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New Nanoparticle Drug Combination For Atherosclerosis
Physicochemical cargo-switching nanoparticles (CSNP) designed by KAIST can help significantly reduce cholesterol and macrophage foam cells in arteries, which are the two main triggers for atherosclerotic plaque and inflammation. The CSNP-based combination drug delivery therapy was proved to exert cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative functions of two common medications for treating and preventing atherosclerosis that are cyclodextrin and statin. Professor Ji-Ho Park and Dr. Heegon Kim from KAIST’s Department of Bio and Brain Engineering said their study has shown great potential for future applications with reduced side effects. Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory vascular disease that is characterized by the accumulation of cholesterol and cholesterol-loaded macrophage foam cells in the intima. When this atherosclerotic plaque clogs and narrows the artery walls, they restrict blood flow and cause various cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Heart attacks and strokes are the world’s first and fifth causes of death respectively. Oral statin administration has been used in clinics as a standard care for atherosclerosis, which is prescribed to lower blood cholesterol and inhibit its accumulation within the plaque. Although statins can effectively prevent the progression of plaque growth, they have only shown modest efficacy in eliminating the already-established plaque. Therefore, patients are required to take statin drugs for the rest of their lives and will always carry the risk of plaque ruptures that can trigger a blood clot. To address these issues, Professor Park and Dr. Kim exploited another antiatherogenic agent called cyclodextrin. In their paper published in the Journal of Controlled Release on March 10, Professor Park and Dr. Kim reported that the polymeric formulation of cyclodextrin with a diameter of approximately 10 nanometers(nm) can accumulate within the atherosclerotic plaque 14 times more and effectively reduce the plaque even at lower doses, compared to cyclodextrin in a non-polymer structure. Moreover, although cyclodextrin is known to have a cytotoxic effect on hair cells in the cochlea, which can lead to hearing loss, cyclodextrin polymers developed by Professor Park’s research group exhibited a varying biodistribution profile and did not have this side effect. In the follow-up study reported in ACS Nano on April 28, the researchers exploited both cyclodextrin and statin and form the cyclodextrin-statin self-assembly drug complex, based on previous findings that each drug can exert local anti-atherosclerosis effect within the plaque. The complex formation processes were optimized to obtain homogeneous and stable nanoparticles with a diameter of about 100 nm for systematic injection. The therapeutic synergy of cyclodextrin and statin could reportedly enhance plaque-targeted drug delivery and anti-inflammation. Cyclodextrin led to the regression of cholesterol in the established plaque, and the statins were shown to inhibit the proliferation of macrophage foam cells. The study suggested that combination therapy is required to resolve the complex inflammatory cholesterol-rich microenvironment within the plaque. Professor Park said, “While nanomedicine has been mainly developed for the treatment of cancers, our studies show that nanomedicine can also play a significant role in treating and preventing atherosclerosis, which causes various cardiovascular diseases that are the leading causes of death worldwide.” This work was supported by KAIST and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea. Publications: 1. Heegon Kim, Junhee Han, and Ji-Ho Park. (2020) ‘Cyclodextrin polymer improves atherosclerosis therapy and reduces ototoxicity’ Journal of Controlled Release. Volume 319. Page 77-86. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2019.12.021 2. Kim, H., et al. (2020) ‘Affinity-Driven Design of Cargo-Switching Nanoparticles to Leverage a Cholesterol-Rich Microenvironment for Atherosclerosis Therapy’ ACS Nano. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.9b08216 Profile: Ji-Ho Park, Ph.D. Associate Professor firstname.lastname@example.org http://openwetware.org/wiki/Park_Lab Biomaterials Engineering Laboratory (BEL) Department of Bio and Brain Engineering (BIOENG) Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) https://www.kaist.ac.kr Daejeon 34141, Korea Profile: Heegon Kim, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher email@example.com BEL, BIOENG, KAIST (END)
Professor Junil Choi Receives Stephen O. Rice Prize
< Professor Junil Choi (second from the left) > Professor Junil Choi from the School of Electrical Engineering received the Stephen O. Rice Prize at the Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM) hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in Hawaii on December 10, 2019. The Stephen O. Rice Prize is awarded to only one paper of exceptional merit every year. The IEEE Communications Society evaluates all papers published in the IEEE Transactions on Communications journal within the last three years, and marks each paper by aggregating its scores on originality, the number of citations, impact, and peer evaluation. Professor Choi won the prize for his research on one-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) for multiuser massive multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) antenna systems published in 2016. In his paper, Professor Choi proposed a technology that can drastically reduce the power consumption of the multiuser massive MIMO antenna systems, which are the core technology for 5G and future wireless communication. Professor Choi’s paper has been cited more than 230 times in various academic journals and conference papers since its publication, and multiple follow-up studies are actively ongoing. In 2015, Professor Choi received the IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award, an award equals to the Stephen O. Rice Prize. He was also selected as the winner of the 15th Haedong Young Engineering Researcher Award presented by the Korean Institute of Communications and Information Sciences (KICS) on December 6, 2019 for his outstanding academic achievements, including 34 international journal publications and 26 US patent registrations. (END)
