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2019 PNU Young Investigator Award
2019 PNU Young Investigator Award
The PNU Young Investigator Award is given every year to young faculty members who have been employed for less than three and a half years and have made outstanding contributions to their respective fields.
The 2019 PNU Young Investigator Award was presented to nine winners at the anniversary celebration of Pusan National University, which was held at 11:00 a.m. on May 14 in the main conference room on the 3rd floor of the main building.
This year’s awardees are as follows: Prof Sunhae Sul (Psychology), Prof Myungsoo Kang (Law), and Prof Jihoon Hong (Economics) from the humanities and social sciences; Prof Kwangdong Choi (Medicine) and Prof Sangwon Kwak (Dentistry) from medical sciences; Prof Kwangsun Kim (Chemistry) and Prof Taegwan Kim (Microbiology) from natural sciences; and Prof Jongseung Park (Organic material science and engineering) and Prof Youkwan Oh (Chemical and biomolecular engineering) from engineering.
Prof Sunhae Sul of the department of psychology has combined approaches of computational neuroscience and social psychology to quantify psychological concepts such as the computational process of social decision-making and the inference of other people’s intentions by means of computational models. She also reveals the neural mechanisms of psychological processes by applying neuroimaging techniques. Her research achievements have been published in top journals in Korea and abroad.
Prof Myungsoo Kang of the department of law has been interested in trade conflicts and the government’s policies for protecting intellectual property in the backdrop of the recent US–China trade war. In particular, he makes an active effort to protect intellectual property rights by publishing excellent papers on the adequacy of the recent revisions proposed by the Korean Intellectual Property Office. His publications include journal papers addressing the operation and improvement of the bar exam. His teaching activities are also exemplary.
Prof Jihoon Hong of the department of economics has conducted research on the efficiency of the domestic private kindergarten market, suggesting policy implications for the competition system within the kindergarten market. He has also published a number of papers in top international journals, covering the effects of the influx of foreign workers on regional economy and the wages and employment of domestic workers. His current interest is the impact of the free trade agreement (FTA) on the movement of workers between industries and unemployment rates in the domestic labor market. He also puts in a lot of effort to foster younger researchers.
Prof Kwangdong Choi of the department of neurology has developed a clinical algorithm for diagnosing vascular dizziness as acute dizziness and published many papers in international journals. Prof Choi aims to build an automatic diagnostic system of vascular dizziness. At present, his current research projects address vestibular rehabilitation using an optokinetic stimulus of virtual reality, and dizziness related to hereditary disorders. He is also committed to training the younger generation in neuro-otology and neuro-ophthalmology.
Prof Sangwon Kwak of the department of dentistry has been investigating the physical properties of nickel-titanium files that are used for root canal shaping and treatment. Prof Kwak has conducted a comparative analysis of the fracture resistances of different nickel-titanium files under various conditions during root canal procedures; moreover, he has analyzed torques caused by root canal shaping and stresses on root dentin and files. He also endeavors to develop a fracture-resistant file by applying a new file design and an alloy.
Prof Kwangsun Kim of the department of chemistry has been carrying out basic research on the mechanism antibiotic resistance in bacteria using tranx-x-scriptomics/phenomics in order to control antibiotic-resistant super bacteria, which pose a great threat to human health. Prof Kim also leads a project aiming to develop a new drug that could restrain the propagation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. His research on the biosynthetic mechanism of bacteria-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) aims to develop a new vaccine platform for infections that cannot be treated by antibiotics, and he has published a number of papers in top international journals.
Prof Taegwan Kim of the department of microbiology is interested in environmental microorganisms and the microbial ecosystem. Prof Kim’s research activities include the development of bioprocess technology and advancement of relevant systems. He also utilizes biostatistics to test the reliability of metagenomic and tranx-x-scriptomic analyses. Prof Kim has registered patents both in Korea and abroad, and has published papers in renowned journals.
Prof Jongseung Park of the department of organic material science and engineering has been leading a research project to fabricate photo-functional organic materials and develop a flexible device that has sufficient optical and electrical properties to sense electrochromism, photochromism, and harmful substances. Prof Park’s research activities also include the development of novel materials for various purposes, such as fibers for camouflage and shielding, nanomaterials for insulating heat and light, and UV coating material.
Prof Youkwan Oh of the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering has been evaluating biorefinery technology for mitigating CO2 emissions and producing valuable materials. Prof Oh has been utilizing a microalgae-derived biological catalyst that enables photosynthetic growth by using CO2 and sunlight. He has also been trying to determine the mechanism of biosynthesis of this catalyst and develop a high-efficiency extraction technique.