Inseong Star Research Award paves the way for “Creative KU”
Established to reflect donor’s expectations for development in science research
Alumni donor Hwi-seong Yu hopes to see “brilliant research” with accumulated donations of more than 5 billion won
▲ (From L-R): Soon Young Jung, Vice President for Research Planning; Yoon-Jung Lee, Vice President for Research Affairs; Jin-Hee Ryu, Provost and Executive Vice President;President Jin-Taek Chung; Prof. Jun hong Noh; Prof. Jong Seung Kim; Hwi-seong Yu; Jin-han Ree, Executive Vice President for Research; Hyok Key Song, Vice President for Development and External Affairs; and Jun Heo, President for Research and Business Foundation.
“Money must be spent when there’s warmth”
Hwi-seong Yu, who entered the Department of Commerce at Korea University in 1958, lives by the philosophy of “giving to those in need and feeling satisfaction from sharing since money is not something you can take with you to the afterlife.”
Over the years, Yu has done his part for his alma mater and juniors by donating an accumulated sum of more than 5 billion won to Korea University.
After donating a hefty 1 billion won in 2011 and again in 2015, Yu donated his Jamwon-dong apartment worth 2.2 billion won in 2017. In June this year, he made an additional donation of 1 billion won, specifically for science research, bringing his total donations to more than 5 billion won.
The 1 billion won donated by Yu in June was used to create the Inseong Scholarship Fund; “inseong” is a combination of the character “in” from his mother’s and grandmother’s names and “seong” from his own.
Using the Inseong Scholarship Fund, Korea University launched the Inseong Star Researcher Award. This award recognizes outstanding full-time faculty members who show promise in winning a Nobel prize. The first awards ceremony of the Inseong Star Researcher Award was held to strengthen research competence and provide long-term motivation for researchers.
At the awards ceremony of the 1st Inseong Star Researcher Award held on September 17, Professor Jun Hong Noh of the School of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering in the College of Engineering and Professor Jong Seung Kim of the Department of Chemistry in the College of Science were named as winners.
Professor Noh and Professor Kim were selected based on their outstanding research achievements in solar cells and molecular biology, respectively, which have significantly boosted the standards of research at Korea University. The winners received 1 billion won each and were offered the opportunity to receive research equipment support instead of the prize money. Research equipment supported by the Inseong Scholarship Fund will be marked with an “honor banner.”
As an expert in next-generation solar cells, Professor Noh of the School of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering is known for his recent study on halide perovskite solar cells. He recently published a paper on next-generation halide perovskite solar cell technology in the top journal Nature (IF=41.577), opening up new possibilities for the commercialization of perovskite solar cells.
Professor Noh’s research has been applauded for proposing a new approach that makes commercialization possible, rather than simply improving the efficiency or durability of existing technology. The innovative approach was regarded as creating a paradigm shift and gained international recognition with its inclusion in the top 10 breakthroughs of 2013 in Science and the top 10 emerging technologies of 2016 chosen by the World Economic Forum. Professor Noh’s impressive list of achievements include 91 SCI papers in leading journals such as Nature and Science, a citation count of 21,107 (as of August 2019 in Web of Science), as well as 25 patents and 4 international patents related to perovskite solar cells in the past five years.
Professor Kim of the Department of Chemistry is known for the development of a drug delivery system that acts only on cancer cells. For more than two decades, he has dedicated himself to the development of an anti-cancer drug delivery system that has no adverse effects. As a result, he succeeded in developing an effective target-specific anti-cancer material, using it to present a new paradigm that significantly reduces adverse effects and resolves the issue of drug resistance in cancer treatment. The target-specific anti-cancer drug agent has shown excellent performance in terms of tumor selectivity and drug efficiency in various experiments.
Professor Kim’s research was featured on the cover of the August 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), and has also been covered in leading chemistry journals such as Advanced Materials, Angewandte Chemie, and Chemical Reviews. Over the past 20 years, he has published more than 420 papers in SCI journals and registered more than 70 domestic and international patents. As an international pioneer and head of the Next-Generation Molecular Theranostics Lab, Professor Kim has received numerous funds under the Leader (Creative Research) Support Program of the National Research Foundation since 2009. Thanks to his consistent performance, he was again selected for the program last year.
Korea University selects candidates for the Inseong Star Researcher Award based on the following criteria: ▲ HCR (highly cited researchers, top 1% in the world), ▲ publication in leading international journals, ▲ recommendation as outstanding researcher or in recognition of potential in winning a Nobel prize by the National Research Foundation, ▲ ranking among top researchers in quantitative evaluation of publications in academic journals and ▲ faculty with outstanding achievements in the pertinent year, including star researcher status.
Alumni donor Hwi-seong Yu attended the awards ceremony, where he encouraged the winners to continue devoting themselves to research.