KAIST Alumnus NYU Professor Supports Female AI Researchers
A KAIST alumnus and an associate professor at New York University (NYU), Dr. Kyunghyun Cho donated 3,000 USD to the KAIST Graduate School of AI to support female AI researchers. Professor Cho spoke as a guest lecturer at the 2019 Samsung AI Forum on November 4 and received 3,000 USD as an honorarium. He donated this honorarium to the KAIST Graduate School of AI with a special request to support the school’s female PhD students attending the 2020 International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), where he serves as a program co-chair. Professor Cho received his BS degree from KAIST’s School of Computing in 2009 and is now serving as an associate professor at NYU’s Computer Science Department and Center for Data Science. His research mainly covers machine learning and natural language processing. Professor Cho said that he decided to make this donation because “In Korea and even in the US, women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) lack opportunities and environments that allow them to excel.” Professor Song Chong, the Head of the KAIST Graduate School of AI, responded, “We are so grateful for Professor Kyunghyun Cho’s contribution and we will also use funds from the school in addition to the donation to support our female PhD students who will attend the ICLR.” (END)
AI to Determine When to Intervene with Your Driving
(Professor Uichin Lee (left) and PhD candidate Auk Kim) Can your AI agent judge when to talk to you while you are driving? According to a KAIST research team, their in-vehicle conservation service technology will judge when it is appropriate to contact you to ensure your safety. Professor Uichin Lee from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at KAIST and his research team have developed AI technology that automatically detects safe moments for AI agents to provide conversation services to drivers. Their research focuses on solving the potential problems of distraction created by in-vehicle conversation services. If an AI agent talks to a driver at an inopportune moment, such as while making a turn, a car accident will be more likely to occur. In-vehicle conversation services need to be convenient as well as safe. However, the cognitive burden of multitasking negatively influences the quality of the service. Users tend to be more distracted during certain traffic conditions. To address this long-standing challenge of the in-vehicle conversation services, the team introduced a composite cognitive model that considers both safe driving and auditory-verbal service performance and used a machine-learning model for all collected data. The combination of these individual measures is able to determine the appropriate moments for conversation and most appropriate types of conversational services. For instance, in the case of delivering simple-context information, such as a weather forecast, driver safety alone would be the most appropriate consideration. Meanwhile, when delivering information that requires a driver response, such as a “Yes” or “No,” the combination of driver safety and auditory-verbal performance should be considered. The research team developed a prototype of an in-vehicle conversation service based on a navigation app that can be used in real driving environments. The app was also connected to the vehicle to collect in-vehicle OBD-II/CAN data, such as the steering wheel angle and brake pedal position, and mobility and environmental data such as the distance between successive cars and traffic flow. Using pseudo-conversation services, the research team collected a real-world driving dataset consisting of 1,388 interactions and sensor data from 29 drivers who interacted with AI conversational agents. Machine learning analysis based on the dataset demonstrated that the opportune moments for driver interruption could be correctly inferred with 87% accuracy. The safety enhancement technology developed by the team is expected to minimize driver distractions caused by in-vehicle conversation services. This technology can be directly applied to current in-vehicle systems that provide conversation services. It can also be extended and applied to the real-time detection of driver distraction problems caused by the use of a smartphone while driving. Professor Lee said, “In the near future, cars will proactively deliver various in-vehicle conversation services. This technology will certainly help vehicles interact with their drivers safely as it can fairly accurately determine when to provide conversation services using only basic sensor data generated by cars.” The researchers presented their findings at the ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp’19) in London, UK. This research was supported in part by Hyundai NGV and by the Next-Generation Information Computing Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT. (Figure: Visual description of safe enhancement technology for in-vehicle conversation services)
