Research

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Research Centers

HOMEResearch Research Centers

Lab of Pharmaceutics & Bioavailability Control

Professor: Lee, Beom-Jin Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #202, TEL: 031-219-3501

Goal and visions of our lab is to investigate versatile pharmaceutical formulations and innovative drug delivery systems to develop incrementally modified drug and knowledge-based drug products with controlled bioavailability. The bioavailability of many poorly soluble, poorly absorbable and highly metabolizable drugs can be optimized by modifying drug release, absorption, p-glycoprotein efflux, metabolism and distribution. The developments of innovative and smart drug products compromise the utilization of pharmaceutical excipients and the integration of drug delivery technologies and synthesis of novel biomaterials for drug targeting and efficient drug delivery. To fulfill the development of high standard and knowledge-based drug products, the following key research missions are categorized:

  1. 1. Controlling bioavailability of poorly soluble and poorly absorbable drugs.
  2. 2. Utilizing various pharmaceutical excipients for formulations and drug delivery
  3. 3. Designing controlled release drug products via polymeric coatings and pharmaceutical engineering
  4. 4. Developing novel biomaterials via conjugation and chemical synthesis
  5. 5. Understanding pharmaceutical regulations and policies leading to drug development

Clinical Pharmacy Research Unit

Professor: Lee, SukHyang Pharm.D., Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #107, TEL: 031-219-3477

Personalized Medication Therapy Management in Pharmacy Practice is designed to improve collaboration among pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare professionals; enhance communication between patients and their healthcare team; and optimize medication use for improved patient outcomes. The medication therapy management (MTM) services empower patients to take an active role in managing their medications and to optimize medication use in accordance with evidence based guidelines.

  1. 1. Medication Therapy Management and Outcomes Assessment
    • Outcomes evaluation of medication therapy management provided by clinical pharmacists
    • Drug Utilization Reviews (DURs) and Drug Use Evaluation(DUE) with design and analysis
    • Design and evaluation of pharmaceutical care services in hospitals (e.g. Anticoagulant Services, Nephrology Services)
  2. 2. Pharmacy Informatics and Clinical Decision Support System
    • Develop Clinical Decision Support System based on EHR
  3. 3. Evidence-Based Drug Therapy and Pharmaceutical Care
    • Chemotherapy, Transplant, Athma, Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease
    • Pediatrics drug use, Geriatric drug use
    • Appropriate Use of Antibiotics
    • Drug dosing in Renal disease
    • ADE pharmacovigilance and prevention
    • Personalized medicine based on pharmacogenomic data

Lab of Pathophysiology

Professor: Jung, Yi-Sook Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #201, TEL: 031-219-3501

Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, which is induced by blood clot or inflammation, are the leading cause of deaths in the world and lead to various ischemic disease such as myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke. Despite of the substantial efforts for the development of therapeutics, few agents have been reached clinical trial. Therefore, the study in this lab has been focused on the development of novel therapeutics from small molecules, natural products and functional foods for cardiovascular, cerebrovascular diseases and various inflammatory diseases. We are using not only in vitro cell culture models (cardiomyocytes, neurons, vascular cells, skin cells. etc) for molecular signaling study, but also in vivo animal models of various diseases (myocardial infarction, heart failure, artherosclerosis, stroke, asthma, atopy) for functional validation study.

  1. 1. Discovery of novel therapeutic targets for cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and inflammatory diseases
  2. 2. Development of therapeutics from natural products, small molecules, and functional foods through investigation for
    cardiovascular diseases and various inflammatory diseases

Lab of Pharmacokinetics and Experimental Therapeutics

Professor: Kim, So Hee Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #303, TEL: 031-219-3513

Our lab has been working on the pharmacokinetics of drugs and experimental therapeutics based on molecular mechanisms and pharmacokinetic principles to treat various diseases, especially cancer. Our major research interest is to investigate the regulation of drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters by environmental risk factors and the therapeutic effects by bioactive natural products, to define the molecular mechanism of drug resistance in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process, and also to develop new therapeutic strategies using natural products based on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic basis in various disease models. Our lab is also interested in preclinical pharmacokinetic study of new drug candidates, drug-drug interaction, animal scale-up in the new drug development.

  1. 1. DNA methylation of drug metabolizing enzymes by environmental risk factors and its effects on pharmacokinetics of drugs.
  2. 2. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition and drug resistance in cancer models.
  3. 3. Development of new therapeutic strategies using natural products based on the pharmacokinetics/ pharmacodynamics in
    various disease models.

