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We play with stem cells!
We innovate cancer treatment! 




The ultimate goal of our research is to help people live longer and healthier. Preventing death and repairing the aged/diseased organs are essential to achieve this goal. Cancer is the most common cause of death, and organ failure is the most common feature of aging-related diseases. Therefore, regenerative medicine and cancer precision medicine are key areas of convergence biomedical research to prolong human life in the era of 4th industrial revolution.


Our mission is to make innovative and ground-breaking, convergence stem cell and cancer research and translate our research discoveries for the improvement of health and the cure of diseases. The core values of our research group include highest level of professionalism, creativity, innovation, integrity, motivation, resilience, mutual care and team-work. With this mission and core values in mind, we study these three inter-connected and synergizing research areas of

(1) Stem cell biology & regenerative medicine,

(2) Cancer biology & precision medicine,

(3) Aging & anti-aging medicine.

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Lab 소개 및 미니강의 동영상 with K-BioX

Research Summary

Central questions: What are the role of recurrent mutations in stem cell self-renewal, cancer pathogenesis,

                                  and cancer therapeutic resistance?

Stem cells and cancers are tightly inter-related. Stem cells are oftentimes are the cell of origin for cancers. Also cancers have a subpopulation of cells, so called cancer stem cells (CSCs, a.k.a. tumor-initiating cells), which have stem cell-like characteristics and are considered the source of cancer recurrence. On the other hand, cancer is one of major aging diseases, and stem cells and stem-cell derived organs are the potential sources for anti-aging medicine. Therefore, stem cell research and cancer research are cross-connected and mutually applicable.

Our detailed research focuses include, but are not limited to,


I. Identification of tissue stem cells and their self-renewal mechanisms
– Still many tissue stem cells have not been identified. Furthermore, stem cell self-renewal and expansion are invaluable for regenerative medicine. We have extensive experience and expertise in these areas and will continue to achieve original and more significant research findings to identify and expand stem cells for regenerative medicine.

- We have for the first time identified human and mouse esophageal stem cells (Jeong et al, Gut, 2016), and we are currently trying to identify other tissue stem cells.  


II. Organogenesis
– The ultimate goal of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine is to generate micro-, mini-, and macro-organ to be used for organ transplantation. Although some researchers including our group succeeded in generating epithelial organoids and some of micro-organs derived from ESCs or iPSCs, the destination is still far to reach. We have built up strong experiences and expertise in epithelial stem cell biology and gear up toward organogenesis.

- As the first step toward organogenesis, we have built up our expertise in organoid culture. We have for the first time developed human and mouse esophageal organoids (Jeong et al, Gut, 2016) and other organoids (to be reported). We are also using a lot of other organoids including tracheal and lung organoids (Jeong et al, Cancer Discovery, 2017), and also tumor organoids. 

- We are currently trying to develop mini-organs.


III. Development of targeted therapies for cancers
– Individualized precision medicine will ultimately refine and maximize the cancer treatment effect and minimize the side effects. We have shown that mutations in Keap1-Nrf2 anti-oxidant pathway promote the pathogenesis of lung squamous cell carcinoma by deregulating airway stem cell self-renewal. We further demonstrated that KEAP1/NRF2 mutations confer lung cancers therapeutic resistance and that genetic pre-screening of the mutation status of lung cancers could help us predict cancer recurrence (Jeong et al, Cancer Discovery, 2017). Now we aim to develop novel therapies precisely targeting KEAP1/NRF2 mutant cancers and cancers with other mutations.


IV. Targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs)
- You have to remove the root if you want to get rid of weeds. Likewise, CSC theory suggests that we need to eliminate CSCs to cure cancers. CSCs are a subpopulation of cancer cells with the stem cell-like characteristics and are more resistant to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We are particularly interested in identifying and targeting CSCs in head and neck and lung cancers.

V. Tumor immunology

- Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and Natural Killer (NK) cells are two major players in tumor immunology. We are interested in regulatory pathways of CTLs and NK cells' activation. By modulating those pathways, we aim to develop novel drugs or therapies against cancers. 

VI. Stem cell therapy in lung fibrosis
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is one of the representative aging diseases. IPF is a progressive, restrictive lung disease. In IPF, lung epithelium becomes thickened and scarred, impairing gas exchange. However, the role of lung stem cells and their niche in IPF pathogenesis has not been well understood. Thus, we aim to further elucidate the role of lung stem cells in IPF pathogenesis and treatment.

