The EUICF Selected for a Project to Foster Technology Commercialization Specialists and Provide Platform SupportThe EUICF Selected for a Project to Foster Technology Commercialization Specialists and Provide Platform Support Ewha is taking the lead in promoting the hiring of science and engineering personnel in businesses and establishing the foundation for the commercialization of technology developed through pubic research, as demonstrated by its selection for the Business-linked Youth Technology Specialist Training Project and the Support Project for Commercialization Platforms of Biohealth Clinical Field-linked Technology. The Ewha University-Industry Collaboration Foundation (EUICF, President Lee Hyang-sook) was chosen for the Business-linked Youth Technology Specialist Training Project supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Commercializations Promotion Agency for R&D Outcomes (COMPA). The project is a follow-up of the Fostering Youth TLO (Technology Licensing Officer) project, which aims to foster workers specializing in technology commercialization based on the needs of academic-industry joint research fields and to promote the utilization and application of public research outcomes as a result. Ewha succeeded in facilitating new employment and business start-ups in science-related majors by hiring graduate alumnae in science and engineering and strengthening the practical capacity for technology commercialization through the Fostering Youth TLO project over the last three years, which allowed Ewha to receive the highest grade of S in the final evaluation. Based on these successful experiences, Ewha will strive to successfully implement the Business-linked Youth Technology Specialist Training Project (March 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022 (1+2 years)) as well. In addition, Ewha was selected as the chair school for the Seoul Council out of the six regions of the Business-linked Youth Technology Specialist Training Project, and accordingly, the EUICF will dedicate its utmost effort into operating joint training programs to strengthen commercialization capacity in cooperation with participating universities in Seoul and host an academic-industry cooperation conference to provide a job-matching service with enterprises based in Seoul. Meanwhile, Ewha was also chosen as a top Grade-A partner of the Track2 Coordinating Support Type for the Support Project for Commercialization Platforms of Biohealth Clinical Field-linked Technology, which is supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute. The EUICF will lay the groundwork to assist the entire commercialization process from the discovery of a technological invention to its advancement and practical use, which in turn will lead to technology transfers and startup foundations as well as follow-up support to ensure effective commercialization specializing in health care and medical treatment. Lee Hyang-sook, President of the EUICF, remarked that “universities, research institutes, and businesses are focusing on invigorating academic-industry cooperation through programs linked to technology transfer and commercialization with the aim to apply research outcomes across a wide range of areas. The EUICF also plans to provide various types of support for obtaining a valid patent based on Ewha’s excellent research resources and transferring and commercializing such technology with the aim to create further research outcomes for industrial innovation in this new era.”
The Research Group of Professor Youngmin You Has Discovered a Model Capable of Predicting the Operational Lifetime of...The Research Group of Professor Youngmin You Has Discovered a Model Capable of Predicting the Operational Lifetime of Organic Light-Emitting Devices A research team led by Professor Youngmin You of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science has established a model that can predict the lifespan of Organic Light-Emitting Devices (OLEDs) for the first time. Conducted by Yu Kyung Moon (first author), a graduate of the Combined Bachelor's-Master's Program of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, the results of the study was compiled into a paper and published in Advanced Materials, a world-renowned scientific journal on materials science within the top 1.014% of JCR in chemistry and physics, on February 15 (Monday), 2021. The group has been focusing on the interactions between dopants and host materials, which are the key components of the light-emitting layers of OLEDs, in order to elucidate their influences on the operational stability of devices. The operational lifetime of OLEDs depends critically on the intrinsic stability of the materials. The group initiated research projects to uncover the chemical mechanisms that cause the deterioration of materials. Earlier studies published in Nature Communications in 2018 were on the blue-phosphorescent light-emitting layers, which receive huge academic attention. This time, the research group identified the entire processes of decomposition of thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) dopants and host materials, including the formation of charge-separated species. Based on direct spectroscopic evidence, the group established a numerical model that can predict the operational lifetime of OLEDs. This model can be utilized to choose the best materials for the enhanced longevity of OLEDs. Professor You said, “It was difficult to know how long a display will be operated. But, our model can predict the operational lifetime of OLEDs, given the materials,” further voicing his expectations by adding “This study will provide an important steppingstone for improving the operational stability of OLEDs and significantly enhance the design of stable organic electronic materials.”
