Seven of KU faculty members were selected as the most influential researchers in the world in 2019, the most recorded among all private universities in Korea.
From the top row left, Jong Seung Kim (Department of Chemistry), Jun Hong Noh (School of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering), Choon Ki Ahn (School of Electrical Engineering), Yong Sik Ok (Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering); and from the bottom row left, Klaus R Müller (Department of Brain and Cognitive Engineering), Ick Chan Kwon (KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology), and Kwang Meyung Kim (KU-KIST Convergence Graduate School).
Recently, the global corporation, Clarivate Analytics (formerly The Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters; hereafter, Clarivate) announced the world’s most influential researchers (HCR, Highly Cited Researchers) and as with last year, this year Korea University again boasted the most representatives from Korea, with 7 professors from Korea University named on the list.
HCR (Highly Cited Researchers) is a term referring for researchers who have a high number of cited papers. The Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, annually selects a list of Highly Cited Researchers who have produced the most papers ranking in the top 1% of citations for their field and year of publication. Marking its fifth year of selections, this year’s list includes researchers who have been consistently recognized by fellow researchers from around the world based on the number of citations over the last decade.
The 7 faculty members selected are Jong Seung Kim (Department of Chemistry), Jun Hong Noh (School of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering), Choon Ki Ahn (School of Electrical Engineering), Yong Sik OK (Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering), Ick Chan Kwon (KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology), Kwang Meyung Kim (KU-KIST Convergence Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology), and Klaus R Müller (Department of Brain and Cognitive Engineering), for whom Korea University was listed as their secondary affiliation.
Professor Jong Seung Kim has been selected as one of the world's best researchers in chemistry every year since 2014 and has been honored for six consecutive years. Professor Jun Hong Noh, Kwang Meyung Kim, and Klaus R Müller were selected in the field of `Cross-field’, Professor Choon Ki Ahn in engineering, Professor Yong Sik Ok in environment and Ecology, and Professor Ick Chan Kwon in the field of pharmacology and toxicology.
Professor Jong Seung Kim has developed a “next-generation target-oriented anticancer drug using small molecules”, and has published more than 420 papers, with a total of 26,402 citations and a high H-index of 85. He has also played a leading role internationally in his field by registering over 70 domestic and international patents. His team researched and developed a drug delivery system known as DDS, which works effectively on only cancer cells, and has and focused on developing an anticancer drug delivery system without side effects for over 20 years. He developed targeted anticancer drugs to improve low levels of cancer cell death, which has significantly reduced side effects in cancer treatment and pioneered a new paradigm for overcoming drug resistance.
Professor Jun Hong Noh has been researching next generation solar cell fields related to renewable energy, and he has recently attracted attention for research on halide solar cells. His technology is viewed as an innovative technology that has changed the existing paradigm; it was included among the world's top 10 breakthrough technologies by Science magazine in 2013, and was selected as one of the world’s Top 10 Emerging Technologies by the World Economic Forum in 2016. He has published 91 SCI papers, which led to 21,107 citations (as of August 2019) and has contributed to the development of his field by registering Perovskite solar cell-related patents, 25 domestically and 4 internationally, in the last 5 years.
Professor Choon Ki Ahn won the Young Scientist Award (President's Award), selected by the Ministry of Science and ICT, and by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, in 2017. He pioneered the control and analysis of multidimensional systems using unique and diverse mathematical methods, thereby contributing to the development of control theory and technology. His main research topic is artificial intelligence-based intelligent control, which has recently focused on the development of intelligent control technology for drones, robots and autonomous vehicles. Professor Ahn is an associate editor of many top journals in the field of intelligent control and intelligent systems, including IEEE TNNLS, IEEE TFS, IEEE TSMCS, and IEEE TASE
Professor Yong Sik Ok has been researching convergence technologies for sustainable climate environmental energy and has served as the editor-in-chief of the first and second ranked journals among the 118 journals in the field of environmental engineering, according to CiteScore. Along with Professor William Mitch of Stanford University, he is leading his field by working with over 30 universities on the Sustainable Waste Management Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. Professor Ok became the first Korean to be selected in the field of environmental ecology and has 37 highly cited papers out of the Web of Science’s 454 papers since 2009. His HCP selection rate is 8.15%, making him the world's leading scholar in the environment field in both quantity and quality.