KAIST-KU Joint Research Center for Smart Healthcare & Transportation
(President Shin shakes hands with KU acting Presidedent Arif Al Hammdi at the KAIST-KU Joint Research Center opening ceremony on April 8.) KAIST opened the KAIST-Khalifa University Joint Research Center with Khalifa University on April 8. The opening ceremony was held at Khalifa University and was attended by President Sung-Chul Shin and Khalifa University Acting President Arif Al Hammadi. The new research center reflects the evolution of the long-established partnership between the two institutions. The two universities have already made very close collaborations in research and education in the fields of nuclear and quantum engineering. The launch of this center expanded their fields of collaboration to smart healthcare and smart transportation, key emerging sectors in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. President Shin signed an MOU with the UAE Minister of State for Advanced Science Sarah Amiri and Khalifa University to expand mutual collaboration in technology development and fostering human capital last year. The center will conduct research and education on autonomous vehicles, infrastructure for autonomous vehicle operation, wireless charging for electric vehicles, and infrastructure for electric autonomous vehicles. As for smart healthcare, the center will focus on healthcare robotics as well as sensors and wearable devices for personal healthcare services. President Shin, who accompanied a research team from the Graduate School of Green Transportation, said, “We are very delighted to enter into this expanded collaboration with KU. This partnership justifies our long-standing collaboration in the areas of emerging technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution while fostering human capital.” KU Acting President Arif Al Hammadi added, “The outcome of these research projects will establish the status of both institutions as champions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, bringing benefits to our communities. We believe the new research center will further consolidate our status as a globally active, research-intensive academic institution, developing international collaborations that benefit the community in general.”
Unravelling Inherent Electrocatalysis to Improve the Performance of Hydrogen Fuel Cells
(Figure 1. Electrode structure for the precise evaluation of the metal nanoparticles’ electrochemical catalytic characteristics at a high temperature.) A KAIST team presented an ideal electrode design to enhance the performance of high-temperature fuel cells. The new analytical platform with advanced nanoscale patterning method quantitatively revealed the electrochemical value of metal nanoparticles dispersed on the oxide electrode, thus leading to electrode design directions that can be used in a variety of eco-friendly energy technologies. The team, working under Professor WooChul Jung and Professor Sang Ouk Kim at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, described an accurate analysis of the reactivity of oxide electrodes boosted by metal nanoparticles, where all particles participate in the reaction. They identified how the metal catalysts activate hydrogen electro-oxidation on the ceria-based electrode surface and quantify how rapidly the reaction rate increases with the proper choice of metals. Metal nanoparticles with diameters of 10 nanometers or less have become a key component in high-performance heterogeneous catalysts, primarily serving as a catalytic activator. Recent experimental and theoretical findings suggest that the optimization of the chemical nature at the metal and support interfaces is essential for performance improvement. However, the high cost associated with cell fabrication and operation as well as poorer stability of metal nanoparticles at high temperatures have been a long-standing challenge. To solve this problem, the team utilized a globally recognized metal nano patterning technology that uses block copolymer self-assembled nano templates and succeeded in uniformly synthesizing metal particles 10 nanometers in size on the surface of oxide fuel cell electrodes. They also developed a technology to accurately analyze the catalyst characteristics of single particles at high temperatures and maximize the performance of a fuel cell with minimal catalyst use. The research team confirmed that platinum, which is a commonly used metal catalyst, could boost fuel cell performance by as much as 21 times even at an amount of 300 nanograms, which only costs about 0.015 KRW. The team quantitatively identified and compared the characteristics of widely used metal catalysts other than platinum, such as palladium, gold, and cobalt, and also elucidated the precise principle of catalyst performance through theoretical analysis. (Figure 2. Comparison of the electrochemical catalytic characteristics for various 10nm metal nanoparticles (platinum, palladium, cobalt, gold) at a high temperature.) Professor Jung said, "We have broken the conventional methods of increasing the amount of catalyst which have deemed inefficient and expensive. Our results suggest a clear idea for high performance fuel cells using very small amounts of nanoparticles. This technology can be applied to many different industrial fields, advancing the commercialization of eco-friendly energy technologies such as fuel cells that generate electricity and electrolytic cells that produce hydrogen from water.” The research has been published as the cover article of Nature Nanotechnology in the March issue. This research was carried out with support from the Nano-Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea.
