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Success in differentiating Functional Vascular Progenitor Cells (VPC)
KAIST’s Professor Han Yong Man successfully differentiated vascular progenitor cells from human embryonic stem cells and reversed differentiated stem cells. The research went beyond the current method of synthesis of embryonic body or mice cell ball culture and used the careful alteration of signal transmission system of the human embryonic stem cells to differentiate the formation of vascular progenitor cells. The team controlled the MEK/ERK and BMP signal transmission system that serves an important role in the self replication of human embryonic stem cells and successfully differentiated 20% of the cells experimented on to vascular progenitor cells. The vascular progenitor cells produced with such a method successfully differentiated into cells forming the endodermis of the blood vessel, vascular smooth muscle cells and hematopoietic cells in an environment outside of the human body and also successfully differentiated into blood vessels in nude mice. In addition, the vascular progenitor cell derived from human embryonic cells successfully formed blood vessels or secreted vascular growth factors and increased the blood flow and the necrosis of blood vessels when injected into an animal with limb ischemic illness. The research was funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 21st Century Frontier Research and Development Institution’s Cell Application Research Department and Professor Ko Kyu Young (KAIST), Professor Choi Chul Hee (KAIST), Professor Jeong Hyung Min (Cha Medical School) and Doctor Jo Lee Sook (Researcher in Korea Bio Engineering Institute) participated in it. The results of the research was published as the cover paper of the September edition of “Blood (IF:10.55)”, the American Blood Journal and has been patented domestically and has finished registration of foreign PCT. The results of the experiment opened the possibility of providing a patient specific cure using stem cells in the field of blood vessel illness.
KAIST developed a plastic film board less sensitive to heat.
The research result was made the cover of magazine, Advanced Materials and is accredited to paving the way to commercialize flexible display screens and solar power cells. Transparent plastic and glass cloths, which have a limited thermal expansion needed for the production of flexible display screens and solar power cells, were developed by Korean researchers. The research, led by KAIST’s Professor Byoung-Soo Bae, was funded by the Engineering Research Center under the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation. The research result was printed as the cover paper of ‘Advanced Materials’ which is the leading magazine in the field of materials science. Professor Bae’s team developed a hybrid material with the same properties as fiber glass. With the material, they created a transparent, plastic film sheet resistant to heat. Transparent plastic film sheets were used by researchers all over the world to develop devices such as flexible displays or solar power cells that can be fit into various living spaces. However, plastic films are heat sensitive and tend to expand as temperature increases, thereby making it difficult to produce displays or solar power cells. The new transparent, plastic film screen shows that heat expansion index (13ppm/oC) similar to that of glass fiber (9ppm/oC) due to the presence of glass fibers; its heat resistance allows to be used for displays and solar power cells over 250oC. Professor Bae’s team succeeded in producing a flexible thin plastic film available for use in LCD or AMOLED screens and thin solar power cells. Professor Bae commented, “Not only the newly developed plastic film has superior qualities, compared to the old models, but also it is cheap to produce, potentially bringing forward the day when flexible displays and solar panels become commonplace. With the cooperation of various industries, research institutes and universities, we will strive to improve the existing design and develop it further.”
