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Korea University College of Medicine,
Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of Its Founding
The proud 90-year history encouraging people to take initiative,
The International Symposium of BK21PLUS Medical Research Project for Translation Convergence
On Tuesday, September 4th, the 90th anniversary ceremony of the Korea University College of Medicine was successfully hosted at Yugwangsa Hall in the KU College of Medicine medical building.
More than 300 people, including students, college officials, and school personnel participated in this event, which started with opening remarks by President Jaeho Yeom of Korea University, an appreciation speech by Dr. Kee Hyoung Lee (President and CEO of the Medical Center, and Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs), congratulatory speeches by President Daezip Choi of the Korean Medical Association, and by President Choon-gyun Na of the KU Alumni Association. The opening session was followed by a dedication ceremony honoring the 90-year of the College of Medicine, a speech by Dean Hong sik Lee of the College of Medicine about the current status and future development of the KU College of Medicine, and an opening ceremony for the school’s fitness center and Gwanbo Lounge. Before this event, as a preparatory step, Dean Tae-hern Jung of the Korea University College of Liberal Arts, and Professor Chang-sub Eom of the Anatomy Department gave a special lecture about the early history of the KU College of Medicine.
“The Korea University College of Medicine developed out of the Chosun Women’s Medical School, the nation’s first-ever educational institute for women, and since then, over the past 90 years, it has strived to achieve better public health, and develop medical personnel with a sense of responsibility and work ethics. And today we proudly honor the 90-year history and our achievements,” said President Yeom of Korea University. “We will continue preparing for the future with relentless efforts and enthusiasm, just as we have done over the years. I hope you have affectionate interest in us aiming for the day when the College of Medicine can stand firm as one of the best research and education centers.”
“The Korea University Medical Center (KUMC) and the KU College of Medicine have lived up to social expectations over the past 90 years, and will make even greater efforts to serve society and the nation,” said Dr. Kee Hyoung Lee (President and CEO of the Medical Center and Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs). “I firmly believe that year 2018 is a milestone, and another starting point for a new leap forward to take the initiative in leading innovation and realizing greater value, which will define the next 100 years.”
“Congratulations on the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the KU College of Medicine, which has created a path for devoted medical education, based on respect for life and love for humanity,” President Daezip Choi of the Korean Medical Association said. “I hope the college is not just satisfied with its past and current achievements, but looks further, and aims higher, to lead the medical industry by intensely focusing on research and education.”
“The KU College of Medicine, one of Korea’s top medical schools, has been able to develop thanks to the devotion and sacrifice made by the national pioneers and alumni,” President Choon-gyun Na of the KU Alumni Association said. “We should remember that this school was established based on philanthropic spirit, in the hope of helping human rights, and healthcare of women in poor surroundings, and I heartily congratulate you on your the 90th anniversary.”
Subsequently, Chairman Hee-cheol Han of the 90-year History Compilation Committee (and Professor in the Physiology Department) devoted a book titled, The 90-year History of the Korea University College of Medicine to Dean Hong sik Lee of the College of Medicine. And they had opening ceremony of the refurbished and relocated school’s fitness center, and renovated Gwanbo Lounge.
“September 4th is the date when the Chosun Women’s Medical School, which is the predecessor of the KU College of Medicine, first opened, and since then, the school has contributed to producing competent doctors, and developing medicine, and this is how we communicate with society,” said Dean Hongsik Lee of the College of Medicine. “Based on such proud 90-year history and heritage serving the nation, we will keep carrying out our mission, and do the best to make the world better.”
On the 4th, the International Symposium of BK21PLUS Medical Research Project for Translation Convergence was open under the theme of Understanding of the Current Research on Biomedicine.
The forum included speeches by Professors Randy Seeley and Bruce Kemp, world-renowned scholars, and by participants from the U.S., Australia, Japan, Mexico, and Korea, and featured four symposium sessions, more than 20 lectures, and more than 50 poster presentations. Sessions of Energy Balance Regulatory System, which is part of a Korea-Mexico joint research project, Neuroscience & Metabolism, Translational Research, and Multifaceted Metabolism were particularly well received by the attendees.
“The symposium serves as a great opportunity to share and develop knowledge and understanding from the perspectives of translational research, which is recognized as important,” said Host Leader Imjoo Rhyu. “I’m so glad to have this meaningful event in a beautiful autumn season, and hope that we will be motivated to keep sharing opinions and ideas each other regarding medical science.”
“The Korea University College of Medicine BK21PLUS Medical Research Project Team for Translation Convergence encourages cooperation between the convergence translation research and each major, and innovation by exploring new areas if they are likely to lead the 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Dean Hong sik Lee. “I hope this symposium will be a bridge to upgrading national medical science, and I’d like to express thanks to Leader Imjoo Rhyu and the BK21PLUS Project Team for their hard work in hosting this event.”
Koreans’ head size grew over 40 years (from 1930s to 1970s)
Found by Dr. Im Joo Rhyu-led research team at the Korea University College of Medicine as a result of MRI analyses, Koreans’ intracranial volume 90ml larger resulting from changes in the social environment
It has been found that the Koreans’ head has greatly changed during 20th century. Professor Im Joo Rhyu of the Anatomy Department at the Korea University College of Medicine reported that Koreans born in the 1970s had 90ml larger cranial volume than those born in the 1930s. Also, the cranial morphology in both groups was also different from each other.
The researchers stated that they reached the conclusion based on three dimensional analyses of scanned cranial vault of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of total 115 Koreans born in the 1930s and 1970s.
