AsianScientist (Sep. 11, 2018) – Home to electronics giant Samsung, South Korea is dubbed one of the most innovative countries in the world, competing neck-and-neck with Western countries such as Sweden. Among the most notable recent innovations from South Korea include a smart electronic skin, a heart mesh that keeps the heartbeat in sync, the humanoid robot HUBO, and the supercomputers that power weather and climate research in the country.
Korea is also among the top performers worldwide when it comes to research and development (R&D) spending which stands at 4.2 percent of its GDP. This is second only to Israel which spends 4.3 percent of its GDP on R&D. In terms of human capital, South Korea counts 7,113 researchers per million inhabitants.
Here are ten Korean scientists from the 2018 Asian Scientist 100 who are spearheading groundbreaking research and innovative culture in their respective fields.
- V. Narry Kim
Kim, director of the Institute for Basic Science at Seoul National University, received the 2017 Chen Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Human Genetic and Genomic Research for her studies into the role of microRNAs in development and cancer.
- Paik Soonmyung
Paik received the 2017 Ho-Am Prize for developing Oncotype DX, the first multi-gene prognostic test for breast cancer patients that spares them from the side effects of chemotherapy.
- Yu Nam-Kyung
Yu was recognized as a 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Rising Talent for her work on Rett syndrome, a genetic neurological disorder.
- Kim Myung-hwan
Kim, who is head of the Battery Research Institute at LG Chem, received the 2017 POSCO TJ Park Technology Prize for his role in developing lithium ion batteries.
- Cha Hyung Joon
Cha, who developed a protein-based adhesive inspired by mussels, received the Inventor of the Year Award from the Korean Intellectual Property Office. Unlike commonly used medical adhesives, the mussel-inspired bioadhesive is biocompatible and strongly adhesive even when wet. Cha has been listed as the inventor of 135 intellectual properties, including 23 international patents, 47 domestic patents, 34 international patent applications and 31 domestic patent applications.
- Jang Jin
Jang received the Ho-Am Prize 2017 for his role in developing thin-film transistor displays, including flexible active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays and active-matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCD).
- Pack Sangheon
Pack, who is currently leading a global study developing a software-based networking system, won the 2017 IEIE/IEEE Joint Award for Young IT Engineer of the Year for his work on wireless communication.
- Son Young-sook
Son received the 2017 L’Oréal Korea-UNSECO Award for Women in Life Science for her research on the ability of stem cells to self-heal.
- Lee Jong-heun
Lee was recognized with the 2017 POSCO TJ Park Science Prize for his research on self-assembling nanoblocks and gas-detecting semiconductors.
- Choi Sookyung
A renowned particle physicist, Choi received the 2017 Ho-Am Prize for her discovery of a new class of subatomic particles named XYZ mesons. Together with her colleagues in the Belle experiment, Choi was the first to observe the X(3872) meson, a subatomic particle made of quarks and gluons. Although such exotic hadrons were first proposed over 50 years ago, they were only found by experimentalists in 2003 and subsequently confirmed by seven other experimental groups, making them the first and most well-understood type of XYZ meson.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Pixabay.
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