Research Team Led by Prof. Lee Sang-Hyuk at Department of Life Science Publishes Findings in Nucleic Acids ResearchThe research team led by Professor Lee Sang-Hyuk from the Department of Life Science in the Ewha College of Natural Sciences developed the world's largest CRISPR screening database and published its research findings in the top-rated international academic journal Nucleic Acids Research (impact factor of 11.501, top 4 percent) on Monday, November 2. The research is expected to enable the development of innovative treatments and new drugs based on the iCSDB, an integrated database of screening data based on characteristics of human cells and CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors. The study was conducted by Dr. Choi Ah Young, a member of Professor Lee Sang-Hyuk's research team, as the lead author in a joint study with the Korean Bioinformation Center (co-corresponding author Lee Byung-wook). CRISPR-Cas9, which is being referred to as third-generation genetic scissors, is a gene-editing technology that can selectively remove or edit specific genes through the high-precision manipulation of the DNA of various living organisms. Compared to previous technologies, CRISPR-Cas9 has the advantage of allowing easier and more accurate editing of specific genes, which is introducing a revolutionary impact on the advancement of life science and medicine. In addition, a library-based screening technique that applies CRISPR-Cas technology to all human genes is currently seeing widespread usage in discovering targets for new drug development and conducting various molecular science research. The iCSDB, developed by the Ewha research team, is an integrated database that combines DepMap Portal that includes three large-scale CRISPR screening projects and BioGRID ORCS that provides CRISPR screening sources for genes. Through the iCSDB, 1,375 pieces of CRISPR screening data were collected for 976 human cell lines including CRISPR gene editing results for up to 70 cancer types, thereby constituting the world’s largest data collection of its kind. On top of that, the research team established a user-friendly web environment to allow users to easily access information on any cell line they are interested in, and implemented various means including infographics to promote easy understanding of the effects of gene editing, all of which are expected to offer significant help to researchers in related fields around the world. Professor Lee remarked, "We expect the iCSDB developed in our research to help identify the causes of treatment resistance for various carcinomas and subsequently the development of new treatments that can overcome treatment resistance. In the future, we plan to develop innovative new drug targets or new treatments through drug screening and integrated analysis of transcriptome data for the same cell lines."
Research Team Led by Prof. Kim Jinheung Publishes Findings in Journal of the American Chemical SocietyAmid the increased demand for the development of carbon emission reduction technologies in response to the Korean government’s recent announcement of its aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the research team led by Professor Kim Jinheung from the Department of Chemistry and Nano Science at Ewha Womans University succeeded in developing a nickel photocatalyst based on a new structure that selectively converts carbon dioxide into formic acid. This finding was published in the top-rated international journal Journal of the American Chemical Society. Marking world records in carbon dioxide conversion rate and efficiency, the study attracted global attention to the point of being selected for the cover of the journal, as it is expected to provide an important foothold for the development of photocatalytic systems for the purposes of reducing greenhouse gases in the future. In order to solve the problem of carbon dioxide emissions, which has been identified as the main culprit for global warming, the science and technology community has been promoting research and development into converting carbon dioxide into an energy source to secure renewable energy while preserving the environment. In particular, the development of a catalyst for artificial photosynthesis, a process that converts carbon dioxide using solar energy, is one of the world’s most active research fields today. However, the results so far have been limited by low reaction efficiency and the creation of impure mixtures from the reaction. Moreover, previously developed high-efficiency catalysts often contain expensive precious metals such as ruthenium (Ru), necessitating the urgent development of an efficient photocatalyst. In the study, Professor Kim Jinheung successfully developed a new photocatalytic system using nickel, which is available in abundant quantities. In addition, the research team succeeded in converting carbon dioxide with high efficiency at room temperature and standard atmospheric pressure by irradiating visible light. Moreover, while existing photocatalysts generated a reaction mixture from carbon dioxide that included carbon monoxide, formic acid, and hydrogen, only formic acid was obtained in the photocatalytic system developed by the research team, indicating high selectivity. Professor Kim Jinheung said, “We became the first in the world to achieve high-efficiency carbon dioxide conversion using an inexpensive metal that is available in large quantities and sunlight as the energy source. Through follow-up research, we will further improve the photocatalytic function and develop a highly efficient artificial photosynthesis system.” The research was conducted with support from the Carbon Upcycling Project Group, which is responsible for technology development in response to climate change, and the Scientific Research Center Project, both overseen by the National Research Foundation of Korea. In particular, Professor Kim’s research team cooperated with other researchers at Ewha’s Department of Chemistry and Nano Science to achieve one of the world’s first and finest research successes, thereby demonstrating Ewha’s scientific prowess.