2010 International Presidential Forum was held successfully.
On October 11th, the 2010 International Presidential Forum on “The Role of the Research University in an S&T Dominated Era: Expectation & Delivery” was held successfully at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul. The third International Presidential Forum to be held, participants of the 2010 Presidential Forum engaged in an in-depth discussion about the direction that research universities should take in the 21st Century. On its opening, President Nam Pyo Suh delivered a congratulatory message saying, “This forum is a meaningful gathering where research universities will suggest role models and find ways research universities can contribute to the progress of mankind in this century.” Following, Lee Ki Jun, CEO of the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies said, “The common goal of the world’s research universities is to solve the problems mankind is facing together. I believe that the discussion we will hold today at the forum will point to the future direction of research universities.” “To produce next generation engineers meeting global standards, exchange and dual degree programs between universities must be strengthened,” said Lars Pallesen, President of the Technical University of Denmark. “Research universities must support the exchange between students beyond cultural and national borders to adapt to the global market.” Ichiro Okura, Vice President of Tokyo Institute of Technology, presented on the “Asian Science and Technology Pioneering Institutes of Research and Education, ASPIRE.” ASPIRE is a community created by the coalition between science and technology universities in the Far East. Its purpose is to contribute to sustainable global growth by educating high-quality human resources and lead Asia’s technology innovation based on science and technology development. “For research universities to solve today’s global issues, universities must create new ideas by performing fundamental studies and developing innovative technology. The financial resources of universities must be focused with choices based on results,” remarked President Suh. Zaini Ujang, Vice-President of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia stated that “the Malaysian government is planning on converting from a ‘labor-intensive economy’ to an ‘innovative leading economy’ with the goal of joining the advanced countries by 2020. In today’s science and technology era where innovative technology is necessary, research universities have an important role of developing the knowledge environmental system to lead the world economy.” Vice-President Ujang then explained what strategies Malaysian research universities devised in the innovative leading economy era to create research universities that bring creativity and innovation. Tod A. Laursen, President of KUSTAR, said that “KUSTAR has a leading role in bringing science and technology and manpower necessary in converting the oil-centered economy of UAE to a knowledge-based economy. KUSTAR will continuously strengthen international cooperation to become not only the best engineering university in the Arab region but in the world.” At this year’s forum, thirty international presidents and vice presidents from 24 universities in 15 countries including Georgia Tech, Technical University of Denmark, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, University of Queensland, Tokyo University, Nanyang Technological University, University Teknologi Malaysia and Hong Kong Institute of Science and Technology along with forty national figures such as the presidents of Hanyang University and Handong Global University, governmental bureaucrats and representatives from national business and institutions participated.
Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2010-11
Times Higher Education (THE), a weekly British magazine based in London reporting on news and other issues related to higher education, has released the rankings of the world"s best 200 universities on September 16, 2010. KAIST has been placed at 79. Please click the link for detailed rankings. Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2010-11: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2010-2011/top-200.html
News Article: Naro space rocket getting ready for second launch, April 12, 2010
News Article on KIAST published on April 12, 2010 The Korea Herald, 2010-04-12 17:07 Naro space rocket getting ready for second launch By Bae Hyun-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org) The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is checking on the second launch of Naro, Korea’s first space rocket, as all the necessary parts were transferred to the launch center last week. The Science Technology Satellite No. 2 was transferred last Thursday from the KAIST Satellite Technology Research Center in Daejeon to the Naro Space Center in South Jeolla Province, said ministry officials. The solid-fuel second-stage rocket reached the center last Monday and the liquid-fuel first-stage rocket did so on March 23. The latter was manufactured in Russia’s Khrunichev State Space Science and Production Center. The satellite, a small one weighing 100 kilograms, was co-developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, KAIST SaTReC and the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology. It is to revolve around the Earth for two years collecting data on climate change by gauging the hydrogen content in the atmosphere, said officials. “With all the crucial parts ready here in the center, we have officially kicked off our final investigation before setting the details of the second Naro launch,” said a ministry official. Second Vice Minister Kim Joong-hyun last week visited the Naro center to attend the overall inspection on all facilities related to the rocket launch. The date has not yet been set for the second launch but will be fixed within this month, said officials. With the general inspection completed on the facilities, the first-stage rocket and the satellite will be assembled and the combination will be joined by the second-stage rocket in May. The first launching attempt ended in failure in August due to faulty electrical wiring or a mechanical problem in the fairing separation mechanism, according to panels. The two fairings -- used to cover and protect the satellite placed on top of the Naro -- failed to separate timely and thus stopped the satellite from gaining sufficient velocity to reach its planned orbit. Korea has so far spent 502.4 billion won ($428.1 million) on the Naro project since it began in August 2002.