The Center for Hybrid Interfacial Chemical Structure, the Center for Climate/Environment Change Prediction Research, and the New and Renewable Energy Research Center received the highest rank in evaluations for government-supported projects, demonstrating Ewha’s capabilities as an outstanding research university. First, the Center for Hybrid Interfacial Chemical Structure (Director: Park, So-Jung) achieved the highest grade of “S” in the phase assessment for Science Research Center, supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). Ewha’s Center for Hybrid Interfacial Chemical Structure (CICS), a Science Research Center supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the NRF, was established in 2017 to conduct research on the interfacial phenomena of hybrid materials. The center achieved outstanding research outcomes with the support of research funding amounting to a total of 4.9 billion KRW as of this year, leading the fundamental research on hybrid chemical materials. For the second stage project (March 1, 2021 – February 28, 2024), the center will receive 3.9 billion KRW to continue its study on understanding the mechanism behind the interfacial phenomena with the anticipation of establishing design rules for new high performance chemical materials in energy and nano/bio fields. The Center for Climate/Environment Change Prediction Research (Director: Choi Yong-Sang) acquired the highest grade of “S” in the first-stage project evaluation under the Priority Research Institute Program in science and engineering, which is supported by an NRF grant funded by the Ministry of Education. The Center for Climate/Environment Change Prediction Research was designated as a priority research center for climate change in 2018 and has since conducted research in the said field, supported by a research fund amounting to a total of 6.2 billion KRW. In the evaluation at the first stage of the project, the center received excellent reviews in the categories of academic achievements, training of talented individuals, and social contribution under the aim of addressing climate change. At the second stage of the project, in line with the change of landscape regarding the goal of global carbon neutrality and the great energy transition, the center plans to continue to strengthen the convergence research of climate change and energy. In addition, various roles as climate change designated research institutes are expected through the international climate response through Green Climate Fund project targeting the Pacific Island, climate risk research with major domestic companies, and proceeding with a wide range of collaborative research-education programs. The New and Renewable Energy Research Center (Director: Jo William) also achieved excellent results in the first-stage project evaluation of the Priority Research Institute Program in science and engineering. Since 2018, the center has been conducting a research project titled “A research institute for multi-dimensional materials-based quantum transport energy,” funded with a total of 6 billion KRW. Following the first-phase study aiming at “creating next-generation energy sources using composite structures and elements based on multi-dimensional new materials,” the center will conduct a study with the goal of “understanding the synthesis of new organic-inorganic hybrid materials and quantum transport properties based on multiple dimensions” in the second phase. In addition, it plans to secure core technologies based on newly issued patents and pursue to creative new venture companies. Eventually, the center will develop industry-adapted science and technology towards solar cells and fuels and batteries for carbon-neutral environment and societies. The importance of basic science research and R&D projects in science, technology and ICT is continuing to rise as part of efforts to transition into an advanced economy that is prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Amidst this context, Ewha, which has achieved excellent research outcomes based on its internationally recognized research capacity and global research networks, is planning to further consolidate its status as an outstanding research university through active investments to enhance its research capabilities.
Research Team of Professor Na Jong-geol at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Publishes a...Research Team of Professor Na Jong-geol at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Publishes a Paper in Applied Energy A joint research team at Ewha developed a solvent identification method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions easily and efficiently by applying deep learning technologies and chemical process simulations. Incorporating the findings of this study, a paper titled “Learning the properties of a water-lean amine solvent from carbon capture pilot experiments” was published in Applied Energy (SCIE), an academic journal within the top 3.85% of JCR in the engineering and chemical fields, on February 1 (Monday), 2021. Professor Na Jong-geol and his joint research team from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at ELTEC College of Engineering developed a methodology to estimate the properties of a solvent that can efficiently absorb CO2, integrating deep learning technologies and chemical simulations to minimize the need for experiments. The Ewha research team developed a new water-lean amine solvent that can capture a large amount of CO2 using a lower amount of energy compared with existing solvents. In order to ensure the proper application of this newly developed solvent, it is necessary to develop an optimized process that is aligned with the thermodynamic and kinetic characteristics of the solvent. The research team applied a deep learning-based hybrid Bayesian inference technique to the pilot-scale tests, through which the team made it easier to infer the properties of a solvent using solely the pilot process with many uncertainties, and enabled the simultaneous implementation of a large-scale process optimization and analyses of the physiochemical properties of a solvent. This advancement is expected to reduce costs for processing greenhouse gases and lead to a large-scale reduction in CO2 emissions. This study was jointly conducted by Professor Na Jong-geol (co-first author) at Ewha, senior researcher Lee Ung (corresponding author) at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, and Dr. Kim Jeong-nam (co-first author), with the support of the “Carbon to X technology development project for the production of value-added chemicals” under the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). Professor Na remarked, “The key of this study was to develop a methodology to simultaneously carry out the properties analysis and optimization processes, which were previously conducted in sequence,” and added, “This represents a successful case of a convergence study combining AI and domain knowledge to apply deep learning technology onto chemical process technology as a step toward achieving zero carbon emissions.” In particular, he emphasized, “This study is expected to greatly improve the speed of product development through highly advanced design techniques including AI-based solvents, materials, and catalysts,” voicing his aspirations to lead the field in the future.