Team KAT Wins the Autonomous Car Challenge
(Team KAT receiving the Presidential Award) A KAIST team won the 2018 International Autonomous Car Challenge for University Students held in Daegu on November 2. Professor Seung-Hyun Kong from the ChoChunShik Graduate School of Green Transportation and his team participated in this contest with the team named KAT (KAIST Autonomous Technologies). The team received the Presidential Award with a fifty million won cash prize and an opportunity for a field trip abroad. The competition was conducted on actual roads with Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), which incorporate autonomous driving technologies and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication system. In this contest, the autonomous vehicles were given a mission to pick up passengers or parcels. Through the V2X communication, the contest gave current location of the passengers or parcels, their destination, and service profitability according to distance and level of service difficulty. The participating vehicles had to be equipped very accurate and robust navigation system since they had to drive on narrow roads as well as go through tunnels where GPS was not available. Moreover, they had to use camera-based recognition technology that was invulnerable to backlight as the contest was in the late afternoon. The contest scored the mission in the following way: the vehicles get points if they pick up passengers and safely drop them off at their destination; on the other hand, points are deducted when they violate lanes or traffic lights. It will be a major black mark if a participant sitting in the driver’s seat needs to get involved in driving due to a technical issue. Youngbo Shim of KAT said, “We believe that we got major points for technical superiority in autonomous driving and our algorithm for passenger selection.” This contest, hosted by Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, was the first international competition for autonomous driving on actual roads. A total of nine teams participated in the final contest, four domestic teams and five teams allied with overseas universities such as Tsinghua University, Waseda University, and Nanyang Technological University. Professor Kong said, “There is still a long way to go for fully autonomous vehicles that drive flexibly under congested traffic conditions. However, we will continue to our research in order to achieve high-quality autonomous driving technology.” (Team KAT getting ready for the challenge)
Hubo Completes New Mission at the Winter Olympic Torch Relay
KAIST-born humanoid robot, Hubo, completed its special new mission: carrying the Olympic torch. The Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang for two weeks beginning February 9. On December 11, the final leg of the torch relay in Daejeon for the PyeongChang Olympics 2018 took place inside KAIST. A city known for science and technology hosted special torch relay runners over three days. Hubo arrived at the campus with Dr. Dennis Hong, a professor from the University of California at Los Angeles, in an autonomous vehicle. Then, Hubo received the flame from Professor Hong. Hubo, a robot developed by Professor Jun Ho Oh from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST, is best known for being the winner of the DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2015. Hubo successfully completed its Olympic mission. That is, it had to drill through a wall to deliver the torch to the next runner. After completing the mission successfully, the torch was passed to Professor Oh. He ran a few steps and handed it over to the last runner of the Daejeon leg. The last runner was Jung Jae Lee, who is a winning team member of the Samsung Junior Software Cup. Lee also had the honor of riding and controlling FX-2 which is another robot developed by Professor Oh for this peace torch relay. FX-2 took a few steps to finalize the relay. Lee said, “I would like to become an expert in security. As I was riding the robot, I felt every step I took was one step closer to achieving of making major developments in the field of security. Professor Oh said, “It is meaningful to see humans and robots cooperating with each other to carry out the torch relay.” The torch relay, participated in by both humans and robots in Daejeon, was successfully completed and the torch headed off to Boryeong, Chungcheongnam-do.