New drug targeting method for microbial pathogens developed using in silico cell
A ripple effect is expected on the new antibacterial discovery using “in silico” cells Featured as a journal cover paper of Molecular BioSystems A research team of Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee at KAIST recently constructed an in silico cell of a microbial pathogen that is resistant to antibiotics and developed a new drug targeting method that could effectively disrupt the pathogen"s growth using the in silico cell. Hyun Uk Kim, a graduate research assistant at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST, conducted this study as a part of his thesis research, and the study was featured as a journal cover paper in the February issue of Molecular BioSystems this year, published by The Royal Society of Chemistry based in Europe. It was relatively easy to treat infectious microbes using antibiotics in the past. However, the overdose of antibiotics has caused pathogens to increase their resistance to various antibiotics, and it has become more difficult to cure infectious diseases these days. A representative microbial pathogen is Acinetobacter baumannaii. Originally isolated from soils and water, this microorganism did not have resistance to antibiotics, and hence it was easy to eradicate them if infected. However, within a decade, this miroorganism has transformed into a dreadful super-bacterium resistant to antibiotics and caused many casualties among the U.S. and French soldiers who were injured from the recent Iraqi war and infected with Acinetobacter baumannaii. Professor Lee’s group constructed an in silico cell of this A. baumannii by computationally collecting, integrating, and analyzing the biological information of the bacterium, scattered over various databases and literatures, in order to study this organism"s genomic features and system-wide metabolic characteristics. Furthermore, they employed this in silico cell for integrative approaches, including several network analysis and analysis of essential reactions and metabolites, to predict drug targets that effectively disrupt the pathogen"s growth. Final drug targets are the ones that selectively kill pathogens without harming human body. Here, essential reactions refer to enzymatic reactions required for normal metabolic functioning in organisms, while essential metabolites indicate chemical compounds required in the metabolism for proper functioning, and their removal brings about the effect of simultaneously disrupting their associated enzymes that interact with them. This study attempted to predict highly reliable drug targets by systematically scanning biological components, including metabolic genes, enzymatic reactions, that constitute an in silico cell in a short period of time. This research achievement is highly regarded as it, for the first time, systematically scanned essential metabolites for the effective drug targets using the concept of systems biology, and paved the way for a new antibacterial discovery. This study is also expected to contribute to elucidating the infectious mechanism caused by pathogens. "Although tons of genomic information is poured in at this moment, application research that efficiently converts this preliminary information into actually useful information is still lagged behind. In this regard, this study is meaningful in that medically useful information is generated from the genomic information of Acinetobacter baumannii," says Professor Lee. "In particular, development of this organism"s in silico cell allows generation of new knowledge regarding essential genes and enzymatic reactions under specific conditions," he added. This study was supported by the Korean Systems Biology Project of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and the patent for the development of in silico cells of microbial pathogens and drug targeting methods has been filed. [Picture 1 Cells in silico] [Picture 2 A process of generating drug targets without harming human body while effectively disrupting the growth of a pathogen, after predicting metabolites from in silico cells]
KAIST Commencement 2010 was held on February 26, 2010.
A total of 2,205 are the newly conferred degree holders: 479 for Ph.D., 988 for Master’s, and 738 for B.S. degrees. Since its foundation in 1971, KAIST has so far produced 38,882 graduates. KAIST held the 2010 graduation ceremony on February 26, 2010 at its newly built place, called “Sports Complex Building.” Approximately 2,500 guests including Minister Byung-Man Ahn, Education, Science and Technology Ministry; Chairman Mun-Sul Jeong, KAIST Board of Trustees; representatives from the KAIST alumni; graduating students; and faculty joined the ceremony to celebrate the commencement. Honorary Doctorates At the ceremony, KAIST has conferred four honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of recipients’ contribution to the advancement of science and technology and development of science and engineering education in Korea and the world. The recipients were Arden L. Bement Jr., Director of US National Science Foundation; Lars Pallesen, President of Technical University of Denmark; Donald C.W. Kim, Chairman of AMKOR A&E, Inc.; and Beang-Ho Kim, Chairman of Seojeon Farm. Graduation Honors: President’s List Dong-Han Kim, majoring in Mathematical Sciences, College of Natural Science, was nominated as President’s List. He received an award for an outstanding academic achievement from the Minister of Education, Science and Technology and gave a gradation speech on behalf of the graduating class. Birthplace of Promising Young Scientists in Korea KAIST has earned a reputation for training the next generation of young scientists in Korea, and its 2010 Commencement has confirmed such fame. Among 479 Ph.D. degree holders, 151 (31%) students are in their 20s. The youngest who has received a doctoral degree is Jin-Ah Lee, graduating from College of Life Science and Bioengineering. Commencing International Students Among international students graduating this year, two students from India received their doctoral degrees in Biological Sciences: Kataru Raghu Prasad and Chaya Mohan. They are a married couple and now both postdoctoral researchers, working at KAIST labs. Wearing academic regalia and standing together to take a picture, the couple said, “We would definitely recommend KAIST to prospective international students because it offers the best education and research facilities comparable to those of any leading universities in the world. With the knowledge and experience acquired from studying at KAIST, we hope to contribute to the development of our country in the future.”
