Updated on 1 April 2013
Traditional epidemiology which focused in population as study target was then able to narrow down to individual levels in examining disease causation. Since then my research has grown with the advancement of molecular epidemiology. Naturally my research interest has continued to exploring personalized preventive medicine. As the dean of Seoul National University College of Medicine, I focused on organizing many centers such as "JW LEE Global Medicine Center" or "Center for Medicine and Korean Reunification". Furthermore, by giving more opportunities to various social experiences to the students, I want to provide them the vision I share.
Lessons from my grandfather reminded me to be a doctor who cares for the society and the vulnerable. I think this learning became my inspiration to drive my plan as a researcher and an administrator. This is also the reason why I chose preventive medicine as my major and be interested in preventing disease at the most precise level for individuals.
How would you like to contribute towards the growth of bioscience industry in Korea?
First of all, by concentrating on development of stratified medicine in Korea, more biomarkers which shows firm validity and reliability will be illuminated. To make more researchers and students to be interested and participate in studying stratified medicine is also important, so more personal resources will be secured. R&D with other biomedical industries will be more crucial, so participation and movement for government legislation to expedite the partnership between academic-industrial sectors is planned.
Is the regulatory environment favorable for bioscience companies in Korea? What changes would you like to see in government policies that would encourage the bioscience industry further?
The government of the former president of Korea specially underscored and supported the growth of biomedical industries and the interest seem to continue, I say Korea has quite a favorable environment for bioscience companies. But in the research area, regulation for protecting private information has been an issue recently. With this governmental regulation, it is hard to gather the personal medical data, including biosamples. For Korea, I consider it important for the government to give other alternatives or flexibility in the application of the law when personal information is used in medical research.