Solutions Unique to KU ‘Overcoming Diseases that Threaten Humanity’
The MAGIC in KU-MAGIC stands for Medical Applied R&D Global Initiative Center. It is a major project spanning various fields such as medicine, research, development, global networking, national projects, and commercialization.
As can be seen from the name of the project, the goal of KU-MAGIC is to overcome diseases that threaten humanity. The gist of the project lies in the organic cooperation between researchers in each field. This has led to the integration of human resources and infrastructure. The Korea University Medical Center, Korea’s only government-designated research-oriented hospital (Anam, Guro), seeks to establish a convergence medical center that enhances research capacities and human power across all biomedical fields by strengthening ties between the College of Medicine, the College of Life Sciences & Biotechnology, the College of Science, the College of Nursing, and the College of Pharmacy. The core goal of the KU-MAGIC project is to deliver new results based on active interdisciplinary research involving the aforementioned institutes.
Five Key Themes of KU-MAGIC
The KU-MAGIC project has five key themes. The first is viruses and infectious diseases. Based on the university’s leading role in the national MERS crisis and Professor Ho-Wang Lee’s isolation of the virus that caused epidemic hemorrhagic fever, new diseases will be overcome through the establishment of a new system for research innovation. The second theme is the development of medical devices. By converging IT and BT, the university seeks to develop advanced medical technology for diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis and prevention will be possible with the development of innovative diagnosis kits and markers for rare diseases.
The third is personalized medicine. Next-generation cancer treatment technology will be developed through research on genomics, proteins, and stem cells. The fourth is smart aging. This includes the development of therapeutic methods for neural and cognitive disorders, chronic diseases, and degenerative diseases, as well as the development of functional foods. The last theme is integrated disease management using big data analysis. Health management information will be provided for all stages from infancy to old age, and preventive measures will be offered against major diseases, depending on individual lifestyle.
To derive the most ideal model for Korea, the university examined advanced research systems around the world before the launch of the project. Key personnel of Korea University and the Korea University Medical Center visited the Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical Center, NIH Clinical Center, Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus, and UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine. On September 4, Director Kevin Grimes of the SPARK Program at Stanford University attended the launching ceremony of KU-MAGIC and shared his expertise.
In addition, a global research network for medical technology was built with more than 50 biomedical research institutes, including Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A-STAR), King’s College London, Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, Stanford University, and Texas Medical Center. New collaborative opportunities are also being pursued with local research institutes. Mayor Wonsoon Park of Seoul visited the Jeongneung Campus on September 19 to explore the creation of new jobs and mutual development with the Hongneung Research Complex following the launch of KU-MAGIC.
Towards an Advanced Research Mecca of Interdisciplinary Pursuits
To deliver values extending beyond medicine, Korea University will launch KU-MAGIC Project Zero in order to strengthen ties between the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, medical school, health sciences, and Anam Hospital. In addition to the three hospitals, 1,500 faculty, and 4,800 medical professionals under umbrella of the Korea University Medical Center, the convergence medical center will consist of 24 science and engineering universities in Hongneung, 1,700 faculty, and 10,200 researchers.
KU-MAGIC has a big dream: to achieve commercialization of innovative research, to take the road less travelled, and to be a pioneer. Korea University has presented a new role of the university for economic growth and social development. It is hoped that a new paradigm will be created through KU-MAGIC, which is dedicated to medical advancements for all of humanity.
Korea University and Korea University Medical Center have responded to the needs of society through medical advancements.
Opening a new future of biomedicine with KU-MAGIC,
Korea University is once again contributing to humanity.