Seven Project Teams of Ewha Selected for the Fourth Phase of “Brain Korea 21 Project” by the Ministry of EducationThree education research groups and four education research teams from Ewha were selected for the fourth phase of “Brain Korea 21 (BK21) Project” organized by the Ministry of Education. Through this selection, the school secured the funds to train professional research personnel by providing research scholarships to support graduate students and personnel expenses for new researchers over the next seven years. Ewha’s selection demonstrates the strength of new technology creation areas, which will help to transition Korea’s development strategy from catching up with advanced economies into becoming a leading economy itself, in addition to creative areas like the humanities and social science and convergence areas including cultural contents, design, Bio Information Technology (BIT) and Nano Information Technology (NIT). The Ewha project teams selected for BK21 are as follows: Three research groups consisting of (1) ITI (Innovation, Technology, Inclusion) Competent Social Welfare Leaders for Future Social Value (Director: Professor Ick-Joong Chung); (2) Intelligent IIoT convergence technology center for human-centric smart factory (Director: Professor Hyesook Lim); and (3) Education Research Center for 4IR-based Health Care (Director: Professor Oran Kwon). There are also four research teams including (1) Project Team for the Research and Education of Regional History and World History for the Future of Coexistence(Leader: Professor Dongju HAM); (2) Mathematical Science Team for Women Leaders of the 4th Industrial Revolution (Leader: Professor Jae Hyouk Lee); (3) Education and research team for development of LOHAS foods and bioactive ingredients (Leader: Professor Myong-Soo Chung); and (4) Human-AI UX Design Education Team (Leader: Professor Han Young Ryoo). (From left) Professor Ick-Joong Chung, Professor Hyesook Lim, Professor Oran Kwon, Professor Dong Ju Ham, Professor Jae Hyouk Lee, Professor Myong-Soo Chung, Professor Han Young Ryoo The Ministry of Education and the National Research Foundation of Korea have been operating the BK21 Project since 1999 to strengthen the educational and research capabilities of graduate schools and to foster future generations of researchers. The project, which follows the third-phase project “BK21 PLUS,” is a large-scale government-funded project aimed at supporting 408 billion won annually over the next seven years and fostering 19,000 master- and doctorate-level research personnel every year. From this November, Ewha's research groups and teams, which have been preliminarily selected for the fourth phase of BK21, plan to carry out innovative research activities in response to social changes in a flexible manner after a deliberation process.
Computer Science Major Undergraduate Students Have Published a Research Paper on UAVs in an SCI-E indexed Journal(from left) Cho, Jeihee, Prof. Lee, HyungJune, Sung, Jaeyi , and Yoon, JinYi Cho, Jeihee and Sung, Jaeyi, undergraduate students of ELTEC College of Engineering, the incoming class of 2017 (adviser: Prof. Lee, HyungJune), conducted a study on a method to freely collect information using multiple UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) under restricted conditions for communication and data collection in certain regions in case of emergency such as natural disasters. The undergraduate students published the result in an SCI-E indexed journal, IEEE Access as the primary and secondary authors, respectively. In situations such as a breakdown of the road network or a natural disaster, it becomes difficult to continuously collect information on a specific area, such as the latest video and audio data. Using UAVs allows greater freedom to collect information in such a situation in spite of physical restrictions on movement. The two students proposed a drone network architecture with the capacity to collect up-to-date and on-site information of a relevant area using units of wirelessly-connected UAV swarms and provide the information to the user, beyond the current model in which individual UAVs collect disassociated and isolated data from the area of interest. The research team also identified an algorithm-based motion planning method, which aims to optimize the stationary formation of UAVs for the continuous collection of up-to-date information and transition of their traversal formation when flying in a swarm. The introduction of this method has a potential to allow the deployment of multiple UAVs to collect data and solve the problem even under circumstances where on-site communication is disabled due to a disaster or an accident. This paper is the outcome of research conducted by Cho and Sung during their undergraduate internships at the Intelligent Networked Systems Laboratory, while working with a Ph.D. student Yoon, JinYi (third author) and Prof. Lee, HyungJune (corresponding author). The paper demonstrates the outstanding research capabilities of Ewha undergraduates majoring in Computer Science and Engineering. Ewha established the world’s first female engineering college in 1996 and produced scientific technology professionals under the aim of “the development of science through fostering outstanding female scientists.” The ELTEC College of Engineering is committing substantial and wide-ranging investments and support to sharpen the competitiveness of Ewha’s engineering education, and also strives to accomplish the educational goal of cultivating female engineers with creative convergence leadership skills for new industries of the future.
