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Professor J.H. Lee Wins the Innovators in Science Award
Professor Jeong Ho Lee from the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering won the Early-Career Scientist Award of the 2020 Innovators in Science Award. The New York Academy of Sciences administers the award in partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. The Innovators in Science Award grants two prizes of US $200,000 each year: one to an Early-Career Scientist and the other to a well-established Senior Scientist who have distinguished themselves for the creative thinking and impact of their rare disease research. The Senior Scientist Awardee is Dr. Adrian R. Krainer, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory whose research focused on the mechanisms and control of RNA splicing. Prof. Lee is recognized for his research investigating genetic mutations in stem cells in the brain that result in rare developmental brain disorders. He was the first to identify the causes of intractable epilepsies and has identified the genes responsible for several developmental brain disorders, including focal cortical dysplasia, Joubert syndrome—a disorder characterized by an underdevelopment of the brainstem—and hemimegaloencephaly, which is the abnormal enlargement of one side of the brain. “It is a great honor to be recognized by a jury of such globally respected scientists whom I greatly admire,” said Prof. Lee. “More importantly, this award validates research into brain somatic mutations as an important area of exploration to help patients suffering from devastating and untreatable neurological disorders.” Prof. Lee also is the Director of the National Creative Research Initiative Center for Brain Somatic Mutations, and Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of SoVarGen, a biopharmaceutical company aiming to discover novel therapeutics and diagnosis for intractable central nervous system (CNS) diseases caused by low-level somatic mutation. The Innovators in Science Award is a limited submission competition in which research universities, academic institutions, government or non-profit institutions, or equivalent from around the globe with a well-established record of scientific excellence are invited to nominate their most promising Early-Career Scientists and their most outstanding Senior Scientists working in one of four selected therapeutic fields of neuroscience, gastroenterology, oncology, and regenerative medicine. The 2020 Winners will be honored at the virtual Innovators in Science Award Ceremony and Symposium in October 2020.
Six Organizations Join Forces to Induce Projected National Brain Institute to Daejeon
Six major organizations including KAIST have joined forces to help Daejeon City to win the government approval to build the envisioned Korean Brain Institute in Daedeok Research Complex. The six organizations signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperating in establishing the government-funded institute built within the Daedeok Research Complex in the city of Daejeon, at KAIST on Jan. 14. The six organizations are KAIST, the Daejeon City Government, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Korea Research Institute of Standard and Science, Asan Medical Center, and SK Corp., a pioneer in effective therapeutic invention for serious brain disorders. The partnership of the six organizations is expected to bring a broad-based cooperation opportunities and create a massive synergy effect in the brain science researches and the development of new therapeutic treatment for brain disorders by combining their resources and infrastructures. The six organizations have also built an international research network with such globally-renowned brain research institutions as RIKEN, a large natural sciences research institute in Japan, Max Plank Institute in Germany, Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, in Switzerland and Brain Research Institute of University of Queensland in Australia. The research network is under the support and guidance of Dennis Choi, a prominent neuroscientist who once served as the President of the Society for Neuroscience and is currently a professor in the Departments of Neurology and biology at Emory University. The tentatively titled Korea Brain Institute is envisioned to help fight brain disorders and create Korea"s new growth engine, as well as lengthening life span, by conducting convergence researches in nero science, brain science and pharmacology. If the consortium of the six organizations wins the government approval to build the proposed institute within the Daedeok complex, the central government and the Daejeon city government are expected to pour a total of 329.7 billion won into the project by 2020.
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