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2016 KAIST EEWS Workshop
The Energy, Environment, Water and Sustainability (EEWS) Graduate School of KAIST hosted a workshop entitled “Progress and Perspectives of Energy Science and Technology” on October 20, 2016. The workshop took place at the Fusion Hall of the KAIST Institute on campus. About 400 experts in energy science and engineering participated in the event. Eight globally recognized scientists introduced the latest research trends in nanomaterials, energy theory, catalysts, and photocatalysts and led discussions on the current status and prospects of EEWS. Professors Yi Cui of Stanford University, an expert in nanomaterials, and William A. Goddard of California Institute of Technology presented their research experiments on materials design and recent results on the direction of theory under the topics of energy and environment. Dr. Miquel Salmeron, a former head of the Material Science Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Professor Yuichi Ikuhara of Tokyo University introduced their analysis of catalysts and energy matters at an atomic scale. Professor Sukbok Chang of the Chemistry Department at KAIST, a deputy editor of ACS Catalysis and the head of the Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalizations at the Institute of Basic Science, and Professor Yang-Kook Sun of Energy Engineering at Hanyang University, who is also a deputy editor of ACS Energy Letters, presented their latest research results on new catalytic reaction development and energy storage. The workshop consisted of three sections which addressed the design of energy and environment materials; analysis of energy and catalytic materials; and energy conversion and catalysts. The EEWS Graduate School was established in 2008 with the sponsorship of the Korean government’s World Class University (WCU) project to support science education in Korea. Professor J. Fraser Stoddart, the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was previously worked at the KAIST EEWS Graduate School as a WCU visiting professor for two years, from 2011 to 2013. Professor Ali Coskun, who was a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Professor Stoddart, now teaches and conducts research as a full-time professor at the graduate school. Dean Yousung Jung of the EEWS Graduate School said: “This workshop has provided us with a meaningful opportunity to engage in discussions on energy science and technology with world-class scholars from all around the world. It is also a good venue for our graduate school to share with them what we have been doing in research and education.”
KAIST Researchers Receive the 2016 IEEE William R. Bennett Prize
A research team led by Professors Yung Yi and Song Chong from the Electrical Engineering Department at KAIST has been awarded the 2016 William R. Bennett Prize of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is the most prestigious award in the field of communications network. The IEEE bestows the honor annually and selects winning papers from among those published in the past three years for its quality, originality, scientific citation index, and peer reviews. The IEEE award ceremony will take place on May 24, 2016 at the IEEE International Conference on Communications in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The team members include Dr. Kyoung-Han Lee, a KAIST graduate, who is currently a professor at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in Korea, Dr. Joo-Hyun Lee, a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University in the United States, and In-Jong Rhee, a vice president of the Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics. The same KAIST team previously received the award back in 2013, making them the second recipient ever to win the IEEE William R. Bennett Prize twice. Past winners include Professors Robert Gallager of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sachin Katti of Stanford University, and Ion Stoica of the University of California at Berkeley. The research team received the Bennett award for their work on “Mobile Data Offloading: How Much Can WiFi Deliver?” Their research paper has been cited more than 500 times since its publication in 2013. They proposed an original method to effectively offload the cellular network and maximize the Wi-Fi network usage by analyzing the pattern of individual human mobility in daily life.
Dr. Ryu of KAIST Receives the S-Oil Outstanding Paper Award
Dr. Je-Kyung Ryu of KAIST’s Department of Physics has been awarded the S-Oil Outstanding Paper Award for his doctoral dissertation’s originality and applicability. Professor Tae-Young Yoon of Physics is his doctoral advisor. The award ceremony took place on November 25, 2015 at the Press Center in Seoul. This S-Oil Outstanding Paper Award, jointly sponsored by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) and the Scholastic University Presidential Association, was established to foster young talented scientists in basic science and to advance the field. The award is given every other year for each of the fields of physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, and earth sciences. With the award, Dr. Ryu received a research grant of USD 8,600. He discovered, for the first time in the world, how NSF (N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor), a protein involved in a vesicular transport in cellular activities, disassembles a SNARE (soluble NSF attachment protein receptor) complex, using a unimolecular biophysics method. Unlike the existing studies, he proposed a model in which NSF disassembles SNARE complexes at one step, and as a result, provided evidence of how the SNARE complex influenced the fusion of biological membranes. His research was published in the scientific journal Science issued on March 27, 2015. The title of the paper is “Spring-loaded Unraveling of a Single SNARE Complex by NSF in One Round of ATP Turnover.”