Research Team Led by Prof. Chun Lays the Cornerstone for the Development of a Measurement Scale for Youth CyberbullyingA research team led by Professor Chun JongSerl from the Department of Social Welfare has drawn attention by presenting a systematic review of tools to measure cyberbullying in 17 countries around the world, identifying problems with existing tools and developing a foothold for an international standard to ensure the accuracy of such measurements. The research findings were published in the global academic journal Computers in Human Behavior (impact factor = 5.003, top 5% in Psychology and Experimental categories) under the title “An international systematic review of cyberbullying measurements.” At a time when the importance of online interactions is rising rapidly due to COVID-19, the existing problem of school violence is evolving into a new form of cyberbullying that transcends time and place, owing to the increased use of smartphones and social media. However, there is no standardized scale for the objective measurement of this problem. As such, the research findings from Professor Chun’s team are considered a significant achievement in a context where the incidence rate of cyberbullying has not been accurately identified. The research team analyzed 64 international studies on cyberbullying severity scales in accordance with PRISMA guidelines, using the following categories: general characteristics, definition of cyberbullying, study sample characteristics, sample size, format of scale, time frame, survey type, criteria extraction method, reliability, and validity. The results of the study showed that 71.9 percent of the examined papers provided concepts and definitions of cyberbullying but failed to present a standardized definition, as the term is used interchangeably with similar concepts, such as online violence and cyber violence. In addition, existing cyberbullying scales were developed in Western countries while only five papers cover cases in Asia, raising the need to develop measurement tools that reflect the socio-cultural characteristics of Asian countries. Furthermore, there were no measurement scales that reflect gender characteristics despite gender differences in the number of cyberbullying victims, and about 30 percent of the papers did not clearly measure the time of occurrence for cases of cyberbullying, indicating insufficient accuracy. Particularly, existing measurement tools showed low degrees of reliability and validity, with only 23 percent of studies developing measurement tools following the scale development guidelines and procedures and only half of them verifying the reliability and validity of the measurement tools. This study was conducted with the support of the National Research Foundation of Korea, with Professor Chun JongSerl as the lead and corresponding author and Professor Lee Jungup at the National University of Singapore and Ewha Ph.D. students, Kim Jinyung and Lee Serim as co-authors.
The research team led by Professor Lee Sang-gi from the Department of Chemistry & Nanoscience in the Ewha College of Natural Sciences published a paper in the top-rated international science journal Chemical Reviews (Impact factor=52.76) under the title of “Synergistic Dual Transition Metal Catalysis” on Wednesday, December 23. Catalysis, the process of using small amounts of catalysts to synthesize large amounts of products, is the most atom economic reaction. As such, different kinds of catalytic reactions have been developed over the past few decades, especially those using transition metal catalysts, which play a vital role in the synthesis of natural products, medicines and functional materials. In particular, recent years have seen the rapid growth of research in the field of "synergistic dual catalysis," which selectively activates two types of substrates using two different types of catalysts. As the selection of catalysts is critical for the success of synergistic dual catalysis, many researchers have been studying reactions that take place through dual catalysis using two organic catalysts or the combination of an organic catalyst and a transition metal catalyst, which ensures very little or no redox reaction between catalysts. Professor Lee became the first in Korea to research synergistic dual catalysis in 2014 with the support of the Samsung Future Technology Incubation Program, and secured research funding from various projects such as a support program for mid-career researchers under the National Research Foundation of Korea, eventually publishing his research findings and leading the field of organic synthesis and catalysis. The paper presented the findings published up to June 2020 by research teams at Ewha as well as other global researchers on synergistic dual catalysis between two transition metal catalysts. It is expected that the paper will contribute to the understanding of synergistic dual catalysis using transition metal catalysts and to building the foundation for related research. The paper was published with support from the BK21 PLUS Project under the names of Professor Lee Sang-gi as a corresponding author; post-doctoral researcher Kim U-bin as the first author; Dr. Jung Da-jung and Dr. Jeon Hyun-ji who are graduates of the Department of Chemistry & Nanoscience; and post-doctoral researcher Dr. Kris Rathwell.