[Event Notice] International Workshop on Computer Science Education and Research
2010 Asia-Africa International Workshop on Computer Science Education and Research The Department of Computer Science at KAIST will host an international workshop on the education and research of computer science in Asia and Africa. The workshop, “2010 Asia-Africa International Workshop on Computer Science Education and Research” will be held on February 17-19, 2010 at a conference room located inside the KAIST Main Building. Deans of computer science departments from 13 different universities in Asia and Africa will attend the workshop. At the workshop, participants will introduce their own education and research programs and discuss ways to have mutual collaborations. This is the first time for representatives from the computer science and engineering departments of leading universities in the newly developing countries—for instance, Thailand, Vietnam, Nigeria, Egypt, and Indonesia—to attend a meeting organized by institutions based in Korea. These countries have a large amount of natural resources and great potential to grow as a front runner in the information technology (IT) sector. Professor Key-Sun Choi, Dean of Computer Science Department at KAIST, hopes that the workshop will be a place where participated universities discuss mutual cooperation and collaboration; exchange their ideas and knowledge of course management and education and research experiences; and share their vision of global leadership to advance the development of computer science and engineering. Dean Choi mentioned that his department has also had consultations with the Korean government regarding a possible exchange program to select 10 or 20 members of faculty and students from universities in the newly developing nations for a doctoral course at KAIST. The exchange program, he said, would attract many of excellent candidates from nations with an emerging market for the IT industry to study at KAIST. The highly trained workforces who finish the KAIST doctoral program will contribute not only to their nations’ IT development but also to Korea’s.
KAIST Secures Top Ranking of Korean Universities
KAIST won the No. 1 position for the second year in a row in the daily JoongAng Ilbo"s university rankings for 2009. Seoul National University took back the No. 2 spot, followed in order by POSTECH, Korea and Yonsei universities. The survey was conducted in the four categories, educational environment/finance, professors" research, general reputation/social advancement and globalization. KAIST scored 293 points out of possible 400 this year, while the second-ranking SNU and third-ranking POSTECH earned 234 and 226 points, respectively. The daily noted that KAIST particularly excelled in the category of educational environment/finance. It observed that donations to KAIST surged almost 100 times for the past three years since 2006 when President Suh took office. In specific rankings of universities by academic disciplines, SNU came in first overall. KAIST topped in the science and engineering field, while Korea University ranked first in liberal arts studies. This year, 88 four-year universities participated in the survey. The daily JoongAng Ilbo started its annual evaluation of Koran universities in 1994 to stimulate productive competition among institutions of higher learning and to provide objective standards for students and their parents to select schools for application. For more information, news.joins.com/article/391/3789391.html
World Research University Heads to Discuss Challenges in Global Financial Turmoil
About 70 leaders of the world"s major research universities will discuss how to better contribute to continued development of human society in global financial turmoil at a symposium organized by KAIST Monday (Sept. 21) at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul. Participants of the 2nd International Presidential Forum on Global Research Universities are from 40 universities in 25 countries, including Stanford University and Georgia Institute of Technology of the United States, Berlin Institute of Technology of Germany, Paris Institute of Technology of France, Technical University of Denmark, National University of Singapore and Tokyo Institute of Technology. They include 20 presidents of Korean universities and two dozens of leaders from industry and the government. Under the main subject of "Challenges to Global Research Universities," the international symposium will proceed in four panel sessions. The subjects of each session and their keynote speakers are: -- "Institutional Management in Times of Financial Crisis" by Kurt Kutzler, President of Berlin Institute of Technology -- "Innovations in Education & Research" by Brian Cantor, Vice Chancellor of University of York -- "Globalization of Institutes of Higher Learning" by Gary Schuster, Provost and Executive Vice President of Georgia Institute of Technology -- "The Roles of Government, University and Industry in Green Technology Development" by KAIST President Nam-Pyo Suh KAIST President Suh said of the purpose of the conference: "The world has witnessed a global financial turmoil of unseen magnitude and many nations are still struggling under the devastating impacts. While universities were no exception in facing economic turmoil, they have realized renewed pressures and expectations from their respective communities to provide answers to the great challenges." "The conference will serve as an opportunity for the representatives of research universities to compare their visions of networking among theier institutions and initiate steps for new relationships. The conference I am sure will have a far-reaching influence on the course our research universities will take to shoulder greater responsibilities for building a better future of the mankind." For more information, visit forum.kaist.ac.kr
Self-Made Businessman Donates $24 Mil. Worth of Property to KAIST