KAIST and Four Science and Technology Universities Host a Start-up Competition
KAIST and four other science and technology universities, such as Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), and Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), hosted a startup competition on November 27, 2015 at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. Approximately 150 participants including students from the five universities, "angel" investors, and entrepreneurs attended the competition. The competition was held to promote startups that are based on research achievements in science and technology and to foster entrepreneurs with great potential. Two hundred and sixty applicants from 81 teams competed this year. Only ten teams made it to the finals. KAIST students presented two business plans: an experience-centered education platform and mobile taxi-pooling service. Students from other universities presented a brain-stimulating simulation software (GIST), handy smart health trainer (GIST), real-time reporting system for luggage (DGIST), a flower delivery system (UNIST), surveillance and alarm system for stock-related events via machinery studies (UNIST), augmented emotion toys using augmented reality (POSTECH), and a nasal spray for fine dust prevention (POSTECH). KAIST also displayed an exhibition of “wearable haptic device for multimedia contents” and “next generation recommendation service platform based on one-on-one matching system with high expandability and improved user experience system.” The winning team received an award from the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea, as well as an opportunity to participate in overseas startup programs over the course of ten days. Joongmyeon Bae, Director of the KAIST Industry and University Cooperation, who organized the contest, said, “The alumni of Stanford University (USA) has annually created over 5.4 million jobs through startup activities. Likewise, we hope that our event will contribute to job creation by fostering innovative entrepreneurs.”
KAIST Undergraduate Students Volunteer in Ethiopia
World Friends (WF), one of the undergraduate student clubs at KAIST, offer students opportunities to volunteer in underdeveloped regions and countries. This year the World Friends team travels to Ethiopia from July 9 to August 17, 2015. The aim of this trip is to help Ethiopian students fill gaps in their knowledge of information technology and encourage KAIST students build leadership skills through volunteer activities. Twenty-eight students will make the trip. KAIST students will visit the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology and the Adama Science and Technology University, as well as some local high and elementary schools in Addis Ababa, where they will run computer classes related to the basics of information technology such as C Language, Java Programming, Photoshop, MS Office, and Windows. The volunteers will offer Adama Science and Technology University students an advanced computer course to prepare them to participate in the ACM-ICPC, an international computer programming competition for university students. KAIST students will also introduce Korean culture to Ethiopian students including K-pop, Korean cuisine and fashion, Korean language lessons, and traditional Korean art. The Dean of Student Affairs and Policy at KAIST, Professor Young-Hee Kim said, “I hope the students from two very different cultures will cherish this opportunity to interact with each other and contribute to narrowing down the regional disparities in the IT field.”
KAIST to Kick-Start the Exchange of Young Researchers with Northern European Universities
KAIST promotes research exchange and cooperation with three universities in Northern Europe. KAIST has signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the mutual exchange of young researchers and cooperation to collaborate with KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Lund University, both based in Sweden on June 2, 2015, and with Aalto University in Finland on June 4, 2015. This LOI was the result of the cooperative projects of Korea-Sweden and Korea-Finland Joint Committees on Science and Technology supervised by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea. As agreed in the LOI, KAIST will conduct joint research projects with the three universities by providing students and researchers with opportunities to visit each other through internship programs and workshops and by sharing information on education and research. Sung-Hyon Mayeng, the Associate Vice President of the International Relations Office at KAIST, said, “It’s an encouraging sign that universities and governments recognize the importance of increasing exchanges among academic and research communities. Expecting more vibrant relationships to be formed between KAIST and the three northern European universities in coming years, I hope that today’s agreement becomes a good basis to spur technological innovations that will not only benefit the regions but also the world.” Established in 1827, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology is the largest and oldest technical university in Sweden, accounting for one-third of the nation’s technical research and engineering education capacity at university level. The university offers education and research programs from natural sciences to all branches of engineering including architecture, industrial management, and urban planning. According to the QS World University Rankings in 2014, KTH Royal Institute of Technology ranked 27th in engineering and 1st in Northern Europe. Lund University, Sweden, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in northern Europe, consistently ranking among the world’s top 100 universities. In particular, its biological sciences and engineering have shown great strength, placing within the top 60 universities by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. The university also receives the largest amount of research funding from the Swedish government. Aalto University in Finland was created as a merger of three leading Finnish universities: the Helsinki University of Technology (established 1849), the Helsinki School of Economics (established 1904), and the University of Art and Design Helsinki (established 1871). The university nurtures the close collaborations across science, business, and arts to foster multi-disciplinary education and research.
