Ms. Eun-Seo Lee

Ph.D. Candidate

Seoul National University

Ms. Eun-Seo Lee received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Notre Dame, USA in 2013. During her undergraduate research, she identified the function of DE-cadherin between cap cells and germline stem cells (GSCs) and observed the influence of nutrient condition in culture medium toward GSC proliferation. Then, Eun-Seo came back to home country, South Korea, and obtained Master’s degree under the supervision of Professor Nathaniel S. Hwang in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Seoul National University in 2015. During her master’s course, she focused on reprogramming, cell differentiation, and direct cell conversion of adult mouse/human cells via non-viral carrier to be utilized in bone defect model.

Followed by successive research works in her master’s course, Eun-Seo is continuing her career path as a PhD candidate in the same laboratory at Seoul National University. In 2015-2018, she conducted researches as a visiting scholar in Yonsei University College of Medicine under the supervision of Professor Hyongbum Kim to extend her research horizon on genome-editing platform such as CRISPR-Cas9 in order to develop versatile ways of non-viral delivery for cell therapies, especially for in vivo. At this moment, her main research is to design external-stimuli responding CRISPR-Cas9 system which activates certain therapeutic-related genes for disease treatment.

She was the recipient of Brain Korea 21 Scholarship (2013-2016) and Global PhD Fellowship (2016-2019) both funded by National Research Foundation of Korea. She was also selected as Top 10% Global PhD Fellowship recipient by winning Global Empowerment program in 2018. She published 5 fist-author SCI papers and 1 Korean patent.

Controlling cellular microenvironment under photodegradable hydrogel and targeted gene activation by blue light-responsive system

Visible light responsive polymer was utilized to form hydrogel with photodegradation property enabling in situ microenvironment remodeling. Also, light-responsive vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene activation unit was incorporated to support its possibility in regenerative medicine application. Under light exposure, mechanical property of photodegradable hydrogel gradually decreased, and degrading products confirmed degradation of the hydrogel and its 3D environment remodeling. Furthermore, stem cell engineered with light activated VEGF expression incorporated dual responsive system was applied to animal defect model and proved its potential application in regenerative medicine.