Lab of Vascular & Stem Cell Research

Professor: Suh, Wonhee Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #207, TEL: 031-219-3476, website: http://wsuh.ajou.ac.kr

The research interest in my lab focus is categorized into two major topics in the field of stem cell and vascular biology. One research topic is to understand how blood vessels are formed and get injured, and define the role of stem cells during vascular (re)generation process occurring in embryonic and postnatal stages. Based on the basic understanding on blood vessels and stem cells, the other research topic is to develop new biopharmaceutical medicines using gene and stem cell technology for the treatment of various vascular diseases.

  1. 1. Stem Cells for Vascular Regeneration
    • Investigation of mechanism of endothelial progenitor-mediated vascular regeneration
    • Identification of new molecular mechanism governing human endothelial differentiation using human embryonic stem cells
    • Application of adult stem cells or human pluripotent stem cells for vascular regeneration
  2. 2. Cell Reprogramming
    • Understanding of dedifferentiation and transdifferentiation process and identification of novel reprogramming factors
    • Development of cell lineage-selective reprogramming method
  3. 3. Vascular Disease
    • Understanding of pathophysiology of various vascular diseases including aortic aneurysm and diabetic retinopathy

Lab of Pharmacognosy and Cell Biology

Professor: Kim, Hong Pyo Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #306, TEL: 031-219-3516

  1. 1. Our lab aims to develop sugar-based chemical library and elucidate their biological activity, thereby contribute for
    translational medicine and therapeutics.
    Based on the current development of analytical and synthetic tools for a drug development, we now are able to perform a safe and nature-inspired drug design. Combining with cellular and molecular biology with the newly developing technology, we switch the gear to study the "green pharmacy and pharmacognosy". Briefly, we are interested in establishing a cellular organelle-based understanding of cell biology including mitochondria and lysosome. These organelles are a major target of signals transduced outside of the cells. Natural products and their derivatives, which can modulate the organelle-linked cellular process need to be investigated in this context.
  2. 2. Enzymatic glycosylation of natural products and finding their biological activities
  3. 3. Incorporation of newly synthesized glycochemicals into high throughput assay system

Lab of Systems Biology

Professor: Noh, Minsoo Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #103, TEL: 031-219-3493

  1. 1. Development of Systems Cell Biology Model for Human Diseases - Development of skin disease model based on the
    interaction between skin barrier and immune system
  2. 2. Lineage commitment of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs)
    Aim 1: Elucidation of molecular mechanisms on the reciprocal regulation of hMSC differentiation into osteoblasts and adipocytes
    Aim 2: Discovery novel pharmacophores for anti-diabetes, anti-obesity and anti-osteoporosis
  3. 3. Biomarker Discovery for Alternative Safety Testing
    Aim 1: Development of alternative methods for animal welfare with omics-based systems skin toxicology technology in human keratinocytes
    Aim 2: Novel biomarker discovery to testing skin irritation and sensitization

Clinical Pharmacy Research Unit

Professor: Kim, Hyunah Pharm.D., BCPS
Pharmacy Hall #107, TEL: 031-219-3477

Clinical pharmacy is a health science and practice in which provision of direct patient care that optimizes rational use of medication. The goal of Clinical Pharmacy Research Unit is to nurture and prepare our students to be excellent pharmacists and promote human health and wellness though evidence-based, patient-centered clinical pharmacy practice and research. Clinical Pharmacy Research Unit provides leadership, professionalism, and advocacy that advance our students to pursue excellence in areas of clinical service, practice, research, education and policy.

  1. 1. Advanced pharmacotherapy in critical care
    In conjunction with establishing clinical practices in the intensive care units (ICUs) as a member of the multidisciplinary critical care team, this research will evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacy consult services on mortality and morbidity endpoints in critically ill patients. Clinical pharmacists’ activities in the ICUs included following, but not limited to: management of severe sepsis and septic shock, antimicrobial stewardship program, management of thrombotic and bleeding disorders and optimal use of sedative agents, analgesics, and neuromuscular blocking agents.
  2. 2 Clinical pharmacists’ interventions on chronic disease management
    Clinical pharmacist participation can play a vital role in chronic disease management within various therapeutic areas including, but not limited to: hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, anticoagulation, geriatric medicine, and preventative care such as smoking cessation and immunizations. The role of clinical pharmacists on managing various chronic diseases and medication therapy will be evaluated. In addition, the pharmacist’s role in medication adherence to help the patient achieve a better therapeutic outcome will be evaluated.
  3. 3. Pharmacovigilance and drug safety policy
    According to the World and Health Organization (WHO), pharmacovigilance is defined as “the science and activity relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other possible medicine-related problems”. In our research, we will examine the numbers and characteristics of adverse drug events (ADEs) reported to Regional Drug Monitoring Centers in Korea. The data will be analyzed using data-mining method, which is a technique for detecting meaningful, organized information from large database. Serious adverse drug events that are likely to be drug-induced such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or QT prolongation, but might be difficult to see with individual case report will be identified and evaluated.