KAIST's Top 10 Contributions to Korea and the World
Established in 1971, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) started off as a relatively modest graduate school in a few disciplines in science and technology, but has gradually expanded into a full-fledged research university over the years. From the beginning, KAIST was intended to offer an elite science education, setting it apart from other universities in Korea. A majority of its graduates have contributed to the development of, what the world now praises, Korean industry and economy, and have led the Korean scientific community for several decades. The university has also advanced the frontiers of knowledge, conducting the lion’s share of the nation’s private research and development in basic and applied science, leading to innovations and technologies essential to the growth of today’s Korea. As it establishes international benchmarks of success, KAIST has acquired a global reputation for delivering the highest level of science and engineering education, while performing cutting-edge research and serving as a crucial driver to generate new knowledge and innovation beneficial not only to Korea but also to the world. The university has consistently ranked in the top 100 research universities for over more than a decade, according to the world university rankings published by international ranking institutions for higher education, among others, Quacquarelli Symonds and the Times Higher Education. KAIST will mark its 45th anniversary next year. It plans to celebrate the anniversary, and here are some of the reasons why: KAIST’s Win at the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) 2015 Team KAIST, consisted of 29 members (students and researchers) led by Professors Jun-Ho Oh of the Mechanical Engineering Department and In-So Kweon of the Electrical Engineering Department, won the international humanoid robotics competition hosted by the United States (US) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Upon completion of the first and second competitions, the finals were held on June 5-6, 2015, at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. DARPA hosted the event to spur the development of humanoid robots to assist rescue and relief efforts in dangerous environments such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident in 2011. With 24 international teams participating in the finals from the US, Japan, Germany, China, Italy, and Korea, Team KAIST’s humanoid robot, DRC-HUBO, completed all eight tasks in 44 minutes and 28 seconds, six minutes earlier than the runner-up, and almost eleven minutes earlier than the third-place team, walking away with the grand prize of USD 2 million. Hitting a Grand Slam to Win Major International Design Awards Professor Sang-Min Bae of the Industrial Design Department achieved a grand slam in international design awards with his work HEARTea, an interactive tumbler, winning four major design competitions in the world: the iF Design Award, the International Design Excellence Awards, the Red Dot Design Award, and the Good Design Award. Released in 2010, HEARTea swept prizes from the four awards which were held during the period of the year 2010-2011. The tumbler displays the temperature of liquid contained inside in three degrees (cool, warm, and hot) by showing different colored lights on the surface of the tumbler based on the liquid temperature (see picture below). In 2015, Professor Bae and his research team won three awards from the 2015 Red Dot Design Award: the Best of the Best Award and two Red Dot Design Concept Awards. The team received the Best of the Best Award, the most prestigious award among the Red Dot Design awards, for Boxchool, a modular classroom built on shipping containers, which offers underprivileged children better opportunities for learning. With greater mobility, Boxchool can be easily installed in any setting, including remote areas where children do not have access to regular school facilities. Glass Fabric Thermoelectric Generator, the Grand Prize Winner at the Netexplo Forum 2015 Professor Byung-Jin Cho of the Electrical Engineering Department received the grand prize at the Netexplo Forum 2015 held in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on February 4-5, 2015, at the UNESCO House in Paris. Established in 2007, the Netexplo Forum is an annual international conference hosted by the Netexplo Observatory, a non-profit organization sponsored by the French Senate and the French Ministry for the Digital Economy, which studies the impact of digital technology on society and business. Each year, the Netexplo Forum highlights major trends in digital technology and innovation worldwide and lists the top ten most promising technologies that it considers will greatly impact the world. Among the list for this year, Professor Cho’s glass fabric-based thermoelectric (TE) generator received the grand prize. Using a screen-printing technique, Professor Cho printed TE liquid materials onto a glass fabric to generate electricity through the thermoelectric effect, that is, by generating electricity from temperature difference. Since the glass fabric is light and flexible, this technology is expected to have a wide range of applications in wearable computers and devices. Charging on the Go: Online Electric Vehicle System KAIST’s Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) is a system that charges electric vehicles while stationary or driving, thus removing the need to stop