Byeong-Ho Kim, a self-made businessman, has donated land worth 30 billion won ($25 million) to KAIST, the university"s authorities said on Thursday (Aug. 13). The 68-year-old businessman said his aim is to give students from lower-income families a chance at a decent education and, ultimately, make Korea richer and powerful through development of science and technology. He runs the Seojeon Farm in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. Kim visited KAIST on Wednesday (Aug. 12) with his wife and 36-year-old son to finalize details of the donation with KAIST President Nam-Pyo Suh. He signed papers to certify the deed to donate 94,380 square meters of land in a ceremony. "I promised my family I"d invest our money for a good purpose. Now I hope KAIST can educate students who can"t afford to pay tuition fees. I wasn"t able to study further than elementary school due to poverty," Kim said, wishing that his donation could be used in fostering talented students and great scholars from around the world. Kim"s wife, Sam-Yeol Kim, 60, sent an e-mail to KAIST last July 27, on behalf of her husband who suffered a stroke in 2004, to inform the university of her husband"s intent to make the donation. Kim had pledged to his wife and son that some day he would return all his assets to society before his death. He began to look for the right beneficiary five years ago and chose KAIST as he was impressed by reformatory and innovative efforts at the university where its president was donating all his extra earnings to the university. “I believe that KAIST can make my dream come true. It is to have advanced science and technology education turn Korea into a country where everyone can live happily,” said Kim at the ceremony. He recalled his early life, saying, “I left for Seoul when I was 17 years old with just 76 won. I had to save money so much it was scary. Even when the weather was stifling, I refused to buy myself cold soft drinks just to save 1 more won.” Even though he grew up in a difficult environment, Mr. Kim maintained a firm conviction in familial ties and education. Being the oldest of seven children, he had to support his younger siblings’ education, but never complained about his own lack of opportunity. When his father died, he took money that had been left over from funeral expenses and donated it to relatives as scholarships for their children. He believed that such kindness was the best way to make his father’s passing meaningful. In addition, he donated one billion won to a scholarship fund that helps those like him, who never had a chance to study or learn. Mr. Kim’s favorite phrase is, “Earning money takes skill, but to spend it is an art.” This mirrors his philosophy of saving and economizing in order to make as much money as possible, then donating generously to the upbringing of future generations. The decision to donate was also heavily influenced by the support of his wife, and his family. When he first hinted at his intention to donate, his family simply accepted the decision, saying that they were proud of him. Kim had always emphasized that wealth should be given back to society, and as such, his son Se-Yoon Kim donated to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other charity organizations every month, saying that his actions were an obvious duty. KAIST officials said they were emotionally moved to learn that Mr. Kim donated the fortune to a university, which is completely unrelated to him or anyone in his family, simply for the sake of the nation’s future. They said that Kim is a figure that all of Korean society should follow, and that everyone in KAIST will etch his wish into their hearts, and try their hardest to make sure future generations will prosper.
KAIST President Suh Honored with 2009 ASME Medal
KAIST President Nam-Pyo Suh has chosen as the 2009 winner of the ASME Medal presented by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, university authorities said on Thursday (July 2). President Suh received the honor for "seminal contributions to the advancement of engineering through research in tribology, polymer processing, metal processing, design and manufacturing, as well as contributions to engineering education and research infrastructure." The selection of President Suh was unanimously approved by the 13-member Board of Governors of the ASME. Suh became the first scientist of Asian descent in the award"s 89-year-long history. Founded in 1880, the ASME is a non-profit professional organization promoting the art, science and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences. The organization is known for setting codes and standards for mechanical devices. As of 2009, it has 120,000 members worldwide. Only one ASME medal is awarded annually to recognize "eminently distinguished achievement." The award consists of a $17,000 honorarium, a gold medal, certificate and travel supplement for two days. It will be presented to President Suh during the 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, which will be held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, November 13-10, 2009. President Suh is an internationally known educator, engineer and inventor. Born in Korea, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1954 to join his father, who was teaching at Harvard. He earned both his bachelor"s and master"s degrees from MIT before coming to Carnegie Tech for his doctoral education in mechanical engineering. While teaching at MIT, he founded the MIT-Industry Polymer Processing Program in 1973 and the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity. He left these positions in 1984 to serve with the U.S. National Science Foundation as its assistant director for engineering, until 1988. He invented many new materials, products and manufacturing processes, earning more than 60 U. S. patents and founding several companies. He has written seven books and more than 300 scholarly papers. Among dozens of honors throughout his career, President Suh most recently received the 2007 Lifetime Achievement from the Society of Plastics Engineers. The ASME conducts one of the world"s largest technical publishing operations through its ASME Press, holds numerous technical conferences and hundreds of professional development courses each year, and sponsors numerous outreach and educational programs.
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