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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Seoul National University College of Medicine was opened in 1926 as Department of Biochemistry in Gyeongseong Imperial University. After the independence of Korea, the department started a new phase with the inauguration of emeritus professor Ki-Young Lee as the head of department in October of 1946.  At the beginning, the department started with four professors (including the first professor Ki-Young Lee), and has been growing up to have 10 professors (including the department head professor Inhee Mook-Jung) and 59 graduate students as of 2018. Currently, the department has the main office and laboratories of 6 professors on the 4th floor of the Research Building in Yongon Medical Campus. Due to the rapid growth of the department, some laboratories are located at the Biomedical Science Building and the Cancer Research Building.


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has reorganized its curriculum with emphasis on the molecular medicine in order to build abilities of future biomedical scientists in next decade. In particular, the Biochemistry lecture is divided into two classes: one for students with bachelor’s degree and the other for students from premedical school to meet each student’s situation and level. The Personal Advisory System was introduced to expand the discussion between professors and students and to enhance each student’s individual ability. Through a journal club, students can learn the basic principles of various experimental methods and how to find and apply knowledge of biochemistry and molecular medicine, so that they can eventually realize the personalized medicine. Education and research fields in graduate school include human genomics, tumor signaling, molecular cell biology, enzymology, degenerative neurological diseases, medical antibodies, molecular medicine, epigenetics, and molecular immunology, being carried out to achieve the systematic connection of these areas and to emphasize related human diseases.


In the aspect of productivity in research, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has improved international competitiveness. Researchers in the department published 53 papers in SCI journals in 2017, whose accumulated impact factors of 153.5 (19.2 per professor) were comparable to globally renowned universities: in particular, 4 papers were published in Nature, Cell Metabolism and Nature Communications with professors in the department as corresponding authors. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is always striving for its excellence for the research and education to produce leading medical doctors and biomedical scientists


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