for charges. Developed by Professor Dong-Ho Cho of the Electrical Engineering Department and his research team, OLEV receives power wirelessly through a new application called “Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance technology (SMFIR).” Electrical cables buried underneath roads create magnetic fields, and a receiving device installed underneath the electric vehicle collects the fields and converts them into electricity. Time, a US weekly magazine, listed OLEV as one of the 50 Greatest Inventions of the Year 2010 in its November 22nd issue. Since 2012, several OLEV buses have been operating daily to provide citizens with transportation in cities such as Yeosu, Gumi, and Sejong in Korea. In April 2015, Professor Cho signed a memorandum of understanding with the city government of Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia, to provide two OLEV buses for inner-city transportation services. The research team also developed OLEV for a high capacity transit system including trams and high-speed trains, successfully showcasing 60 kHz of power transferred wirelessly to trams and trains in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Pioneer in the Development of Functional Mesoporous Materials and Zeolites On September 25, 2014, Thomson Reuters announced the “2014 Citation Laureates,” a list of candidates considered likely to win the Nobel Prize in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and economics. Distinguished Professor Ryong Ryoo of the Department of Chemistry was named the 2014 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureates in Chemistry in recognition of his significant contribution to the advancement of designing functional mesoporous materials. He is the first Korean scientist to make the list. Professor Ryoo has pioneered the field of functional mesoporous materials and zeolites which are widely used as catalysts and sorbents. In 1999, he developed a nanocasting method, and with the technique, was able to synthesize ordered mesoporous carbon materials, for the first time in the world. Today, ordered mesoporous carbon materials have widespread applications in many areas such as adsorbents, catalysts and supports, gas-storage hosts, and electrode materials. Since 2006, using zeolite frameworks, Professor Ryoo has led the development of new methods to synthesize mesoporous materials whose molecules are designed to have a hierarchical structure of microspores and mesopores. He has published 255 research papers in renowned academic journals including Nature and Science. In December 2011, Science highlighted his research as one of the top ten breakthroughs in the year of 2011 in an article entitled “Directing Zeolite Structures into Hierarchically Nanoporous Architectures.” Professor Ryoo received numerous awards and honors including the World’s Top 100 Chemists over the Past 11 Years (2000-2010) by UNESCO and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry), the Breck Award by International Zeolite Association, and the Ho-Am prize in Science. The Launch of Korea’s First Satellites into Space Founded in 1989, the Satellite Technology Research Center (SaTReC) at KAIST has led the development of a series of Korean-made satellites over the past 26 years. The first satellite, the Korea Institute of Technology Satellite-1 (KITSAT-1), was launched on August 11, 1992, at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. KITSAT-1 was designed in collaboration with a British university, the University of Surrey in Guildford. The success of KITSAT-1 sparked nation-wide interest in the development of space technology and led to the subsequent launches of 18 satellites and three carrier rockets such as KITSAT-2 and 3 (meteorological satellites); KSR-1, 2, and 3 (carrier rockets); KOREASAT-1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 (communication satellites); KOMPSAT-1, 2, 3, and 5 (multipurpose satellites); STSAT-1, 2C, and 3 (scientific satellites); and COMS-1 (navigation satellite). The latest scientific satellite, STSAT-3, and an earth observation satellite, KOMPSAT-3A, were launched in 2013 and 2015, respectively. The STSAT-2C, exclusively developed by SaTReC, was launched in January 2013 and transmitted data on the observation of space environments to the ground station located on KAIST’s campus for 14 months. The STSAT-2C was the first satellite developed solely with Korean technology. On June 30, 2009, the Korean government also established a spaceport in South Jeolla’s Goheung County, the Naro Space Center to launch satellites and spacecraft. KAIST: Major Feeder for Startups in Korea As seen in its core values of promoting creativity and a challenging spirit, KAIST has always encouraged startups and technology transfers led by university members including students and faculty. In the past four years from 2011 to 2014, students and faculty members have created 104 startups based on technology innovation and research outcomes, with an average of 26 new companies started per year. This is the highest number of university-led startups in Korea. As of 2013, KAIST graduates founded a total of 1,245 companies, generating approximately USD 1.5 billion sales and creating 34,000 jobs. KAIST has provided a variety of programs and facilities to build a startup-friendly campus culture and support student- and faculty-led entrepreneurship, for example, the End-Run Policy, Startup KAIST Studio, the Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship, and the Startup