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People - Current lab members

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

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Youngtae Jeong (정영태), M.D., Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, Associate Professor

Department of New Biology at DGIST


Office: E5-311

Tel: +82-53-785-1620


Education and Training

1995-2001    M.D., Seoul National University College of Medicine

2001-2002    Intern, Seoul National University Hospital

2005-2009    Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Professional Experiences

2009-2010    Postdoc, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (MIT)

2010-2015    Podstoc, Stanford University Cancer Institute

2015-2018    Instructor, Stanford Univ. Department of Radiation Oncology

2018-   Assistant/Associate Professor, DGIST Department of New Biology

Honors and Awards (Selected)

2022   Young Scientist Research Award, Korean Organoid Society

2020   DGIST Outstanding Research Award

2019   Outstanding Abstract Award, Korean Cancer Association 

2016   Abstract Award, Cleveland Cancer Stem Cell Conference

2016   Travel Award, FASEB Science Research Conference

2014   ECFMG Certificate (US Medical License)

2012   Travel Award, Freston Conference

2008   Korean Honor Scholarship, Embassy of Korea, Washington D.C.

2000   Outstanding Field Research Award, LG Global Challenger Program

International Fellowships and Grants

2012-2015   California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

2012            Stanford University School of Medicine

2008-2009   American Heart Association

Current Lab Members


Byungmoo Oh (오병무), Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Education and Training

B.A., Chungbuk National University, Korea

Ph.D., University of Science and Technology, Korea


Yoon Jeong Choi (최윤정), Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Education and Training

B.A., Yonsei University, Korea

M.S., Yonsei University, Korea

Ph.D., B.A., Yonsei University, Korea


Jihyeon Myeong (명지현), B.A.

Graduate Student

Education and Training

B.A., DGIST, Korea


Namwook Kim (김남욱)

Graduate Student

Education and Training

B.A., DGIST, Korea


Seongsoo Kim (김성수)

Graduate Student

Education and Training

B.A., DGIST, Korea

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Jeongmin Kim (김정민)

Graduate Student

Education and Training

B.A., Konkuk University, Korea


Yeonhyo Choi (최연효)

Graduate Student

Education and Training

B.A., Konkuk University, Korea

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Faculty appointment(교수 임용)

Congratulation to Baul! Baul Lee, our postdoc was appointed as an assistant professor at Sahmyook University College of Pharmacy. Although sad to let him go, we wish the best of luck for you!

Welcome, our new graduate student (Mar. 2024)

Yeonhyo Choi joined to our lab as a new graduate student! Welcome aboard!

Winter Intern of 2024

Welcome to our winter intern students, Yeonhyo Choi, Jaeyoung Park, and Youngin Kim. Have fun during your stay in our lab!


Excellent poster awards (우수 포스터 수상)

Congratulations to Baul and Jihyeon for winning the excellent poster awards from the annual meeting of the Korean Organoid Society!

Predoctoral fellowship (박사과정 연수 장려금)

Congratulation to Jihyeon! He won the nationwide prestigious predoctoral fellowship grant from the Korean government.

Summer Intern of 2023

Welcome to our summer intern students, Youngsoo Jang, Jiyoung Kang, and Sungmin Lee. Have fun during your stay in our lab!

Welcome, our new postdoc (Jun. 2023)

Yoon Jeong joined to our lab as a new posdtdoc! Welcome aboard!

Winter Intern of 2023

Welcome to our winter intern students, Hyunwoo Song and Yeonhyo Choi. Have fun during your stay in our lab!

Welcome, our new graduate student (Sep. 2022)

Jeongmin joined to our lab as a new graduate student! Welcome aboard!

Adios to Christine!

Christine got the job at Seegen as a manager. Congratulations!

We will annually celebrate our independence day from Christine:)

Congratulations! on getting the postdoctoral fellowship

Baul won the competitive fellowship from Korea National Research Foundation (창의도전과제). Good job!

Winter Intern of 2022

Welcome to our winter intern students, Yeji Nam, Jeongmin Kim, and Jae Won Song. Have fun during your stay in our lab!


Welcome, our new postdoc (Nov. 2021)

Baul joined to our lab as a new postdoc! He is a certified pharmacist. Welcome aboard!

Congratulations! on getting the postdoctoral fellowship

Byungmoo won the competitive postdoctoral fellowship from Korea National Research Foundation. Good job!

Summer Intern of 2021

Welcome to our summer intern students, Seungki Kim and Junghyun Kim. Have fun during your stay in our lab!

Welcome, our new postdoc

Jinyoung joined to our lab as a new postdoc! She is a board certified oromaxillofacial surgeon and dentist. Welcome aboard!