Ewha Graduate School of Education (Dean Han You-kyung) and the Center for Future Education Research (Director Chung Jae-young) have been selected as the sole participating institution in the recruitment for the 2020 Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Convergence Education under the Ministry of Education. As a result, Ewha will operate Korea’s only research center for AI convergence education and further enhance its status as an excellent teacher training institution, while leading the field of education in the era of artificial intelligence. The education and research center project under the Ministry of Education will fund 500 million won per year from 2020, as a way to support the operation of AI convergence education major courses that have been newly established at graduate schools of education nationwide, conduct research to vitalize AI convergence education in elementary and secondary schools, and support relevant policies at 17 municipal and provincial education offices, and accordingly, the Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education administered the relevant recruitment process. In recognition of its human- and material-based excellence in AI convergence education and its capability as a national research support center, the Ewha research team from the Graduate School of Education and the Center for Future Education Research was selected exclusively as the final operator for the project after fierce competition with outstanding universities across the country. Accordingly, as the sole institution in this particular area in the education sector of Korea, the Research Center for AI Convergence Education will be operated by Ewha Graduate School of Education and College of Education with plans to carry out the project in conjunction with related organizations such as the Korean Educational Research Association, the Korean Society for the Study of Teacher Education, the Korean Association of Computer Education, and the Korean Association of Information Education. The new center at Ewha will establish a research and support hub for AI convergence education, with the participation of major universities in Seoul and seven other regions, and train teachers who will lead innovation in AI education through various programs, thereby contributing to the realization of future education in the era of artificial intelligence.
A research team led by Professor Kim Minsuk at the Ewha School of Medicine discovered methods to detect cancer cells through AI-based technology utilizing micro-vibrations. This research finding has been published in the globally recognized journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics (ranked first in JCR Chemistry and Analytical in 2019). The published paper credits Professor Kim as the corresponding author and Kim Hye-yun, a student of the combined master-doctoral program at the Ewha School of Medicine, as the lead author. The research team analyzed a video documenting the flow of breast cancer cells in blood using an AI-based software called a "motion microscope," which was developed by Dr. Abe Davis at MIT. As a result, the team found that a long, wave-shaped tail appeared to trail behind cancer cells. The tail, which was named the "cellular trail," could be observed only in cancer cells at the frequency range between 0.5 to 1.5 Hz, and could not be found in normal blood cells. In addition, the team found that the cellular trail disappeared when the proteins comprising the cancer cell membrane were partially removed, and based on this observation, it was discovered that the cellular trail is caused by micro-vibrations from friction that arises when the uneven surface of the cancer cell moves within a fluid. By using the artificial intelligence based on TensorFlow, a machine learning engine developed by Google, the presence of cancer can be determined based on the cellular trail without requiring visual confirmation. This technology allows the diagnosis of cancer at a lower cost without the need to utilize antibodies, fluorescent materials and radioactive substances, and enhances the accuracy of diagnoses when identifying cancer tissues based on MRI or X-ray. It also helps to determine if cancer stem cells remain circulating in the blood after a cancer removal surgery, and is expected to improve public health by making it possible to determine cancer cells in the blood during the process of blood donation by the general public.