Incubation Center. In particular, KAIST Idea Factory, a startup laboratory established last year, where students play around with ideas by conducting new experiments or building test products, created 3-D printers this year, producing 20 prototypes and filing four pending patents. Recently, KAIST has registered four proprietary standard patents with MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group)-LA’s HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) Patent Portfolio License, which provides access to essential patent rights for the HEVC digital video coding standard. KAIST expects to acquire more than 50 proprietary standard patents within two years, generating close to UDS 1 million in income. The Number of KAIST Doctoral Graduates Reaches Over 10,000 Since the establishment of KAIST forty-four years ago, more than ten thousand alumni have received their doctorates. The university’s 2015 Commencement ceremony took place on February 13, 2015, at the Sports Complex on campus, awarding Dr. Sun-Mi Cho of the Department of Biological Sciences the 10,000th doctoral degree. She also received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from KAIST. In 1978, KAIST had only two doctoral graduates, but since 1987, there have been more than one hundred graduates each year, two hundred since 1994, and four hundred since 2000. In 2015 alone, 522 doctoral students graduated. One of the first doctoral graduates, Dr. Dong-Yol Yang (Class of 1978 in the Mechanical Engineering Department) became a professor in the same department of KAIST. In the early 1970s, many Koreans preferred to go abroad for Ph.D. degrees, but this changed when KAIST began to select candidates for master’s degrees in 1973, and doctoral degrees in 1975. Talented Korean students began to work in KAIST laboratories, and its graduates were known for their knowledge and skills. Now, KAIST receives many applications from talented foreign students as well. At the 2015 Commencement, KAIST conferred 522 Doctoral, 1,241 Master’s, and 915 Bachelor of Science degrees. Since its inception in 1971, KAIST has granted 10,403 doctoral degrees, 26,402 master’s degrees, and 51,412 bachelor’s degrees. Fostering a New Learning Model: The Education 3.0 Program KAIST undertook a bold initiative to improve its education system that would address more effectively the needs of today’s higher education to foster talents with creative and critical thinking skills. It introduced a new pedagogical model, the Education 3.0 program, to the campus in the spring of 2012, which was then an extremely rare movement taken by universities around the world. The Education 3.0 program incorporates flipped learning and smart classrooms. This means there are no formal lectures while in-class time is devoted to problem solving, exercises, projects, or discussions. The program provided students with greater opportunity to control their learning and interact more with professors and peers. Originally started with three general courses in physics, chemistry, and biology, the Education 3.0 is now offered in 50-60 courses per semester. In 2013 alone, approximately 2,000 KAIST students took the Education 3.0 courses. The university has also developed and implemented an e-Learning system to provide online courses, as well as participated in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Partnering with Coursera since 2013, KAIST has offered three MOOCs in engineering and business management to the global community. Leading the efforts to create Korean MOOCs (K-MOOCs), KAIST agreed with other Korean universities in October 2015 to create online courses in basic subjects of physics, chemistry, mathematics, life science, mechanical engineering, and material science. K-MOOCs will be available in the summer of 2016. Holistic Admissions for Undergraduates Korean universities traditionally put an emphasis on students’ empirical data such as a GPA or the national College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) when reviewing applicants for the undergraduate admission. This practice, however, has posed serious challenges, most notably with CSAT’s requirement that the test takes place only once a year. It was simply impossible and unfair to assess students’ capability from the scores of a high-pressure, high-stakes standardized test. In 2009, KAIST changed its undergraduate admission process to consider the whole applicant’s profile, not just looking for students with good grades, but interesting and promising students who would contribute to the campus community in different and diverse ways. KAIST’s admissions officers have taken into account applicants’ interests, passions, special talents, and personality through their personal essays, recommendation letters, extracurricular activities, and intensive interviews. Prior to KAIST’s new policy, no other university in the nation had ever incorporated such a holistic approach to review student applications. Today, most Korean universities have adopted this admission policy. In addition, for the first time in Korea, KAIST offered all freshmen the option to defer the decision on majors, thereby allowing them to explore their interests more freely. Even after declaring majors as sophomores and higher classes, KAIST students can easily change their majors, and undergraduate students can actually create and lead their own research projects. As such, KAIST has continued to offer innovations to provide students with a quality education to foster their potential.
