Na Young Cheon, a graduate student (Advisor: Professor Jayil Lee) in the School of Life Sciences at UNIST has recently been awarded the prestigious 2020 Asan Foundation Medical Bioscience Scholarship in recognition of her excellent academic performance. As part of this award, Ms. Cheon will receive 80 million KRW in funding for up to four years.
This award has been given to Ms. Cheon for her work in DNA replication and repair research. Ms. Cheon has been actively carrying out research projects to observe interactions involved in DNA damage response and repair at the single-molecule level. Her goal is to understand the phenomenon of life related to DNA, such as the cloning of genes and the mechanisms for repairing DNA damage.
The understanding of the mechanism underlying protein migration revealed through her research projects, may help to find a cure for genetic disorders. A recent research work, published in the August 2019 issue of Nucleic Acids Research (IF: 11.56), is one of them. This paper, in which Ms. Cheon involved in as the first author, unveils the damage search mechanism for human NER protein, known as XPC-RAD23B. With the scholarship, Ms. Cheon plans to expand her research to the next level.
“Using this principle of protein movement that rapidly detects DNA damage in our bodies, it is expected that clues can be found for the detection of DNA damage,” says Ms. Cheon. “This can be the starting point for the treatment of various genetic diseases, including cancer.”
Established in 2017 by the Asan Foundation, the Asan Foundation Medical Bioscience Scholarship is an annual award given to the nation’s top graduate students in medical bioscience. The scholarship is designed to nurture excellent human resources to lead the medical bioscience field of Korea.