Inflammation-Cancer Microenvironment Research Center Selected for 2020 Leading Research Center Support ProgramThe Inflammation-Cancer Microenvironment Research Center at the College of Medicine has been selected as a Medical Research Center (MRC) of the 2020 Leading Research Center Support Program, which is administered by the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Ministry of Science and ICT. The center will receive a total of 9.33 billion won over the next seven years (July 2020 to February 2027) for its research to identify molecular mechanisms and networks as a way to improve the inflammation-cancer microenvironment and its development and technology transfer of anti-cancer metastasis and anti-inflammatory treatments. In addition, the center will foster MD-PhD and basic medical scientists who excel in basic, translational and clinical research, thereby strengthening its status as a training center for professionals in basic medical science. The director of the center, Professor Lee Jihee, remarked, "We aim to lay the foundation for future-oriented multidisciplinary and convergent research in basic and clinical medicine, and build a world-class research center for the inflammation-cancer microenvironment through creative research and training of female medical scientists who will be recognized worldwide." Professor Lee, who is also the principal researcher, has pioneered the research into the development of innovative technology to treat tissue injury over the past nine years while leading the Tissue Injury Defense Research Center, which was selected as an MRC of the 2010 Leading Research Center Support Program. This year marks the second time that an institution under her leadership has been selected for the program, demonstrating her outstanding research capacity. Ewha Womans University has received grants through the Leading Research Center Support Program to conduct basic science research since 1998. With the selection of the Inflammation-Cancer Microenvironment Research Center this year, a total of four Ewha research centers are carrying out large-scale research projects, including the Center for Hybrid Interfacial Chemical Structure, the Fibrosis Control Center, and the Research Center for Cellular Homeostasis.
Research institutes at Ewha Womans University have been selected for the science and engineering research support project operated by the Ministry of Education, the National Research Foundation of Korea, and Korea Basic Science Institute; and for the university ICT research center support project operated by the Ministry of Science and ICT. In addition to the selections by major institutions, Ewha consolidated its status as a research-oriented university by achieving outstanding results in establishing the research institutes that will lead the development of core technologies and the fostering of talented individuals in the field of science and technology. Ewha Brain Institute (Director: Professor In Kyoon Lyoo, Department of Pharmacy) was chosen in 2020 Universities Program for Key Research Institutes in the Science and Engineering Field by the Ministry of Education and the National Research Foundation of Korea. Under this program, the institute will receive a total of 7.5 billion won in research funding for the next nine years (June 2020 to May 2029). It plans to utilize its own advanced research infrastructure and actively conduct research projects in collaboration with leading overseas brain research institutes such as Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Research Consortium, which is the world's largest consortium of brain development research projects under the U.S. National Institute of Health, the University of Utah’s Brain Institute, the Center for Human Development and Disability at Washington University, and Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard University. Professor Lyoo, the director of Ewha Brain Institute, said “With this program, we expect to establish ourselves as a brain research institute with world-class research capacity in the field of human neuroscience, and to build an education-research environment that will cultivate excellent young researchers in the field of brain research.” The Center for Nano-Bio Energy Materials (Director: Professor Kim Dong Ha, Department of Chemistry and Nano Science) was selected as a 2020 Core Research Facility. As part of an effort to strengthen research capabilities of basic science, the Ministry of Education has conducted a project to establish core research facilities, which are shared resource centers for related departments, to promote the utilization of research equipment scattered within a university, and selected 13 research centers this year. Under this project, the Nano-Bio Energy Materials Center will receive a total of 300-600 million won annually for up to six years (3+3 years). Nine faculty members from the major of Chemistry and Nanoscience, and Physics at the College of Natural Sciences and four master’s and doctorate level dedicated members will participate in laying the groundwork for the center and conduct research on next-generation functional molecular materials, hybrid materials for energy conversion, and designing hybrid materials and properties evaluation. Professor Kim said, “With the selection as a core research facility, we will be able to significantly improve the management and deployment of research equipment at the College of Natural Sciences and the overall research environment of Ewha Womans University. This will also lay the foundation for establishing the institute as a world-class research hub in the field of nano-convergence materials research that encompasses bio-health and energy. Simulation-Based Convergent Content Research Center (Director: Professor Kim Young Jun, Department of Computer Science) was selected for the University ICT Research Center Support Program organized by the Ministry of Science and ICT. A total of 12 research centers in universities nationwide were selected this year for the ICT Research Center Support Program, which is part of a project to foster master's and doctoral level research personnel by conducting ICT core technology research projects. Ewha’s Simulation-Based Convergent Content Research Center will be funded for the development of core technologies to create virtual reality contents and the fostering of research personnel, with an annual research fund of 800 million won for up to eight years, and will support annually more than 40 postgraduate and doctoral students for their research. The center plans to conduct research on simulation-based technologies to develop a simulation as vividly as reality. Based on this, it will study how to create convergent content such as robot content, single-person media content, distance education content, content visualization, and AI-based intelligent content. Also, it will foster convergent and creative ICT content experts who will lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In addition, the center plans to hold a simulation-based autonomous drone racing competition jointly with Microsoft to conduct research on the AI content related to drones with capacity beyond human pilots' records, and provide students with the convergent content research environment.