Lab of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Chemistry

Professor: Kim, Hyoungsu Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #304, TEL: 031-219-3514

Research in the Our group focuses on development of lead compounds for new drug discovery based on the total synthesis of biologically active natural products. We will synthesize biologically interesting natural products and screen small molecule libraries to identify more potent analogues. In addition, we design and develop unique and efficient synthetic strategies that will allow rapid access to molecular complexity and structural diversity. Compounds employed in these studies could also advance the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases.

  1. 1. Synthesis of Biologically Active Natural Products as New Drug Candidates.
  2. 2. Synthesis of Structurally Interesting Natural Products

Lab of Microbiology

Professor: Chang, Sun-Young Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #204, TEL: 031-219-3504

  1. 1. General interests: “Mucosal Immunology and Microbial Defense”
    We are interested in the immune regulation mechanism observed in the mucosal tissues which is called mucosal immunology. Mucosal tissues including gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and urogenital tract were exposed to external environment, colonized commensal microbes and serve as an infection route of pathogen. These tissues have established complex and elegant immune system to regulate immunity via immune tolerance to commensal microbes versus to induce strong protective immunity against invading pathogen. Therefore, mucosal immune system is distinct with sterile systemic immune system and developed their unique system. To reveal the puzzling immunological network in these tissues, we are focused on the study for the function of antigen presenting cell group, especially dendritic cells. In addition, we also have interests about the cross-talk between sterile systemic and mucosal system under disease condition, dendritic cell conditioning under specialized microenvironments, interaction between commensal microbes and immune system and infectious disease including development of vaccines.
  2. 2. Immune Regulation via Mucosal Dendritic Cells
    • Immune tolerance to oral or circular antigen via intestinal dendritic cells
    • Shaping of adaptive immune responses via mucosal dendritic cells
    • Direct induction mechanism of immunoglobulin class-switching by dendritic cells
    • Function of C-type lectin receptors on dendritic cells
  3. 3. Cross-talk between mucosal immune system and microbes
    • Immune tolerance mechanism by commensal microbes
    • Immune shaping by commensal microbes
    • Correlation between dysbiosis and diseases
    • Host Defense to Microbial Infection and Vaccines
  4. 4. Therapeutic Strategy to Immunologic Disorder
    • Underlying mechanism and therapeutic strategy to inflammatory bowel disease
    • Underlying mechanism and therapeutic strategy to food allergy
    • Vaccine development to infectious disease and adjuvant

Lab of Pharmaceutical Analysis & Natural-Drug Discovery

Professor: Baek, Seung-Hoon Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #302, TEL: 031-219-3512

Natural medicines, clinically-proven medicinal resources through long history, have been traditionally used in many folk remedies for a long time. Research in our lab is focused on discovery of natural medicine-derived bioactive compounds from small to macromolecules. Most of all, we are interested in bioactive natural polymers including polysaccharides and oligosaccharides. Ultimate goal of this project is to elicit oligomeric functional biopolymers and understand their mechanism of action. And also, we are intensively studying macro/small molecular metabolite of polysaccharides by intestinal/colonic microflora including the structure, mechanism of metabolism, and beneficial effects. To achieve this goal, we established convergence system consisted of three core techniques; purification, structure, and bio-mechanism core. Besides, we are also interested in Amyloid-beta (Aβ)-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and mitochondria-targeting drug discovery using isolated brain mitochondria. Followings are illustration of our research topics.

  1. 1. Discovery of bioactive biopolymers from natural resources
  2. 2. Structure and bioactivity characterization of microbacterial metabolite of anti-colon cancer natural polysaccharides
  3. 3. Development of HTS-platform for mitochondria-targeting drug discovery

Lab of Structural Biology

Professor: Seo, Min-Duk Ph.D.
Pharmacy Hall #305, TEL: 031-219-3515

Our lab is interested in the structures of biological macromolecules (protein/peptide) in order to elucidate structure-function relationships. Our major tools are high-resolution NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. We also use various spectroscopic and biophysical techniques, including circular dichroism (CD), isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), and fluorescence. The target proteins of our research are as follows.

  1. 1. Structural insights into the regulatory mechanism of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R)
  2. 2. Investigation of the regulatory mechanism of IP3R by calcium-binding protein 1 (CaBP1)
  3. 3. Structure-functional studies of the disease-related viral membrane proteins (EBV LMP2A and EBV gp110)

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