-Professor Yoo Dongwon (Y-IBS Center for Nanomedicine)
The successful research feat Professor Yoo Dongwon achieved in the US is in the spotlight of the media. From his bachelor’s degree to his doctorate, the scientist earned his degrees in Korea, and left for the US in search of opportunities for developing new medicine in 2008. During his postdoctoral years in UCLA, he led the research and development of “Xtandi,” a groundbreaking medicine for stage 3~4 prostate cancer patients.
“Xtandi” was launched in 2012, and recorded 2.2 trillion won in sales. Professor Yoo’s bonus was no less than 60 billion won.
Naturally, he received a number of love calls from prestigious universities in the US, as well as pharmaceutical companies. However, it came to a surprise when he declined all the offers and instead chose to make a comeback to South Korea. He joined Yonsei University’s IBS Center for Nanomedicine this February, and is pursuing his dream of developing an innovative medicine in his mother country. He affirmed that research and development of new medicine is not limited to scientists in the US; it is also possible in Korea.
During his interview with , he emphasized that Korean research facilities in universities and human resources are as competent as those in the US. “In order to yield globally recognized research accomplishments, we should make changes in conventions and the way we conduct research,” he said. “Research should be conducted under teamwork and cooperative/horizontal relationships among members.”
Currently, Professor Yoo is pursuing his aspirations to develop another innovative medicine at Yonsei-IBS Center for Nanomedicine. Technology that targets cancerous cells by using magnetic nanoparticles is under development. When these magnetic nanoparticles are instilled into cancerous cells and hit by external electromagnetic waves, heat is generated. The heat in turn, kills only the cancerous cells, in contrast to conventional chemotherapy drugs.