|Title||KIST's Person of the Month: Dr. Ki Duk Park (2020.03.31)|
KIST's Person of the Month: Dr. Ki Duk Park
This month’s KIST Person of the Month Award was given to Dr. Ki Duk Park from the Convergence Research Center for Dementia DTC for discovering “GABA,” a new candidate material for spinal cord injuries and dementia.
GABA is an inhibitory signal substance found in the central nervous systems of mammals, which, when produced in large quantities within reactive astrocytes, can cause memory loss or cognitive impairment.
In 2019, Dr. Ki Duk Park published on the existence of “KDS2010,” a new candidate material which inhibits the overproduction of GABA in the brain of a patient with Alzheimer’s. (Science Advances, March 20, 2019: Vol. 5, No. 3, eaav0316). By observing an animal model with spinal cord impairment to find out if KDS2010 could be applicable, Dr. Park discovered that when the spinal cord is injured, a substance called GABA is overproduced, leading to permanent damage to the nerves. At the same time, as KDS2010 caused the damaged spinal cord to recover, it was also possible to identify the nerve regeneration efficacy and treatment mechanism of KDS2010. Furthermore, the recovery efficacy and treatment mechanism of KDS2010 were also confirmed in rehabilitation training, which was combined with drug administration in animal models with stroke.
KIST has transferred this technology to NeuroBiogen Co., Ltd. for KRW 200 million (milestone set based on development and clinical progress) in advance to ensure that the candidate materials are used for manufacturing new drugs which can be utilized worldwide. Non-clinical trials are scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2020, and clinical trials in the second half of the same year. In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Ki Duk Park was therefore selected as KIST’s Person of the Month for March 2020.
KIST’s Person of the Month Award recognizes and rewards high achievers who contribute to the Institute in creative, innovative ways. Winners are selected by the Reward Deliberation Committee.
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