According to the study results, the difference was found from size of the interior skull and the intracranial volume between two groups. The people born in the 1970s who bred in socioeconomic stable environment, was 90ml bigger than the people born in the 1930s, who lived under impoverished colonial rule. Also, the changes differed by sex as the cranial shape; length, height, and width has increased in men while the only the height and width was increased in women. This change is dramatic as the change typically processed slowly over 100 to 200 years. Such cranial morphology was accompanied by industrialization and urbanization that had occurred since the Industrial Revolution. However, according to the study, the process took 40 years In Korea, which is a short period of time after the national liberation.
The results indicate that Koreans who grew up under the Japanese colonial rule in the 1930s were devastated in both socio-economical means, therefore left with poor nutrition, which lead to poor maternal health and physical growth. On the other hand, those born in the 1970s, were provided enough nutrition to grow and develop, as the nation had become free of exploitation while the society was stable, and economy was flourishing.
“The intracranial volume and cranial index have been recognized as important indicators in the field of not only physical anthropology, but also brain science and evolutionary anthropology, because it is possible to assess brain size using them. From the recent study on Koreans, we have demonstrated the fact that not all generations of Koreans go through same changes, but the changes in head size and shape are accompanied by socioeconomic conditions, as well as geological or environmental circumstances,” head researcher Professor Rhyu said. “We concluded that the social stability and economic growth in the 1970s in Korea brought the people proper nutrition and physical growth.”
The research was supported by the Ministry of Education, under the BK21PLUS Project, and was published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology under the title, Changes in Intracranial Volume and Cranial Shape in Modern Koreans Over Four Decades. The journal is prestigious, ranking the top 8.8% in the international journal lists for anthropology of Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), released by Clarivate Analytics.
pubmed link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29543324
Am J Phys Anthropol. 2018 Jul;166(3):753-759. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.23464. Epub 2018 Mar 15.
Hepatic Resection Compared to Chemoembolization in Intermediate to Advanced Stage Hepatocellular Carcinoma
The Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging system has been widely adopted around the world in the staging and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. The BCLC staging system classifies patients into 0, A, B, C, or D, after examining the status of the tumor and hepatic function, enabling one to determine the disease status relatively easily. The system also suggests a treatment option: transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) for BCLC stage B, and systematic treatment for BCLC stage C. But it might be a problem if one were to stick to only one kind of treatment, as the BCLC stage B/C patients fall into various categories in terms of liver function and vascular invasion. Particularly, for East Asian patients with hepatocellular carcinoma whose liver function is relatively well-preserved, more active treatment should be taken into account.
The research team led by Dr. Kim Jihoon from the Department of Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine at Korea University Guro Hospital compared a surgical resection with TACE in patients with intermediate to advanced-stage (BCLC B/C) through systematic review and meta-analysis. Through a database search, they included 18 high-quality studies (one randomized controlled trial [RCT], five propensity-score matching non-randomized comparative trials [NRCTs], and 12 NRCTs), that compared survival outcomes of 5,986 patients after surgery and TACE. They found significant survival benefits for surgery over TACE in BCLC stage B/C patients (hazard ratio 0.67; P<0.00001). Five-year survival rates for surgery were significantly higher than those for TACE in the patients (odd ratio 2.71 in BCLC B/C, 2.77 in BCLC B, 3.03 in BCLC C; P < 0.00001). Survival benefits persisted across subgroups, sensitivity, and meta-regression analysis, and remained constant. In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggests that surgical resection provides survival benefits in patients with intermediate to advanced-stage (BCLC stage B/C). The evidence found herein may assist in the choice of treatment modality based on diverse definitions of operability.
The research results are published in Hepatology, under the title of, ‘Hepatic Resection Compared to Chemoembolization in Intermediate to Advanced Stage Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Meta-analysis of High- Quality Studies.’
pubmed link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29543988
Hepatology 2018 Mar 15. doi: 10.1002/hep.29883.
Constriction of the Mitochondrial Inner Compartment is a Priming Event for Mitochondrial Division
Mitochondria are organelles which have evolved by endosymbiosis. They have double membranes: inner (IMM), and outer (OMM), and play a physiological role, such as in generating cellular energy, regulating calcium levels, and releasing reactive oxygen species. The word mitochondrion comes from the Greek μ？το？, mitos, meaning "thread", and χονδρ？ον, chondrion, which means "granule" or "grain-like". They are known as highly dynamic organelles that change their shapes by continuously undergoing fusion and division.
Although such morphological alterations, particularly triggered by cellular metabolism, division, or death are drawing great attention, the molecular mechanism behind this has not been clearly elucidated. The research team led by Dr. Woong Sun, of the Department of Anatomy at Korea University College of Medicine, witnessed a repetitive constriction of mitochondrial inner compartments (named CoMIC) in neurons, and found that this constriction is necessary for mitochondrial fission.
Experts have believed that two major proteins (actin protein and Drp1), which exist in cytoplasm, are involved in mitochondrial fission tightening around the mitochondrion. But our team’s recent study discovered that the inner mitochondrial membrane also plays a role in the constriction leading to fission. We also confirmed that some roles involving both in and out at the same time, are required for an effective mitochondrial fission. Primitive microorganisms (achebacteria) deemed to be the origin of mitochondria, live independently, and, therefore, they must be mediated by a molecular mechanism to reproduce (cell division) on their own, where the cell division takes place inside. In this context, our discovery would also be very interesting from an evolutionary point of view, as it is regarded that eukaryotic mitochondria somehow maintain strategy for their old ancestors used.
The research results are published in Nature Communications under the title of, ‘Constriction of the Mitochondrial Inner Compartment is a Priming Event for Mitochondrial Division.’
pubmed link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5472732/
Nature Communications 2017 Jun 9;8:15754. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15754.