UNIST students honored with 2021 Asan Foundation Scholarship



Credit: UNIST

Three UNIST graduate students have been awarded the prestigious 2021 Asan Foundation Medical Bioscience Scholarship, an annual award given to the nation’s top graduate students in medical bioscience.

The Asan Foundation Medical Bioscience Scholarship is a new support program, established in 2017 by the Asan Foundation. The scholarship is designed to nurture excellent human resources to lead the medical bioscience field of Korea. It offers students a range of financial assistance and encourages a culture of sharing in these challenging economic times.

This year, over 50 graduate students, including SangIn Kim (Department of Biological Sciences, UNIST), ByeongEun Lee (Department of Biological Sciences, UNIST), and YeonSong Choi (Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNIST) were recognized for their scholastic achievements and university accomplishments. These recipients have been presented with scholarship certificates, along with 20 to 40 million KRW in funding per year for up to four years.

This award has been given to SangIn Kim (Advisor: Professor Kyungjae Myung, Department of Biological Sciences) in recognition of his work in DNA damage and repair. DNA carries genetic information that is constantly exposed to damaging agents. His research lies primarily in the areas of DNA damage response and repair pathways that can sense and repair damaged DNA and signal to cells that there is an urgent problem to be addressed.

“Failure to repair damaged DNA may result in cell death or the accumulation of changes in DNA that can cause genetic diseases including cancers or can lead to premature aging,” noted Mr. Kim. “My ultimate goal is to find clues for the determination of precision medicine for disease treatment and prevention of premature aging.”

ByeongEun Lee (Advisor: Professor Jae Ick Kim, Department of Biological Sciences) has also been awarded the prestigious 2021 Asan Foundation Medical Bioscience Scholarship in recognition of her work in degenerative brain diseases. Under the supervision of Professor Jae Ick Kim, Ms. Lee has been working on the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease, as well as how to treat them. Last year, she succeeded in treating motor dysfunction in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease by regulating its nerve cells. Published in the journal, BRAIN, this research finding has gained much academic attention.

Another recipient of the 2021 Asan Foundation Medical Bioscience Scholarship is YeonSong Choi (Advisor: Professor Semin Lee, Department of Biomedical Engineering). Ms. Choi has also been awarded this award in recognition of her work in disease genomics (genome). Under the supervision of Professor Semin Lee, Ms. Choi has been working on the detection of genetic mutations responsible for diseases in Korean patients. Her primary current project is a study of pediatric cancers and rare incurable diseases that affect children.


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