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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 alex684@hanyang.ac.kr