- Korea Virus Research Institute opens -
□ The Ministry of Science and ICT (“MSIT”; Minister Lim Hyesook) announced that the Institute for Basic Research (“IBS”; President Noh Do Young) hosted the opening ceremony of the Korea Virus Research Institute on July 6 (Tuesday) at the IBS Science Culture Center
ㅇ The opening ceremony was attended by approximately 30 people from related organizations and academia, including National Assembly Member Lee Sangmin, Vice Minister of Science and ICT Yong Hongtaek, Vice Mayor for Science of Daejeon Metropolitan City, IBS President Noh Do Young and President Kim Jang Seong of the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB). The ceremony included the presentation of the Korea Virus Research Institute ’s vision, signboard-hanging ceremony and a tour of the laboratory building.
□ As there was a consensus on the need for establishing a hub for expanding virus research infrastructure and improving Korea ’s virus research capabilities in order to respond to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in a post-COVID-19 world,
ㅇ the government had gone through a government-wide review process and received comments from domestic virus experts since late 2019 before appointing directors for the Korea Virus Research Institute and officially launching the Institute on July 6.
□ Professor Choi Young Ki from Chungbuk National University and Professor Shin Eui-Cheol from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have been appointed two new directors to lead the first research centers within the newly established Korea Virus Research Institute after a thorough and objective review process by the IBS Selection and Evaluation Committee (SEC).
ㅇ Director Choi, a world-renowned virologist, will be responsible for the overall management of the Institute while leading the Center for Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Viruses to identify the pathogenesis of emerging and re-emerging zoonotic viruses.
ㅇ Director Shin will lead the Center for Viral Immunology to study the body ’s immune response against viruses and immunopathology mechanisms, in order to improve our knowledge base to respond to new viruses.
< Professional Experience of the Directors >
Research Areas & Experience
Choi Young Ki
College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University
‧ Emerging and re-emerging zoonotic viruses
‧ Ph.D. in Virology, University of Minnesota (2002)
‧ Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine at Chungnam National University (1999)
Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, KAIST
‧Immunology and infectious diseases
‧Research Fellow, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH), (2002-2007)
‧Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea (2001)
□ The Korea Virus Research Institute’s missions include conducting medium- to long-term basic research on viral diseases, and advancing the national research capabilities in basic virus research to global levels through cooperation with universities, etc.
ㅇ The Research Institute will serve as a hub for research cooperation ecosystem that strengthens the connection between basic research findings with research for practical applications (e.g. treatments, vaccine development, etc.) by establishing and operating a consultative body on virus research cooperation that involves universities and research institutes.
ㅇ The Research Institute will be a facilitator of basic research by operating a Virus Research Support Center that encourages joint utilization of research facilities and equipment including the BL3 facility and provides research resources such as viruses and samples.
ㅇ In the event of a national health crisis such as an outbreak of an emerging or re-emerging infectious disease, its role is to provide prompt support to relevant research while working closely with other agencies for infectious disease response, such as the Global Center for Infectious Disease (Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, KDCA) and the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, MAFRA).
□ In his welcoming speech, IBS President Noh Do Young said, “The mission of the Korea Virus Research Institute is to go beyond clinical measures to counter the daily threat of viruses, and to equip itself with medium-to-long-term basic science research capabilities.”
ㅇ The IBS President also said, “The IBS seeks to respond to crisis of infectious disease by harnessing the power of basic research, with the Korea Virus Research Institute playing a central role.”
□ In his congratulatory remarks, Vice Minister Yong Hongtaek said, “Efforts are under way not just by the Ministry of Science and ICT but across the whole of government, focusing all national capabilities on responding to infectious diseases.”
ㅇ The vice minister added, “Just as there have been a growing interest and heightened expectations for the launch of the Korea Virus Research Institute, I look forward to the research institute playing a central role in advancing basic research and in responding to infectious diseases in the medium- to long-term.”