words, they show their intentions in different ways like emotion and feelings. We need to consider whether we are offering a correct service.” Korea has around 400,000 patients with developmental disabilities living in nursing facilities and mental hospitals, which isolates them from society. The lack of caregivers in Korea makes conditions in these facilities unfavorable as one caregiver would have to take care of an average of eight patients. They would often be neglected or even be tied up, literally, and laws do not do much to protect their rights. Elderly struggling from dementia are often swindled into handing over their money or investing in bad businesses. Je’s research on “The Integration of Persons with Impairments for Decision Making Ability into the Communities” has been conducted since 2012, which is funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Je said that the problem behind Korea’s policies for people with developmental disabilities is the low budget, and the public benefits offered are typical and not customized towards individual needs. Je’s team seeks to revise laws so that they can function better to protect the rights of the people with developmental disabilities. The first step in Je’s research is creating a theory on possible revisions. Then, Je’s team visits facilities to interview patients and those involved with their wellbeing and finds out if the theory can actually be implemented. One revision that Je said was a significant result of his research is revisions to the Civil Proceedings Act that allows for people with developmental disabilities to participate in lawsuits instead of being pushed to the sidelines. Je said there are many cases where people with developmental disabilities are excluded from lawsuits that they are involved in, instead replacing them with their legal guardians, or included them in the case without any actual participation. Je led a briefing session on supported decision-making for elderly. (Photo courtesy of Je) What keeps people with developmental disabilities from other social groups is the fact that they are not part of the groups that seek to protect their rights, said Je. These groups are instead led by their legal guardians or lawyers. In order to make their voices heard, Je said that people with developmental disabilities whose conditions are less severe need to take a leading position in these groups and speak for those who are more restricted in expressing themselves. Je believes in de-institutionalization, taking people with developmental disabilities out of facilities and restoring them back in society. Je seeks to move this societal paradigm of substituted decision-making to supported decision-making, which will focus on the autonomous decision by patients instead of relying on the supporting roles of legal guardians. Je (fourth from right) and his team attended a debate on implementing a public trust for people with developmental disabilities. (Photo courtesy of Je) “The definition of a good world is a place where the weak can live comfortably,” said Je. “True democracy is practiced only when the weak speak their minds, and society listens in return.” Jung Myung-suk kenj3636@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-10 23

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Goal to Create a Safe Driving Environment

In an age where humans can rely on machines for assistance in everyday life, an infinite amount of data is interpreted by machines according to our needs. The wonders of technological advancement are developed in light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In the automobile industry, automation has allowed sensors and algorithms to alert and maneuver vehicles under human supervision. Yet, accidents happen, even with the most cutting-edge technology. Professor Park June-young (Department of Transportation and Logistics Engineering, ERICA Campus) emphasizes the issue of safety in his research on enhancing in-vehicle driving assistance information under a connected vehicle environment. Professor Park June-young (Department of Transportation and Logistics Engineering, ERICA Campus) participated in simulation tests himself. According to Park, there are various factors that can lead to driving assistance malfunctions. Sensors can be blocked by physical objects, such as heavy rain, dust, insects, and glare from sun rays reflecting off white vehicles, which could become anomalies for vehicle cameras. Although automobile manufacturers research thoroughly to create driving assisting technology, it is impossible to factor all scenarios, added Park. A solution to this problem is Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), which is a system of information sharing between V to I (vehicle to infrastructure) and V to V (vehicle to vehicle). In-vehicle head-up display (HUD) design scenario samples (Photo courtesy of Park) “Vehicles must be informed of adjacent infrastructures and should share information between V to V, vehicle to vehicle,” said Park. “Only by constantly sharing information about the number of nearby vehicles and their movements, thus acquiring their driving patterns as data, can technology assist in driving, even if the driver cannot see in front of them or their sensors are down.” Park’s research did not only focus on the driving technology of the future, but also on the driving environment of today. His objective was to develop the driving technology of vehicles, but in a safe way. He calls his vision of autonomous driving "autonomous safety-driving." Risk scenario-based HUDs that Park and his team have designed in their research are illustrated above. Depending on risk factors, HUDs display different information in various designs and colors, which were selected most optimally by test subjects. (Photo courtesy of Park) Park was part of a four-man team for a period of around three years, most of which was conducted at the University of Central Florida. Park's research focused on creating a stable environment for driving in dangerous situations, especially during fog, which is a big problem in Florida. Heavy rain and fog in the region make it difficult to see even a few meters ahead. In order to create a solution to this problem, Park oversaw the data acquisition of various driver assistance technologies of automobile companies as well as acquiring subjects to participate in test-driving scenarios. With the data acquired, Park and his fellow researchers developed a head-up display (HUD) based on emotional dimensions and design category factors by factoring in safety factors and user preference. HUDs are any transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints, which in the case of vehicles is usually displayed on the front window. In 2017, the Korean government announced its goal of achieving partial autonomous driving (with manual overdrive during emergency situations) by 2030. Although Park believes this goal is achievable, he thinks it is impossible without an environment that supports autonomous driving. Park has said that not all cars have autonomy. Regular vehicles and vehicles with assistive driving capacities will have to share roads; thus, in order to coexist in such a shared traffic environment, it is necessary to find anomalies within the system “instead of having a false notion that one will control their surroundings by the car sensor’s readings and drive autonomously.” “I wish the idea of traffic safety is widespread among people,” said Park. “The future is important, but since people living in the present are also important, I plan on working hard to make today’s traffic environment safe.” Park (center in the front row) posed with students from the Department of Transportation and Logistics Engineering research lab in Hanyang University’s ERICA Campus. Jung Myung-suk kenj3636@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-10 14