Ewha Womans University’s Technology Holdings Co., Ltd Leads the Commercialization of Excellent R&D OutputsEwha is rapidly emerging as the cradle of promising venture companies in the field of bio, medical, and knowledge services sectors by commercializing excellent R&D research results produced within the school. With the government’s announcement to create a fund of 1.55 trillion won by 2022 to commercialize excellent R&D results, Ewha Womans University Technology Holdings Co., Ltd is expediting the commercialization of new industries and leading the trend of university-based business startups. Ewha Womans University Technology Holdings Co., Ltd was founded in 2016 to promote the commercialization of technology owned by the school. It aims to actively support the successful commercialization of excellent R&D outcomes within the school and technological innovation beyond school labs. Under the aim to establish a virtuous cycle of reinvesting profits generated through such efforts, Ewha Womans University Technology Holdings Co., Ltd Company has made many achievements this year, including attracting investment and establishing subsidiary companies. CEO Jeon Yun-sik of E-wireligner | CEO Lee Jin-kyu and General Director Lee Nam-geun of SuFAB Inc. Ewha Womans University Technology Holdings Co., Ltd has a total of four subsidiary companies, starting with E-wireligner founded in 2016, followed by SuFAB, U2Bio, and I Say Lab. The first subsidiary company, E-wireligner, is a research firm certified by the Ministry of Science and ICT that holds Korean and international technology patents for patient-tailored bracket-less dental braces that use bio-fiber coated wire made of shape memory alloys. Along with GMP (ISO13485) certification, it has gained a foothold for entering global markets by acquiring FDA approval as well as approval from Korean authorities. It has developed state-of-the-art dental braces that are less irritating, less painful, and aesthetically pleasing. E-wireligner has made notable achievements by signing agreements and sales contracts with Korean and overseas university hospitals and orthodontic clinics. Founded in 2019, SuFAB is a company that develops 3D designs and food and medical bio products and acquired KS Q ISO 9001 certification in October this year. As a research firm certified by the Ministry of Science and ICT, researchers at SuFAB are accelerating the development of future food and alternative meat (artificial and cultured meat) by producing protein fibers with autonomous mobile fiber manufacturing devices. (From left) Jo Tae-yun, CEO of E2BIO, and Professor Kim Soojin, Lim Kyung-min, Nam Sang-Jip of Ewha | Bae Hyun A, Vice President of the Ewha University-Industry Collaboration Foundation, and Yim Dong-seon, CEO of I Say Lab Established in August 2020, E2BIO is a research firm certified by the Ministry of Science and ICT and possesses patent for technology on anthranilic acid, a natural substance derived from marine sediment. An Ewha-based research team, including Professor Lim Kyung-min from the Department of Pharmacy and Professor Nam Sang-Jip from the Department of Chemistry & Nano Science, is collaborating with the company in cosmetics development as technical advisors, and is planning a new product with the aim of developing whitening cosmetics with high functionality but fewer side effects using natural materials. I Say Lab, which was established in November 2020, is developing a new type of contact-free language therapy service platform equipped with the following functions: automation of language development screening, evaluation for language processing ability, analysis on spontaneous speech using STT technology, and education for parents and experts. President Bahn Hyokyung of the University-Industry Collaboration Foundation of Ewha said, “We plan to actively expand investment for outstanding startups with high growth potential by creating a fund to commercialize technology through collaboration between alumnae, students and faculty.” He also added, “We will strive to transform Ewha into a hub for innovative growth and balanced development by actively supporting the entire process of commercializing outstanding technologies, including creating intellectual properties, promoting technology transfers and launching start-ups.”
