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In March 2024, Biological Research Information Center (BRIC), an online hub of publications by Korean translational scientists, interviewed Carolina Eye Research Institute (CERI) post-doc research associate and Han lab member Yong-Su Kwon, PhD. Via its “Notable Korean Scientists” webcast, BRIC introduces promising, early-career Korean scientists who have published in high-impact journals to peers in the Korean research community. Through interviews with rising Korean scientists worldwide, BRIC to aims inspire young students of Korean heritage through promoting scholarly excellence and facilitating communication among early career Korean researchers. Yong-Su Kwon, Ph.D

In his “Notable Korean Scientists“*  interview, Dr. Kwon overviewed his study — Melanin-like Nanoparticles as an Alternative to Natural Melanin in Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells and Their Therapeutic Effects against Age-Related Macular Degeneration — published by ACS Nano in November 2022. To counteract non-regenerating melanin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), Han’s lab team developed PEGylated synthetic melanin-like nanoparticles (MNPs) as a therapeutic alternative to replenish melanin in the RPE for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In the BRIC webcast, Kwon stated: “Our investigative findings demonstrated that [MNPs] can be used as a substitute for natural melanin in the RPE. Further study is warranted to evaluate the potential efficacy of MNPs as a natural radical scavenger against oxidative stress in reactive oxygen species (ROS)-related diseases, such as AMD with increasing age.”

As the UNC Eye Research Seminar Series featured speaker in late May 2024, Dr. Kwon overviewed his latest investigative work — “Advanced biomaterials in nanomedicine and innovative therapeutic strategies for age-related macular degeneration” — with Carolina Eye Research Institute (CERI) colleagues and other UNC research collaborators who contribute to CERI-based cross-disciplinary ocular disease studies.


* NOTE: The Kwon interview on the BRIC website is in Korean. Use Google Translate on this page for English.