KAIST International Food Festival
The KAIST International Students Association (KISA) hosted the 2015 International Food Festival in front of Creative Learning Building, KAIST, on May 22, 2015. This was the 11th International Food Festival for KAIST where international students introduced food from their home countries to strengthen cultural exchanges with Korean students. This year’s festival was the biggest international festival in Daejeon in which around 500 students and staff from KAIST, Chungnam National University (CNU), the University of Science & Technology (UST), and the public participated. KAIST’s President Steve Kang opened the festival with a welcoming speech, followed by congratulatory speeches by CNU President Sang-Chul Jung and UST President Un-Woo Lee. The first section of the event was the food festival where around 40 kinds of food from ten countries including Kenya, Kazakhstan, India, and Turkey were presented. Students from each country offered cooking demonstrations in booths, and participants purchased the food. Cheryl Wanderi, a Kenyan student who recently received a Master’s degree from KAIST’s Department of Bio and Brain Engineering last February said, “I am delighted to introduce Mandazi, a Kenyan donut, to not only Korean students but also other international students.” The second half of the event consisted of cultural performances from different countries. There were eight teams performing including an Indonesian traditional Saman dance team, a Kazakh group that performed on traditional instruments, and an Azerbaijani K-POP dance team. Sung-Hyon Myaeng, the Associate Vice President of KAIST’s International Office, said, “Despite their busy lives, students from three different universities planned this event to get to know each other. I hope international students and Korean students can come together and enjoy the festival.” Edrick Kwek, the President of KISA, said, “This food festival is an event showing the cultural diversity of KAIST in the most splendid way.”
A Key Signal Transduction Pathway Switch in Cardiomyocyte Identified
A KAIST research team has identified the fundamental principle in deciding the fate of cardiomyocyte or heart muscle cells. They have determined that it depends on the degree of stimulus in β-adrenergic receptor signal transduction pathway in the cardiomyocyte to control cells' survival or death. The findings, the team hopes, can be used to treat various heart diseases including heart failure. The research was led by KAIST Department of Bio and Brain Engineering Chair Professor Kwang-Hyun Cho and conducted by Dr. Sung-Young Shin (lead author) and Ph.D. candidates Ho-Sung Lee and Joon-Hyuk Kang. The research was conducted jointly with GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) Department of Biological Sciences Professor Do-Han Kim’s team. The research was supported by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea, and the National Research Foundation of Korea. The paper was published in Nature Communications on December 17, 2014 with the title, “The switching role of β-adrenergic receptor signalling in cell survival or death decision of cardiomyocytes.” The β-adrenergic receptor signal transduction pathway can promote cell survival (mediated by β2 receptors), but also can result in cell death by inducing toxin (mediated by β1 receptors) that leads to various heart diseases including heart failure. Past attempts to identify the fundamental principle in the fate determining process of cardiomyocyte based on β-adrenergic receptor signalling concluded without much success. The β-adrenergic receptor is a type of protein on the cell membrane of cardiomyocyte (heart muscle cell) that when stimulated by neurohormones such as epinephrine or norepinephrine would transduce signals making the cardiomyocyte contract faster and stronger. The research team used large-scale computer simulation analysis and systems biology to identify ERK* and ICER** signal transduction pathways mediated by a feed-forward circuit as a key molecular switch that decides between cell survival and death. Weak β-adrenergic receptor stimulations activate ERK signal transduction pathway, increasing Bcl-2*** protein expression to promote cardiomyocyte survival. On the other hand, strong β-adrenergic receptor stimulations activate ICER signal transduction pathway, reducing Bcl-2 protein expression to promote cardiomyocyte death. Researchers used a systems biology approach to identify the mechanism of B-blocker****, a common drug prescribed for heart failure. When cardiomyocyte is treated with β1 inhibitor, strong stimulation on β-adrenergic receptor increases Bcl-2 expression, improving the chance of cardiomyocyte survival, a cell protection effect. Professor Kwang-Hyun Cho said, “This research used systems biology, an integrated, convergence research of IT (information technology) and BT (biotechnology), to successfully identify the mechanism in deciding the fate of cardiomyocytes based on the β-adrenergic receptor signal transduction pathway for the first time. I am hopeful that this research will enable the control of cardiomyocyte survival and death to treat various heart diseases including heart failure.” Professor Cho’s team was the first to pioneer a new field of systems biology, especially concerning the complex signal transduction network involved in diseases. Their research is focused on modelling, analyzing simulations, and experimentally proving signal pathways. Professor Cho has published 140 articles in international journals including Cell, Science, and Nature. * ERK (Extracellular signal-regulated kinases): Signal transduction molecule involved in cell survival ** ICER (Inducible cAMP early repressor): Signal transduction molecule involved in cell death *** Bcl-2 (B-cell lymphoma 2): Key signal transduction molecule involved in promotion of cell survival **** β-blocker: Drug that acts as β-adrenergic receptor inhibitor known to slow the progression of heart failure, hence used most commonly in medicine. Picture: A schematic diagram for the β-AR signalling network
The MIT Skoltech Initiative Report identifies KAIST as one of the core group of emerging leaders for academic entrepreneurship and innovation