Research Team Led by Professor Goo Taeg Oh Publishes Article in World’s Top Academic Journal Circulation(From left) Dr. Sejin Jeon, Prof. Goo Taeg Oh, and Tae Kyeong Kim (PhD candidate) Professor Goo Taeg Oh (the corresponding author), Dr. Sejin Jeon (the lead author), and PhD candidate Tae Kyeong Kim (second author) from the Department of Life Sciences discovered the athero-protective role of soluble Ninjurin-1 (short for “nerve injury-induced protein 1”, Ninj1) as a novel anti-inflammatory cytokine that is released from alternatively activated macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques. In summary, Ninj1 is a novel MMP9 substrate of plaque macrophages and sNinj1 is a secreted atheroprotective protein that regulates macrophage inflammation and monocyte recruitment in atherosclerosis. Because soluble Ninj1-mediated anti-inflammatory effects are conserved in humans, soluble Ninj1 mimetics could be useful therapies for coronary artery disease. On Tuesday, November 3, the article containing the research findings, titled “Anti-Inflammatory Actions of Soluble Ninjurin-1 Ameliorate Atherosclerosis” was published in Circulation (IF 23.603; Circulation.2020;142:1736-1751). Atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease, causes much morbidity and mortality worldwide, including stroke, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death, which may cause sudden death in severe cases. For the treatment of such vascular diseases, a new method has recently emerged in academia that develops therapeutic agents from antibodies or proteins that regulate the activation of specific factors. In 2001, the research team led by Professor Goo Taeg Oh newly discovered a plasma membrane protein named Ninj1 as a small adhesion molecule related to vascular diseases. His team and collaborators also found that Ninj1 occurs mainly in cancer-related or inflammatory diseases and is involved in cell-to-cell interaction. However, the function and biological relevance of Ninj1 and its soluble form in atherosclerosis remain unknown. Dr. Sejin Jeon and Tae Kyeong Kim (PhD candidate) from the Department of Life Sciences generated Ninj1 knock-out mouse and Ninj1/Apoe double knout-out mouse as GEMs (genetically engineered mice) made by embryonic stem (ES) cell-based gene targeting technology. Then, they performed atherosclerotic phenotyping in vivo and successfully separated immune cells from single cell suspensions prepared form atherosclerotic aortas of mice for single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) analysis. scRNA-seq analyses revealed that Ninj1-expressing monocytes and anti-inflammatory macrophages among alternatively activated macrophages and resident macrophages, but not dendritic cells. They found that macrophage Ninj1 was directly cleaved by MMP9 to generate a soluble form (sNinj1) that exhibited anti-atherosclerotic effects, as assessed in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, they revealed that not only treatment with the sNinj1-mimetic peptides inhibited pro-inflammatory functions in human and mouse pro-inflammatory macrophages, but also the continuous administration of them alleviated atherosclerosis by inhibiting the enhanced monocyte recruitment and inflammatory characteristics of this disorder in mice, regardless of the presence of Ninj1. Professor Goo Taeg Oh commented, “In this study, we present the first in vivo evidence that Ninj1 is a novel MMP9 substrate in macrophages, and further show that its soluble form reduces human and mouse atherosclerosis. Furthermore, we demonstrated soluble Ninj1 has an anti-inflammatory and atheroprotective effect through preclinical studies of mimetic peptides. Our findings highlight the potential of a soluble form of adhesion molecule as a therapeutic target for atherosclerosis treatment. We expect that our findings will be applied in the development of useful therapies for coronary artery disease, as well as in vivo translational research."
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."
Distinguished Professor Yoon Juyoung from the Department of Chemistry and Nano Science in the Ewha College of Natural Sciences received an award for the 16th Kyung-Ahm Prize on Friday, November 6. The Kyung-Ahm Education and Culture Foundation annually selects and awards scholars, experts, and artists who have contributed significantly to the development and advancement of Korean society. This year, the foundation selected a prizewinner each from the four academic fields of the humanities and social sciences, natural sciences, life science, and engineering. Professor Yoon Juyoung, the prizewinner in the field of natural science, is a leading researcher in Korea who has been selected as a Highly Recited Researcher published by Clarivate Analytics for seven consecutive years from 2014 to 2020. As a world-renowned scholar in the field of organic fluorescent sensors, he has developed a fluorescent sensor that can selectively detect major substances in living organisms such as molecules and ions that are related to degenerative, cardiovascular, and inflammatory diseases. He is currently conducting research on photodynamic therapy, a new concept of cancer treatment based on organic molecules that combines the said sensor system and structures that generate reactive oxygen species in reaction to light. To date, he has published 385 SCI journals (Hirsch index of 104) and achieved 40 patent registrations and three technology transfers while leading technological research on the theranostics system. Theranostics, a portmanteau of therapy and diagnostics, is a cutting-edge, customizable biomedical model that diagnoses cancer and simultaneously delivers a remedial agent exclusively to the cancer region using substances that target cancer cells. Professor Yoon has laid a groundbreaking framework for the treatment of human diseases through convergence research with researchers in the field of medicine and life sciences as well as a group of computational chemistry experts, thereby pioneering the field of theranostics, which is being increasingly emphasized as a promising future technology.