Greetings from the Director
I became sure that immunology is what research professors should delve into after listening to lectures of two Korean American immunologist, Byung-Hak Park and Yoon-Bum Kim, already renowned in the U.S. This was around 1975, when I was serving as a resident for internal medicine following the graduation from The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine. My research experience in immunology began in internal medicine course in Kangnam St.Mary's Hospital when I saw firsthand a transplantation rejection patient following a kidney transplantation.
In cooperation with talented researchers from The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine and with young staff members I worked with at rheumatism internal medicine division, we successfully had more than 20 presentations at seminars held abroad. In fact, this led to establishing Rheumatism Research Center . Based on my study and clinical experience, which spans 17 years altogether, and thanks to the improved research environment in universities, I have strived hard in the last 3 years to make Rheumatism Research Center globally competitive, composed of talented and promising researchers.
My ultimate goal is to form an integrated research team that combines basic science with clinical application research at Rheumatism Research Center through support from universities and the government. Such integration is not actively promoted in Korea yet. I am proud to say that we are a leading research team on rheumatism composed of not only the best researchers on basic science encompassing cell engineering and experimental animal model but also the best clinical researchers. Based on research performance and experience of the researchers, Rheumatism Research Center has set a goal to seek and develop new material that can destroy or recover synoviocyte through pathogenesis, T-cell regulation (oral tolerance and T-cell control) and the functions of inflammation mediated molecule.
It is less than 15 years since the study of rheumatism took root as a science branch in Korea . But I hope Rheumatism Research Center can be a beacon of dream and courage to young and ambitious basic scientists and rheumatism specialists. Furthermore, it should imbue hope and provide an opportunity to enhance the living standards of patients suffering in ignorance.
I will exert my utmost effort to make Rheumatism Research Center the world's best based on my accumulated clinical experience and basic research experience, in close cooperation with basic scientist I have been working with. In closing, I wholeheartedly thank all the professors from universities including Seoul National University and Pohang University of Science and Technology for their decision to work with us.