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Skoltech Initiative was established in 2011 to support MIT’s multi-year collaboration in building the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), a private graduate research university in Skolkovo, Russia. Recently, the office of the MIT Skoltech Initiative has published a benchmark report conducted from 2012 to 2014 by Dr. Ruth Graham, an internationally recognized leading consultant for engineering education and research as well as academic technology-driven entrepreneurship, under the guidance of MIT professors and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the MIT Skoltech Initiative. The report identified more than 200 institutions as the world’s most highly-regarded entrepreneurial universities and characterized the approach taken by them to build university-based ecosystems for entrepreneurship and innovation (E&I). Among the top-ranked institutions, the report mentioned an emerging group of leaders (EGLs) that are “located within more challenging environments but establishing strong entrepreneurship and innovation profiles and reputations.” The report named, in particular, five universities, KAIST (Korea), Technion (Israel), Aalto University (Finland), the University of Michigan (US), and the University of Auckland (NZ), as the core group of the EGLs. This benchmarking study was written to highlight key strategies and features associated with well-regarded university E&I transformations within more challenging environments and to address barriers and limits faced by the EGLs, thereby providing a good model to other universities wishing to make similar changes. Through an in-depth case study of a small group of emerging universities, the report concluded that three major components play a critical role in the development of institutional E&I capacity and the growth of ecosystems for E&I: Component 1: Inclusive grassroots community of E&I engagement across university populations and regional community; Component 2: Strength in industry-funded research and licensing of university-owned technology; and Component 3: University E&I agenda reflected in its policies, mission, budget allocations, incentives and curriculum For more details, please visit the link below: http://web.mit.edu/sktech/sktech-program/entrepreneurship-innovation/benchmark.html
Discovery of New Therapeutic Targets for Alzheimer's Disease
A Korean research team headed by Professor Dae-Soo Kim of Biological Sciences at KAIST and Dr. Chang-Jun Lee from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) successfully identified that reactive astrocytes, commonly observed in brains affected by Alzheimer’s disease, produce abnormal amounts of inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in reaction to the enzyme Monoamine oxidase B (Mao-B) and release GABA through the Bestrophin-1 channel to suppress the normal signal transmission of brain nerve cells. By suppressing the GABA production or release from reactive astrocytes, the research team was able to restore the model mice's memory and learning impairment caused by Alzheimer’s disease. This discovery will allow the development of new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s and other related diseases. The research result was published in the June 29, 2014 edition of Nature Medicine (Title: GABA from Reactive Astrocytes Impairs Memory in Mouse Models of Alzheimer’s Disease). For details, please read the article below: Technology News, July 10, 2014 "Discovery of New Drug Targets for Memory Impairment in Alzheimer’s Disease" http://technews.tmcnet.com/news/2014/07/10/7917811.htm
KAIST doctoral student wins prize at 2014 International Military Science and Technology Fair
Min-Kyu Yoo (far left), a doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science Engineering, KAIST, received a silver prize at the 2014 International Military Science and Technology Fair held from May 29 to June 1, 2014 at KINTEX, Ilsan City, Korea. Yoo presented a paper on aluminum composite materials that were reinforced by carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes reinforced aluminum composite materials have strong mechanical properties, and some nations have used them to manufacture battle tanks. Aluminum generates hydrogen in an alkaline solution. Utilizing this property and the galvanic corrosion of carbon nanotubes and aluminums, Yoo developed a hydrogen energy system that is fueled with composite materials of carbon nanotube reinforced aluminum. He produced 5 kW electric power and maintained it 22 days using 10 kg of the composite materials for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell and its auxiliary power system. Yoo’s research will alleviate the difficulty of transporting fuels during wartime and can be applied to the development of an auxiliary power system for next generation aircrafts and battle tanks.
Festival Featuring Asia's Best Science Students to be Held
The first Electronic Olympics, which will host students from five top Asian research-centered universities, will be held in August at KAIST. Students will take part in competitive events and explore cultural diversity. Student representatives of HKUST, NTU, TITECH, Tsinghua University, and KAIST gathered on February 20 to begin planning the tentatively named “ASPIRE E-Olympics.” The key words of this Olympics are "Harmony" and "Competition." The events will be composed of an AI programming contest, SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) picture contest, and the other technology-based contests. Cultural events, where each university’s students can interact, will also be prepared. ASPIRE (Asian Science and Technology Pioneering Institutes of Research and Education) events have been held from 2009. Previously, the ASPIRE forum has been an exchange event for groups of vice presidents and graduate school students from the five schools to exchange achievements in education and research. This year, it has been extended to undergraduates. Yoseop Kim, KAIST’s student body vice president, said that he wants to make a MOU with some of Asia’s best research-centered universities and develop it into something similar to the Davos Forum. His intention is to support the E-Olympics in the hope that ASPIRE will become a top university consortium. From left, HKUST, KAIST, NTU, TITECH, Tsinghua University Logos Student representative group photo of Top Asian Research-Centered Universities Electronic Olympics for students from five top Asian science and engineering universities to be held in August
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