Professor Müller is an international faculty member at Korea University. He is famous in the field of machine learning and brain-computer interface. His total number of citations is 21,430, with an H-index of 59. He has contributed extensively to several key issues in machine learning, including support vector machines and kernel methods, and neural networks, and he has pioneered the application of new pattern recognition methods in areas such as brain-computer Interfaces for patients suffering from lock-in syndrome. His current research interests include applying time series analysis and machine learning methods to areas such as biomedical data analysis (brain-computer interface, genomic data analysis, and medical data mining), atomic simulation, and computational chemistry.
Professor Ick Chan Kwon, an authority in the study of theragnosis, has published over 400 SCI papers and has over 19,000 citations to date. He was given an academic award in 2014 from the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. He leads the Biomedical Engineering Research Center’s molecular imaging team in researching the use of various nanoparticles for early diagnosis and effective treatment of cancer, with a focus on targeting strategies that allow nanoparticles to accumulate selectively in tumors. Recently, he developed a technology to introduce artificial biomarkers and succeeded in inducing the same biomarkers to be expressed in heterogeneous tumor cells. This is expected to improve treatment efficiency by overcoming the heterogeneity and diversity of tumors.
As a researcher in the field of nanomedicine research, Professor Kwang Meyung Kim has published over 110 papers as the main author or corresponding author in the last five years. To date, the number of citations has reached 10,000. The research results of his article, “Development of fusion protein nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis / treatment,” were selected for inclusion in the 2014 Top 10 Science and Technology News items by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies. He has developed a new technology that can selectively remove only cancer cells with self-assembled nanomaterials, making important achievements in the development of non-toxic chemotherapy. In addition, he has made significant contributions to the development of next-generation anticancer technologies and new anticancer drugs to solve chemotoxicity problems, including the development of new anticancer precursors that can show strong anticancer effects in cancerous areas under a laser.
As such, the greatest driving force for Korea University in producing these seven teachers in HCR was the presence of an atmosphere and environment that recognizes and diversely supports outstanding researchers. Korea University has tried to create a healthy research ecosystem where creativity and innovation can take root in a stable research environment. Major research support programs include the Seok-Top Research Award, the Seok-Top Teaching Award, the Inseong Star Research Award, and the Inseong Star Research Fund.
The Seok-Top Research Award of Korea University was first established and awarded in 2016 to publicize and award faculty members who have achieved outstanding achievements to enhance and encourage research motivation. In addition, the Seok-Top Technology Award has been awarded since 2009 to identify and reward researchers with outstanding achievements in the field of technology transfer and industry-university cooperation research. The Inseong Star Research Award was first awarded in 2019 with the establishment of the Inseong Star Research Fund.
The Inseong Star Research Fund was established in June of this year with funds raised by the donation of 1 billion won from a Korea University alumnus, Hui Sung Yoo’s Inseong Fund and the Inseong Scholarship Fund. The name ‘Inseong’ was taken from the names of his mother and grandmother. As a program to reward excellent full-time faculty members who have the potential to win the Nobel Prize, the Inseong Star Research Award was introduced to reinforce the research capacity of researchers and to inspire long-term research incentives to create a culture that encourages research. Professor Jong Seung Kim and Professor Jun Hong Noh were awarded the first Inseong Star Research Award on September 17.
Korea University’s Research Information Analysis Center analyzes the outstanding achievements of faculty to select candidates for the Inseong Star Research Award. Noted achievements include ▲ HCR (Highly Cited Researchers, inclusion in the Top 1% of Researchers in the World) appointment, ▲ Researchers who have published papers in the world’s top academic journals, ▲ Outstanding researchers recommended by the research foundation, including strong candidates for Nobel Laureate of the Year, ▲ Top ranking for quantitative evaluation of academic papers, ▲ Star Researcher of that particular year