Professor Shim Featured with His Drone System in IEEE Spectrum
The IEEE Spectrum, a technology and science magazine published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), featured an article of KAIST’s autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) entitled “South Korea Prepares for Drone vs. Drone Combat,” posted on April 1, 2015. The article introduces the anti-drone defense system being developed by Professor “David” Hyunchul Shim of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at KAIST. With the goal of developing guard drones that can detect and capture unknown UAVs, the anti-drone defense system consists of reconnaissance drones, agile multi-rotor UAVs equipped with nets which are dropped to snare enemy drones, and transport UAVs to carry smaller drones. Professor Shim currently leads KAIST’s Unmanned System Research Group (USRG, http://unmanned.kaist.ac.kr/) and Center of Field Robotics for Innovation, Exploration, aNd Defense (C-FRIEND). For the article, please go to http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/aerial-robots/south-korea-drone-vs-drone.
Press Release on Piezoelectric Nanogenerators of ZnO with Aluminium Nitride Stacked Layers by the American Institute of Physics
The American Institute of Physics (AIP) released a news article entitled “Zinc Oxide Materials Tapped for Tiny Energy Harvesting Devices” on January 13, 2015. The article described the research led by Professor Giwan Yoon of the Electrical Engineering Department at KAIST. It was published in the January 12, 2015 issue of Applied Physics Letters. AIP publishes the journal. For the news release, please visit the link below: The American Institute of Physics, January 13, 2015 “Zinc Oxide Materials Tapped for Tiny Energy Harvesting Devices” New research helps pave the way toward highly energy-efficient zinc oxide-based micro energy harvesting devices with applications in portable communications, healthcare and environmental monitoring, and more http://www.aip.org/publishing/journal-highlights/zinc-oxide-materials-tapped-tiny-energy-harvesting-devices
Nanoparticle Cluster Manufacturing Technique Using DNA Binding Protein Developed
Professor Hak-Sung Kim of the Department of Biological Sciences at KAIST and Yiseul Ryu, a doctoral candidate, used the Zinc Finger protein that specifically binds to target DNA sequence to develop a new manufacturing technique for size-controllable magnetic Nanoparticle Clusters (NPCs). Their research results were published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition online on 25 November 2014. NPCs are structures consisting of magnetic nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, and quantum dots, each of which are smaller than 100 nm (10-9m). NPCs have a distinctive property of collectivity not seen in single nanoparticles. Specifically NPCS differ in physical and optical properties such as Plasmon coupling absorbance, energy transfers between particles, electron transfers, and conductivity. Therefore, NPCs can be employed in biological and medical research as well as the development of nanoelectric and nanoplasmon devices. To make use of these novel properties, the size and the composition of the cluster must be exquisitely controlled. However, previous techniques relied on chemical binding which required complex steps, making it difficult to control the size and composition of NPCs. Professor Kim’s team used Zinc Finger, a DNA binding protein, to develop a NPCs manufacturing technique to create clusters of the desired size easily. The Zinc Finger protein contains a zinc ion and specifically recognizes DNA sequence upon binding, which allows the exquisite control of the size and the cluster composition. The technique is also bio-friendly. Professor Kim’s team created linear structure of different sizes of NPCs using Zinc Finger proteins and three DNA sequences of different lengths. The NPCs they produced confirmed their ability to control the size and structure of the cluster by using different DNA lengths. The NPCs showed tripled T2 relaxation rates compared to the existing MRI contrast media (Feridex) and effectively transported to targeted cells. The research findings show the potential use of NPCs in biological and medical fields such as MRI contrast media, fluorescence imaging, and drug transport. The research used the specific binding property of protein and DNA to develop a new method to create an inorganic nanoparticle’s supramolecular assembly. The technique can be used and applied extensively in other nanoparticles for future research in diagnosis, imaging, and drug and gene delivery. Figure 1. A Mimetic Diagram of NPCs Manufacturing Technique Using DNA Binding Protein Zinc Finger Figure 2. Transmission Electron Microscopy Images showing different sizes of NPCs depending on the length of the DNA
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