The government announced a comprehensive implementation plan for "2020 R&D Projects in Science and Technology and ICT," worth about 5.12 trillion won, and Ewha Womans University was selected for major research projects, proving its excellent scientific capacity. Professor In Kyoon Lyoo | Professor Goo Taeg Oh The research team led by Professor Lyoo In Kyoon selected for 2020 Research Project for Overcoming Brain Diseases The research team led by Professor In Kyoon Lyoo (Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences/ Brain and Cognitive Sciences/ Director of Brain Institute) was selected as a new research team for the 2020 Research Project for Overcoming Brain Diseases funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT. As the team has been chosen to conduct the "development of diagnosis and treatment technologies for emotional disorders" research project, it will receive a grant of 4.5 billion won for four and a half years to build a biotype-based suicide prediction platform, which is expected to dramatically increase predictive rates of suicidal behaviors through the integrated analysis of brain imaging, genetics, blood, neurophysiology, brain and cognitive sciences and clinical big data. Since the Ewha Brain Institute opened, the research team has conducted successfully large-scale national projects including the original neuroscience technology development project of the Ministry of Science and ICT and research support projects of the National Fire Agency and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and research support projects of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The team secures unrivaled research capacity on building predictive models of disease and behavior through integrated analysis of the big data based on advanced brain-bio information. Professor Lyoo said, "I expect that our team will propose a scientific solution to suicide, which is a clinical challenge and one of the major social issues, by sorting out high-risk suicidal groups and providing appropriate therapeutic intervention through analysis of large-scale bio big data on brain-nervous system. Research team led by Professor Goo Taeg Oh selected for 2020 Leading Researchers Support Program (Creative Research Initiative) by National Research Foundation of Korea On May 28, the National Research Foundation of Korea announced that the heart-immunity-brain network research team led by Professor Oh at the Department of Life Science was selected for a new project of 2020 Leading Researchers Support Program (Creative Research Initiative). In 2012, the vascular and immune cell network research team led by Professor Oh had been selected as a recipient of the same project and carried out for the past nine years "research on determining molecular mechanisms of immune cell that can cure arteriosclerosis," and this year, as his team has been newly selected as a grant recipient, it will receive a total of 7 billion won over the next nine years. The vascular and immune cell network research aims to determine causes of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases due to vascular hypofunction accompanying the aging process of all living things. The research team is expected to determine the functions of immune system cells and molecular mechanisms that mediate heart-brain bidirectional interaction, suggesting a new paradigm in studies on pathogenesis of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and development of treatment for them. Professor Oh said, "We were able to earn this grant since Ewha has made efforts to successfully establish research infrastructure such as the animal laboratory, and constant investment and attention are needed to further develop research capacity in Life Science that Ewha has accumulated."
Ewha K-MOOC Lectures Evaluated as Excellent and the University Selected as Leading University for 2nd Phase of K-MOOCFive lectures of Ewha Womans University have been selected as excellent courses in the 2019 annual evaluation of the Korean Massive Open Online Course (K-MOOC). The K-MOOC conducted a quantitative assessment on 71 courses developed in 2015 and 2016 and chose a total of 11 excellent courses among them. Five out of the 11 courses, which amount to 45 percent of selected courses, were from Ewha, proving the prominence of Ewha-K-MOOC contents. The K-MOOC is a service providing excellent online courses in higher and vocational education for free, and Ewha has provided 18 lectures of high quality for the spring semester of 2020, taking the initiative in offering outstanding educational contents and sharing global knowledge. So Hyo-Jeong, Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, said, "We are very pleased with this result, as it demonstrates that Ewha’s pursuit of innovation in college education and spreading of shared social values has come to fruition. We will promote the excellence of Ewha education through constant development of quality K-MOOC lectures." In addition, Ewha was selected as one of leading universities for the second phase of K-MOOC, which was announced by the Education Ministry on June 5. Accordingly, Ewha will develop outstanding lectures in artificial intelligence, big data, natural science and women's studies and play a leading role in credit transferring and exchanges among colleges, as well as expanding the global market. Ewha has continued to invest in the field of edu-tech utilizing ICT, such as MOOC and Flipped Learning, in an effort to lead the innovation in university education in line with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. By creating high-tech classrooms and developing its cyber campus to serve as an effective online educational platform, Ewha has prepared itself for future society and changes in education.