(Professor Hee-Sung Park)
Professor Hee-Sung Park from the Department of Chemistry was named ‘Scientist of May’ sponsored by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea. Professor Park was honored in recognition of his developing a tool to engineer designer proteins via diverse chemical modifications. This approach provides a novel platform for investigating numerous diseases such as cancer and dementia.
His research focuses on the production of synthetic proteins and the generation of diverse protein functions as well as the designing and engineering of new translation machinery for genetic code expansion, and the application of synthetic biology techniques for basic cell biology and applied medical science.
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are constantly taking place during or after protein biosynthesis. PTMs play a vital role in expanding protein functional diversity and, as a result, critically affect numerous biological processes. Abnormal PTMs have been known to trigger various diseases including cancer and dementia. Therefore, this technology enables proteins to reproduce with specific modifications at selected residues and will significantly help establish experimental strategies to investigate fundamental biological mechanisms including the development of targeted cancer therapies.
Professor Park also received 10 million KRW in prize money.
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