The Suh Kyungbae Foundation (Chairman Suh Kyungbae) hosted the 'SUHF Symposium 2023' on Saturday, the 16th, at the Amorepacific headquarters in Yongsan District, Seoul.
Emerging scientists from the Foundation participated in the open academic event under the theme of 'The Future of Life Beyond the Microscope,' outlining their research and discussing it with renowned scientists at home and abroad.
This year's 'SUHF Symposium 2023' was headlined by a keynote speech from Dr. Richard Henderson, Professor at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), at Cambridge University, and co-recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Awarded the Nobel Prize for his contributions in developing cryo-electron microscopy that enables high-resolution imaging of biomolecules, Professor Henderson spoke on the topic of 'A Research Journey from Physics to Biology,' sharing various experiences in his life leading up to groundbreaking discoveries and the development of electron microscopy techniques.
The event continued with a graduate forum featuring five researchers who were selected as emerging scientists by the Suh Kyungbae Foundation in 2018. Suh Kyungbae Foundation fellows for 2018, namely Professors Kim Jin-hong, Park Hyun-woo, Woo Jae-sung, Jung In-kyung, and Joo Young-seok engaged in discussions to share reflections on their ongoing research and future directions. This session featured the students introducing the professors, followed by presentations from the emerging scientists, thereby facilitating a dialogue on science with the next generation.
With five years of continued support from the Suh Kyungbae Foundation, notable achievements have included:
△Professor Kim Jin-hong (Department of Life Sciences, Seoul National University) clarified the joint-protective efficacy associated with selenium metabolism (Nature Communications, 2022) and identified key cytokines for rotator cuff diseases (Science Advances, 2022).
△Professor Park Hyun-woo (Yonsei University, Department of Biochemistry) introduced a new theory, the 'AST (Adherent-to-Suspension Transition) Paradigm,' to prevent cancer formation and metastasis, leading to his inclusion in the National Convergence Research and Development Program (September 2020) and publication in 'Molecular Cancer' (March 2023).
△Professor Woo Jae-sung (Department of Life Sciences, Korea University) elucidated the structure and opening/closing mechanism of proteins that make up the gap junction channel, revealing the structure of the connexin 31.3 protein in 'Science Advances' (2020) and the structure of connexin 43 and 36 in 'Nature Communications' (2023).
△Professor Jung In-kyung (Department of Life Sciences, KAIST) constructed a 3D genome map of human tissues (Nucleic Acids Research, 2021) and identified key factors in various diseases including COVID-19 through patient sample analysis (Science Immunology, 2020), as well as revealing the 3D genome structure of Parkinson's disease and colorectal cancer patients in the renowned international journal 'Science Advances' (2023).
△Professor Joo Young-seok (Graduate School of Medical Science, KAIST) reverse traced the development of human embryos using ‘whole-genome sequencing’ technology (August 2021) and discovered the phenomenon of the jumping gene 'transposon' (a transposable element) in the colon, which was published in 'Nature' (May 2023).
The event also featured a poster presentation session that encouraged Korean life science stdudents and researchers to directly communicate with Professor Richard Henderson, Suh Kyungbae Foundation board members, and other international scholars. Furthermore, research presentations were also given by Professors No Sung-hoon and Jo Wonki, the rising scientists of the Suh Kyungbae Foundation in 2020 (at the Department of Life Sciences at Seoul National University, and the Department of Life Sciences at KAIST, respectively).
Chairman Suh Kyungbae stated, "The Suh Kyungbae Foundation aims to raise questions for a better future based on a sense of altruism that contributes to humanity’s development and seeks answers for those questions," expressing the Foundation’s determination to continue illuminating the mysteries of life and advocating for its dignity.
The Suh Kyungbae Foundation is a public foundation established with a KRW 300 billion donation from Amorepacific Group Chairman Suh Kyungbae in 2016.
With the guiding principle that 'there is limitless sky beyond the visible sky,' the Foundation aims to support emerging life scientists every year to prepare the world for the next generation. Since 2017, the Foundation has selected 26 rising scientists who have proposed large-scale and challenging research projects. Each selected emerging scientist is granted up to KRW 500 million annually for five years to wholeheartedly pioneer unprecedented research in novel areas. As of 2023, the total amount allocated for supporting the research of the promising scientists since the establishment of the Foundation stands at KRW 70.2 billion.