BioWave,  Vol. 21 No. 8
KAIST Nano Medicine & Diagnostics Laboratory 정현정 교수
연구실 홈페이지
실험실 소개  
My research interest focuses on the application of nanotechnology and biomolecular engineering strategies for biomedical purposes, especially in healthcare. The first area is the development of novel sensing technologies for diagnosis of major human diseases (e.g. cancer, infectious diseases), as well as their applications in molecular profiling of target biomarkers. The second area of research is on studying the biological mechanisms in treatment response to nano-therapeutics, and exploiting these processes as targets to overcome the barriers in treatment (e.g. resistance) by utilizing different biomaterials or molecular engineering approaches.

Nano biomedicine Research

1. Molecular diagnostics
The major challenge in the treatment of human diseases is to accurately diagnose the condition at an early stage. Conventional diagnostic methods for diseases, such as cancer and infections, have relied on observation of symptoms and/or biopsies which involve invasive procedures and allow diagnosis only at the late stages. Great advances in molecular techniques and biomedical sciences have allowed the discovery of various biomarkers representative of a specific disease, as well as methods to detect the biomolecules.

- Nanoscale sensing technologies for in vitro diagnostics
Previously, we have developed rapid sensing technologies to detect pathogenic bacteria for diagnosing infections. The most simple and rapid technology was using small molecule ligands (e.g. antibiotics, colorimetric dyes) with magnetic nanoparticles for ubiquitous detection of Gram-positive bacteria. To identify each type of bacteria differentially, we developed an advanced method based on hybridization of the nanoparticles with specific oligonucleotide ligands targeting variable regions in bacterial ribosomal RNA.

Nanoscale sensing technologies for in vitro diagnostics

- Diagnosing infections and multi-drug resistance
The emergence and spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria have been a major threat in healthcare units as well as the society. Antibacterial resistance is involved with various genetic and phenotypic changes in the microorganism that confer rapid processing or removal of the drug molecules. We investigate these changes and select them as molecular targets for detection, even in patient samples.

- Detecting circulating targets for cancer diagnostics
Diagnosis by molecular analyses of fluid specimens from the circulating blood would involve a simple and minimally invasive procedure which provides better patient compliance and allow frequent sampling. However, the main challenges are the low abundance of disease targets in the blood and their inter- and intra-patient heterogeneity. We seek the development of highly sensitive methods to detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as targets as well as the establishment of specific biomarkers for clinical decision making.

2. Biomaterial therapeutics
Standard chemotherapy or molecularly targeted therapy in cancer requires the drug to be sustained in circulation and eventually localized in the tumor. Limitations occur due to the short half-life of the drug in and rapid clearance, as well as insufficient accumulation and uptake to the target cells. To overcome these matters, we can molecularly engineer the drugs and/or incorporate them into nano-formulations (e.g. polymer capsules/gels, liposomes).

- In vivo genome editing therapeutics

Nano-therapeutics to overcome resistance in cancer

We study the mechanisms of treatment response to nano-therapeutics, as well as develop strategies to enhance efficacy by targeting novel molecular processes. For example, in addition to the traditional mechanism of drug resistance mediated by transporter proteins, there have recently been reports that significant portions of the therapeutic drugs are expulsed from the tumor cells in the form of microvesicles. We will look into the acquisition processes of resistance during treatment with nanoparticle formulations, and exploit these mechanisms as targets to overcome the barriers in therapy.

Publications(2016년 이후 논문들)

  • K. Choi, C. Shin, T. Kim, H.J. Chung, H.-J. Suk (2019)
    Awakening effects of blue-enriched morning light exposure on university students’ physiological and subjective responses.
    Scientific reports, 9

  • S. G. Kim, F. Masum, J. K. Kim, H. J. Chung, J. S. Jeon (2019)
    On-chip Phenotypic Investigation of Combinatory Antibiotic Effects by Generating Orthogonal Concentration Gradients.
    Lab on a Chip, 19:959-973

  • S. G. Kim, S. H. Lee, J. K. Kim, H. J. Chung, J. S. Jeon (2019)
    Microfluidic-based observation of local bacterial density under antimicrobial concentration gradient for rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing.
    Biomicrofluidics, 13:014108

  • C.Shin*, H.N. Lee*, J. S. Ryu, H. J. Chung (2018)
    Rapid naked-eye detection of Gram-positive bacteria by vancomycin-based nano-aggregation.
    RSC Advances, 8:25094-25103 [*Equal contribution]

  • J.K. Kim*, H. Lee*, H. S Lee, H. J. Chung (2018)
    Phenolic Pyrogallol Fluorogen for Red Fluorescence Development in a PAS Domain Protein.
    Chemistry of Materials, 30:1467-1471 [*Equal contribution]

  • H.N. Lee, J. S. Ryu, C.Shin, H. J. Chung (2017)
    A Carbon-Dot-Based Fluorescent Nanosensor for Simple Visualization of Bacterial Nucleic Acids.
    Macromolecular Bioscience, 17:1700086

  • Y. K. Kang, K. Kwon, J. S. Ryu, H. N. Lee, C. Park, H. J. Chung (2017)
    Nonviral Genome Editing Based on a Polymer-Derivatized CRISPR Nanocomplex for Targeting Bacterial Pathogens and Antibiotic Resistance.
    Bioconjugate Chemistry, 28:957-967

  • K. S. Park*, H. J. Chung*, F. Khanam, H. Lee, R. Rashu, T. Bhuiyan, J. B. Harris, S. B. Calderwood, E. T. Ryan, F. Qadri, R. Weissleder, R. C. Charles (2016)
    A Magneto-DNA Nanoparticle System for the Rapid and Sensitive Diagnosis of Enteric Fever.
    Scientific Reports, 6:32878 [*Equal contribution]
  지도교수: 정현정

 석박사통합과정 : 이하늘, 강유경, 류지성, 이주훈, 이주희
 박사과정 : 김주강, 임산해, Marcel Beha
 Undergraduate : 양승주
Contact : 042-350-1160(LAB)/ 1120(Office) /
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등록일 2019.06.26
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