Prof.  Jinwoo Cheon from Yonsei University receives a Humboldt Research Award

January 16, 2024

Jinwoo Cheon, director and H.G. Underwood Professor at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) Center for Nanomedicine at the Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award. The award, honoring internationally recognized researchers, will include a stay at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, where Cheon will be hosted by Professor Joachim Spatz.

Prof. Jinwoo Cheon is one of the world’s leading experts in the inorganic chemistry of materials. His research focusses on interdisciplinary themes such as the rational design of inorganic nanomaterials, and he is a pioneer in the development of next-generation nanoscale probes and tools for biomedical science and their diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Jinwoo Cheon is a leader in the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles and in applying these in living cells and animals. He founded the field of magnetogenetics, and continues to contribute novel research developments here. Magnetogenetics has important applications in the area of in vivo diagnostics and treatment.

Prof. Cheon has a vision of a new era of modern medicine in which progress in imaging and therapeutics are catalyzed by nanoscience. This will guide him in the search for novel nanomaterials that can be utilized as tools for biomedical science. He envisages a new world of applications of nanomaterials that enable external physical stimulation to be replaced with stimulation by means of  magnetism, mechanical force or thermal energy, suitable for living systems. Prof. Cheon’s expertise in nanomaterial design can provide the means for creating such tools for answering specific questions raised by researchers in other fields also.

During his stay in Heidelberg he will specifically explore his invention – magnetogenetics – in connection with skin and organoid models, synthetic cells and collective cell phenomena.

He will be hosted by Professor Joachim Spatz at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg.


The Humboldt Research Award

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards to internationally leading researchers from outside Germany and from all disciplines, based on their academic record to date. The award is in the amount of €60,000. Award-winners are also invited to conduct a research project of their choice at a research institution in Germany in cooperation with colleagues working there in related fields. The award permits a stay between six months and a full year in duration, which can be split into multiple shorter stays.

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