The Asia Pacific Biotech News (APBN), a monthly magazine based in Singapore, which offers comprehensive reports on the fields of pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and biotechnology, recently published a special feature on Korea’s biotechnology research and development (R&D) programs.
The magazine feature selected five research programs sponsored by the Korean government, which are either part of the Global Frontier or the Climate Change Technology Development Projects.
The programs are:
Systems Metabolic Engineering Research: Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee
of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the Korea Advanced
Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has been leading a research group to
develop biorefining technology using renewable non-food biomass to produce
chemicals, fuels, and materials that were largely drawn from fossil resources
through petrochemical refinery processes. Applying a systems metabolic
engineering approach, the group succeeded in modifying the metabolic pathways of
microorganisms. As a result, they produced, for the first time in the world,
engineered plastic raw materials and gasoline. The team also developed a technique
to produce butanol and succinic acid with a higher titer and yield using metabolically
Next-generation Biomass Research: Under the leadership of Professor Yong-
Keun Chang of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at KAIST,
the research project, which belongs to the Global Frontier Project, develops biofuels
and bioproducts utilizing microalgae typically found in water and other marine
Convergence Research for Biomedicine: Professor Sung-Hoon Kim of Seoul
National University leads this project that develops targeted new drugs based on
convergence research strategies.
Bionano Healthcare Chip Research: Director Bong-Hyun Chung of the Korea
Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology has integrated information and
communications technology, nanotechnology, and biotechnology to develop a
diagnostic kit that can screen toxic germs, virus, and toxic materials in a prompt
and accurate manner.
Biosynergy Research: Led by Professor Do-Hun Lee of the Bio and Brain
Engineering Department at KAIST, this research project develops new treatments
with a multi-target, multi-component approach in the context of systems biology
through an analysis of synergistic reactions between multi-compounds in traditional
East Asian medicine and human metabolites. In East Asian medicine, treatment and
caring of the human body are considered analogous to the politics of governing a
nation. Based on such system, the research focuses on designing a foundation for
the integration of traditional medicine with modern drug discovery and development.
Director Ilsub Baek at the Platform Technology Division of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea, who is responsible for the Global Frontier Program and the Technology to Solve Climate Change, said, “It is great to see that Asia Pacific Biotech News published an extensive coverage of Korea’s several key research programs on biotechnology as its first issue of this year. I am sure that these programs will lead to great outcomes to solve many worldwide pending issues including climate change and healthcare in the aging society.”
Professor Sang Yup Lee, who served as an editor of the feature, said, “At the request of the magazine, we have already published lead articles on our biotechnology research three times in the past in 2002, 2006, and 2011. I am pleased to see continued coverage of Korean biotechnology by the magazine because it recognizes the excellence of our research. Biotechnology has emerged as one of the strong fields that addresses important global issues such as climate change and sustainability.”