Welcome, our new graduate student

Sungsoo joined to our lab as a Master student. Welcome! 

Winter Intern of 2021

Welcome to our winter intern students, Heewon Cho and Hyeonje Hwang. Have fun during your stay in our lab!

Summer Intern of 2020

Welcome to our summer intern students, Seongsoo Kim, Haeun Son, Gayoung Lee, Nayoung Kim. Have fun during your stay in our lab!

Welcome, our new graduate student

Namwook joined to our lab as a Ph.D. student. Welcome! But note, everyone, that Namwook is practicing boxing everyday:)

Welcome, our new postdoc

Byungmoo joined to our lab as a postdoc beginning in June, 2020. Welcome!, and hopefully you can survive in our lab:)



We have successfully won 'High Risk, High Return' 내부과제 & 중견연구(유형 1-2, 2020-2025).

Winter Intern of 2020

Welcome to our winter intern student, Namwook Kim(DGIST) and Seungyoun Ryu(Chonbuk National Univ.). Have fun during your stay in our lab!

Welcome our new postdoc

Christine, a new postdoc, joined to our lab beginning in Oct, 2019. Welcome Christine, and hopefully you can survive from our lab:)

Paper published

Our main author paper just came out at Clinical Cancer Research, entitled with "Role of KEAP1/NFE2L2 mutations in the chemotherapeutic response of non-small cell lung cancer patients." (PMID: 31548347)

2nd round Summer Intern of 2019

Welcome to our 2nd round summer intern student, Seoyeon Nam from Osaka University, Osaka, Japan. Have fun during your stay in our lab!

Summer Interns of 2019

Welcome to our summer intern students of Namwook Kim, Mi Jang, Sungsoo Kim, and Sukjin Park. Have fun in our lab!

Outstanding Abstract Award

We were awarded with outstanding abstract award on 6/21/2019, which was given to three researchers, from the 45th Annual Meeting of Korean Cancer Association & 5th International Cancer Conference.


Jihyeon joined as a research assistant on 6/1/2019, and he will start his Ph.D. from 9/1/2019.

We were awarded the first funding from Korean National Research Foundation!

It will begin from 6/1/2019.

Lab Homepage Opened!

Our lab homepage is opened on 1/15/2019.


Sukjin joined as an intern and undergraduate research assistant on 1/2/2019.


First lab member and first postdoc, Dr. Soon Chul Heo joined from Duke University on 11/5/2018.


Lab of Stem cell biology & Cancer precision medicine opened @ DGIST on 8/27/2018.




Myeong J, Heo SC, Kim S, Yea K, Jeong Y.  Establishment of a chemical tongue injury-recovery mouse model. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 Nov 12;629:34-39. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2022.08.085. Epub 2022 Sep 6.PMID: 36099782

Shin S, Jung I, Jung D, Kim CS, Kang SM, Ryu S, Choi SJ, Noh S, Jeong J, Lee BY, Park JK, Shin J, Cho H, Heo JI, Jeong Y, Choi SH, Lee SY, Baek MC, Yea K. Novel antitumor therapeutic strategy using CD4+ T cell-derived extracellular vesicles. Biomaterials. 2022 Oct;289:121765. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121765. Epub 2022 Aug 31.PMID: 36067566


Jung I, Jung D, Zha Z, Jeong J, Noh S, Shin J, Park JK, Kim KS, Jeong Y, Hur J, Baek MC, Diaz-Aguilar S, Aguilar E, Friedlander M, Bucher F, Yea K. Interferon-γ inhibits retinal neovascularization in a mouse model of ischemic retinopathy. Cytokine. 2021 Jul;143:155542. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2021.155542. Epub 2021 Apr 26.PMID: 33926775

Kim CS, Yea K, Morrell CN, Jeong Y, Lowenstein CJ. Estrogen activates endothelial exocytosis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Jun 18;558:29-35. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.04.019. Epub 2021 Apr 22.PMID: 33895548


Gentles AJ, Hui AB, Feng W, Azizi A, Nair RV, Bouchard G, Knowles DA, Yu A, Jeong Y, Bejnood A, Forgó E, Varma S, Xu Y, Kuong A, Nair VS, West R, van de Rijn M, Hoang CD, Diehn M, Plevritis SK. A human lung tumor microenvironment interactome identifies clinically relevant cell-type cross-talk. Genome Biol. 2020 May 7;21(1):107. doi: 10.1186/s13059-020-02019-x. PMID: 32381040 