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Technique to Improve Display Technology

In the modern world, people look, read, communicate, and even travel through the few-inch square screen. Thus, developing a better display technique has always been an aspired aim. Professor Kim Jaekyun's (Department of Photonics and Nanoelectronics) recent proposition for a better display technology with a ‘Programmable Non-Contact Assembly-based 5000ppi Micro LED Display’ suggests a new and better technology for the future of displays. Kim Jaekyun (Department of Photonics and Nanoelectronics), in his recent study proposition, suggested a better Micro LED transfer technology for the future of displays. Micro LED is an emerging display technology, consisting of an array of microscopic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) forming the individual color pixels. This particular LED is quickly becoming the “next big thing” for it outperforms, in many ways, the organic light-emitting diode (OLED), which is the current and dominant display technique used in most devices. Most importantly, Micro LED has much better energy efficiency. With the same amount of electricity, Micro LED emits light 1000 times brighter than OLED. This indicates that smaller, lesser, and more distantly arranged Micro LEDs will create the same smooth screen as the previous OLED. However, there is one big problem to solve before commercialization. For Micro LED, the Red-Green-Blue color pixels are manufactured separately, then directly transferred onto the display backplane. However, the current transfer technology, where each pixel is transferred one by one, is highly time-consuming and expensive. The result is an expensive product unfit for commercializing, such as Samsung’s new model of television, the Wall Professional, which costs up to 300 million won. A large Micro LED display in the Garosu-gil Apple store. Although the LEDs are arranged quite distantly in close view, the brighter light of Micro LED creates the illusion of a smooth surface from afar. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim proposed a technique that arranges the color pixels without any direct contact. First, the Micro LEDs dispersed in a solution will be spread on the backplane. As a result of the electric field from the sophisticatedly-designed backplane, the micro LEDs will automatically be arranged into correct position. The micro LED display made by this technique will be much cheaper, allowing a wide commercialization of the micro LED. Kim expects the technique to be implemented on all devices, including smartphones and TVs. He primarily expects its positive impact on the performance of AR glasses, which requires a small but bright display light as Micro LED. “The research will be difficult, but I have conviction that it will work,” said Kim. “When researching, one has to think less of ‘will it work?’ and more of ‘I need to make it work’; because in the end, somebody will. For the next three years, I’ll keep these words in mind and work my hardest to succeed in developing the new Micro LED technology.” Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

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 alex684@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-09 30

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Stratification and Customization: A New Route Towards Curing Rare Intractable Diseases

A few years ago, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social networking services and became a popular event all around the world. People either dumped ice water on their heads or donated 100 dollars to support funds for a rare disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a disease that causes the death of neurons which control voluntary muscles. There is still no cure on ALS, with only minor treatments being available. Here is Professor Kim Seung Hyun (College of Medicine), an individual who has devoted his medical career to finding clues to this incurable disease. Professor Kim Seung Hyun (College of Medicine) has been on the field of neuro-degenerative disorders for more than 25 years. Kim has been working in the field of ALS and other neuro-degenerative disorders since 1993. Kim focuses on the issue of medication as he proposes a new model on the drug development process. “Most clinical trials are based on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach as they do not consider individual differences among people,” said Kim. “Even though people suffer from the same disease, they might be showing different symptoms due to genetic differences. That is why some drugs cannot be commercialized regardless of their medicinal effect on selected specimen.” Kim explained that clinical trials in ALS were headed towards 'one-size-fits-all.' (Photo courtesy of Kim) Kim, who has been conducting research on the unique genetic background of Korean and Asian populations, discovered that Koreans tend to have more Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) gene mutation than people of other ethnicities. Based on these findings, Kim is now working on applying this result to the development of new pharmaceuticals. “My research aims to establish a treatment strategy with a stratified model of Lou Gehrig's Disease,” Kim said. “The next step will be the customization of treatment by prescribing and providing a remedy in accordance with one’s genetic data.” Kim said his objective is to develop a diagnosis platform by utilizing AI technology. “I am endeavoring to build a nomogram that can tell what the patient requires, and I expect the discriminants to become more precise as time goes on.” By citing a 2016 Go match between AlphaGo and Lee Se-dol, Kim continued on. “AlphaGo’s victory attributes to effective processing of data accumulation. AI will lead to an innovative success on providing cures for rare intractable diseases just as AlphaGo read Lee Se-dol’s move and made an irresistible attack.” Kim advised students to be more versatile and challenging. As a renowned medical researcher and top-tier specialist, Kim highlighted the importance of being versatile. “You only deal with the basics at school,” said Kim. “Things have changed and will change even faster. You need to be prepared for globalization and technological advances.” In addition, Kim encouraged students to challenge more. “When I first started as an ALS specialist at Hanyang, I had only one patient for me to work with. However, 25 years of endless effort is what made Hanyang a world-class institution in the field of neurological disorders.” Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun