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Life After COVID-19: Big Questions on Medical and Bio-Engineering
KAIST GSI forum explores big questions in the medical and bio-engineering revolution caused by the COVID-19 in fight against infectious diseases and life quality On September 9, the Global Strategy Institute at KAIST will delve into innovative future strategies for the medical and bio-engineering sectors that have been disrupted by COVID-19. The forum will live stream via YouTube, KTV, and Naver TV from 9:00 am Korean time. The online forum features a speaker lineup of world-renowned scholars who will discuss an array of bio-engineering technologies that will improve our quality of life and even extend our life span. This is the GSI’s third online forum since the first one in April that covered the socio-economic implications of the global pandemic and the second one in June focusing on the education sector. In hosting the third round of the GSI Forum series, KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin stressed the power of science and technology saying, “In this world full of uncertainties, one thing for sure is that only the advancement of science and technology will deliver us from this crisis.” Korean Prime Minister Sye-Kyun Chung will also deliver a speech explaining the government’s response to COVID-19 and vaccine development strategies. The President of the National Academy of Medicine in the US will share ideal policies to back up the bio-engineering and medical sectors and Futurist Thomas Frey from the Davinci Institute will present his distinct perspectives on our future lives after COVID-19. His thought-provoking insights on advancements in the bioengineering sector will examine whether humanity can put an end to infectious diseases and find new ways to lengthen our lives. Two distinguished professors in the field of genetic engineering technology will share their latest breakthroughs. Professor George McDonald Church from Harvard Medical School who developed genome sequencing will deliver a keynote speech on how the advancement of gene editing and genome technology will overcome diseases and contribute to extending human life spans. Professor Kwang-Soo Kim, a KAIST alumnus from Harvard Medical School who recently reported new discoveries for Parkinson’s disease treatment by reprogramming a patient’s own skin cells to replace cells in the brain, will introduce the latest clinical cell treatment technologies based on personalized therapeutics. Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer of Illumina Susan Tousi, a leading genome sequencing solution provider, will describe genome analysis technology and explore the potential for disease prevention. KAIST medical scientist Jeong Ho Lee, who was the first to identify the causes of intractable epilepsies and has identified the genes responsible for several developmental brain disorders. Professor Jin-Hyung Lee from Stanford University and Dr. David B. Resnik from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science will also join the speaker lineup to discuss genetics-based personalized solutions to extend human life spans. The forum will also invite about 50 young scientists and medical researchers from around the world to participate in an online panel session. They will engage in a Q&A session and a discussion with the speakers. (END)
KAIST's Advanced Biomass R&D Center and ToolGen will cooperate
The Advanced Biomass R&D Center (ABC) at KAIST and ToolGen, Inc., a Korean biotechnology company focused on the development of engineered nucleases that can be used as essential tools for editing genetic information in microbial, plant, animal, and human cells, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on August 18, 2014 for technology exchange and research collaboration. ABC is headed by Executive Director Ji-Won Yang, a professor emeritus at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Chief Executive Officer Jong-Moon Kim for ToolGen. The newly signed MOU encourages collaborations in the following areas: - Development of genome editing technology for microalgae modification - Development of microalgae that increases biofuel production through the application of genome editing technology - Creation of education and training programs for researchers - Collaboration in other areas In addition, the two organizations decided to cooperate in the improvement of biofuel yields using ToolGen’s genome editing technology, the commercialization of research outcomes, and the development of eco-friendly biofuels from biomass. Executive Director Yang commented that “improving biofuel production is crucial to accelerate the commercialization of biofuels, and collaborating with ToolGen will help us realize that goal.” He further said that “The importance of this MOU lies in the fact that the global chemical industry including Korea has been making substantial efforts to shift its attention from a fossil fuel-based development to a more bio-based technology.” Jin-Soo Kim, the director of the Genome Editing Research Center at the Institute of Basic Sciences in Korea and the cofounder of ToolGen, added that “ToolGen has successfully commercialized its third generation genetic scissors, which shows a lot of promise for commercialization. Our collaboration with KAIST will serve as the driving force to create new industries and accordingly, new jobs.”
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