Jung D, Bucher F, Ryu S, Jeong J, Lee BY, Jeong Y, Kim MS, Oh YS, Baek MC, Yoon JH, Yea K. An adiponectin receptor agonist antibody stimulates glucose uptake and fatty-acid oxidation by activating AMP-activated protein kinase. Cytokine. 2019 Oct 16;126:154863. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2019.154863. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID: 1629112

Jeong Y, Hellyer JA, Stehr H, Hoang NT, Niu X, Das M, Padda SK, Ramchandran K, Neal JW, Wakelee HA, Diehn M.Role of KEAP1/NFE2L2 mutations in the chemotherapeutic response of non-small cell lung cancer patients. Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Sep 23. pii: clincanres.1237.2019. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-1237. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 1548347


Jeon YJ, Kim T, Park D, Nuovo GJ, Rhee S, Joshi P, Lee BK, Jeong J, Suh SS, Grotzke JE, Kim SH, Song J, Sim H, Kim Y, Peng Y, Jeong Y, Garofalo M, Zanesi N, Kim J, Liang G, Nakano I, Cresswell P, Nana-Sinkam P, Cui R, Croce CM.. miRNA-mediated TUSC3 deficiency enhances UPR and ERAD to promote metastatic potential of NSCLC. Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 30;9(1):5110. PMID:30504895

Rhee S, Chung JI, King DA, D'amato G, Paik DT, Duan A, Chang A, Nagelberg D, Sharma B, Jeong Y, Diehn M, Wu JC, Morrison AJ, Red-Horse K. Endothelial deletion of Ino80 disrupts coronary angiogenesis and causes congenital heart disease. Nat Commun. 2018 Jan 25;9(1):368. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02796-3. PMID:29371594


Jeong Y, Hoang NT, Lovejoy A, Stehr H, Newman AM, Gentles AJ, Kong W, Truong D, Martin S, Chaudhuri A, Heiser D, Zhou L, Say C, Carter JN, Hiniker SM, Loo BW Jr, West RB, Beachy P, Alizadeh AA, Diehn M. Role of KEAP1/NRF2 and TP53 Mutations in Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma Development and Radiation Resistance. Cancer Discov. 2017 Jan;7(1):86-101. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-16-0127. PMID:27663899


Lee HG, Kim H, Son T, Jeong Y, Kim SU, Dong SM, Park YN, Lee JD, Lee JM, Park JH. Regulation of HK2 expression through alterations in CpG methylation of the HK2 promoter during progression of hepatocellular carcinoma. Oncotarget. 2016 Jul 5;7(27):41798-41810. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.9723. PMID:27260001

Jeong Y, Rhee H, Martin S, Klass D, Lin Y, Nguyen le XT, Feng W, Diehn M. Identification and genetic manipulation of human and mouse oesophageal stem cells. Gut. 2016 Jul;65(7):1077-86. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2014-308491. Epub 2015 Apr 20. PMID:25897018


Jeong Y, Swami S, Krishnan AV, Williams JD, Martin S, Horst RL, Albertelli MA, Feldman BJ, Feldman D, Diehn M. Inhibition of Mouse Breast Tumor-Initiating Cells by Calcitriol and Dietary Vitamin D. Mol Cancer Ther. 2015 Aug;14(8):1951-61. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0066. Epub 2015 May 1. PMID:25934710


Zhou B, Damrauer JS, Bailey ST, Hadzic T, Jeong Y, Clark K, Fan C, Murphy L, Lee CY, Troester MA, Miller CR, Jin J, Darr D, Perou CM, Levine RL, Diehn M, Kim WY. Erythropoietin promotes breast tumorigenesis through tumor-initiating cell self-renewal. J Clin Invest. 2014 Feb;124(2):553-63. doi: 10.1172/JCI69804. Epub 2014 Jan 2. PMID:24435044

Jeong Y, Du R, Zhu X, Yin S, Wang J, Cui H, Cao W, Lowenstein CJ. Histone deacetylase isoforms regulate innate immune responses by deacetylating mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1. J Leukoc Biol. 2014 Apr;95(4):651-9. doi: 10.1189/jlb.1013565. Epub 2013 Dec 27. PMID:24374966


Jeong Y, Chaupin DF, Matsushita K, Yamakuchi M, Cameron SJ, Morrell CN, Lowenstein CJ. Aldosterone activates endothelial exocytosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 10;106(10):3782-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0804037106. Epub 2009 Feb 17. PMID:19223584


Contact Us

E5-311, 333 Technojoongang-daero, Dalsung-gun, Daegu, Korea


DGIST, 대구경북과학기술원



Highly intelligent and highly motivated

graduate and undergraduate students are

required to report to us, right now!!

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