Branch Director

Orlando D. Schärer


Distinguished Professor, UNIST

Associate Director, IBS Center for Genomic Integrity

Before joining UNIST and IBS in 2017, I held positions at Stony Brook University, NY, USA (2005-2016) and the University of Zürich (1999-2005). I did postdoctoral studies at Erasmus University, Netherlands (Advisors: Profs. Roland Kanaar and Jan Hoeijmakers), have a PhD from Harvard University, USA (Advisor: Prof. Gregory L. Verdine) and a M.Sc. from the ETH Zürich, Switzerland (Advisor: Prof. Duilio Arigoni). For many years, my research interests have centered around the chemistry and biology of DNA damage and repair and cancer therapy.

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Section Heads

Jung Eun Yeo


Section head, DNA Damage Repair Section

IBS Center for Genomic Integrity, Chemical and Cancer Biology Branch

I received both B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Organic Chemistry at Myungji University, South Korea (Advisor: Prof. Sangho Koo, 2002-2004). I obtained a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Stony Brook University, NY, USA (Advisor: Prof. Orlando D. Schärer, 2005-2011). I did my postdoctoral studies at University of Minnesota, Twin City, USA (Advisors: Profs. Natalia Tretyakova and Alexandra Sobeck). My primary research interest is in the area of DNA damage repair , particularly the Nucleotide Excision Repair and Fanconi Anemia pathways.


Kei-ichi Takata

Email: | Phone: +82-52-217-5536

Section Head, Molecular Cancer Research Section

IBS Center for Genomic Integrity, Chemical and Cancer Biology Branch

Before joining UNIST IBS CGI in 2018, I was an assistant professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA (2013-2018). I did postdoctoral studies at University of Pittsburgh, USA (Advisor: Dr. Rick Wood), obtained a Ph.D. in biology at Tokyo University of Science, Japan (Advisor: Dr. Kengo Sakaguchi). My research interests are DNA repair, DNA replication, mechanism of cancer development and cancer therapy.

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Postdoctoral Researchers

Hyun Suk Kim (DDRS)

I received my B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences at Inje University, South Korea (Advisor: Prof. Chong-Rak Kim). I did postdoctoral studies at Indiana University (Advisor: Prof. Suk-Hee Lee) and University of Florida (Advisor: Prof. Robert Hromas), USA. I started to study DNA repair during postdoctoral studies, my research interest is in the analyses of the molecular mechanisms that regulate DNA replication and its repair in response to DNA damage in humans.

Young Kun Cheun (CTMS)

I received both B.S. in Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. I am interested in synthesizing biologically relevant DNA interstrand crosslink substrates and use them to better understand the mechanism of DNA interstrand crosslink repair. I also enjoy reading history books, listening to classical music, and playing soccer.

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Arnold Groehler (DDRS/CTMS)

I received my B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and my Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Minnesota (PI: Prof. Natalia Tretyakova). I am currently investigating protein-protein interactions between XPC and other NER proteins, and developing methods to detect cisplatin-induced DNA cross-links. I also enjoy learning korean and watching anime in my free time.

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Visesato Mor (CTMS)

I received Ph.D in Life Sciences from Jadavpur University. Kolkata, India (Mentor. Dr. T. Chatterjee). I did Postdoctoral studies at Stony Brook University, NY, USA (Mentor. Dr. Maurizio Delpoeta). I am interested in elucidating the molecular mechanism by which Transcription Coupled- Nuclear Excision Repair (TC-NER) induces DNA breaks in response to cytotoxic agents.

Kook Son (CTMS)

I received my B.S. in Biology from Stony Brook University, and my Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) (PI: Prof. Jie Chen). My research interest is to advance our understanding in the molecular mechanism of DNA repair in response to DNA damages and improve the therapeutic strategies for cancer.


Minyong Kee (DDRS)

I received both B.S. in Chemistry (1996-2000) and M.S. in Organic Chemistry at Myongji University, South Korea (Advisor: Prof. Sangho Koo, 2000-2002). After the graduation, I worked at several chemical companies. In the Schärer laboratory, I am the chemistry lab manager and focus on synthesizing site-specifically modified oligonucleotides, including dG-AAF (N-(deoxyguanosin-8-yl)-2-acetylaminofluorene).

Jihyeon Yang (DDRS)

I received both B.S. and M.S. in Food Nutrition at Ulsan University, South Korea (Advisor: Prof. Rina Yu, 2011-2017). I studied obesity and metabolic disease for my master's thesis. I am doing research in the area of DNA repair for the first time, and find it very interesting. I also enjoy travel.

Yu Bin Sung (MCRS)

I received B.S and M.S in Food Nutrition from Ulsan university (Advisor: Prof. Hye-seon Choi, Ri-Na Yu) During the master course, I studied bone and osteoclast. Now I am carrying out research on the molecular mechanism of DNA repair.

Jiyoung Park (CTMS)

Hello. I received both B.S. and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Engineering at Deagu hanny University (Advisor: Prof. Mi Ryeo Kim). I'm studying cancer therapeutics mechanisms at IBS CGI. I enjoy baking in my free time.

Nikita Thapa (MCRS)

I completed my Bachelors in Life Sciences from Delhi University and Masters in Biotechnology from Amity University, Rajasthan. Currently, I am investigating the molecular mechanism of DNA double strand break repair by DNA polymerase theta (POLQ).

Graduate Students

Yerkin Dunbayev (MCRS)

I come from Kazakhstan, and I have recently graduated from UNIST with B.S. in Chemical Engineering/Biological Sciences. Currently, I am looking into the mechanisms of NER, in particular the interactions between XPA, a proposed scaffold protein, and several NER proteins, including the TFIIH complex. I enjoy playing video games and jogging.

Buyoung Jung (DDRS)

I received my B.S. in Life Sciences/Biomedical Engineering at UNIST. My research interest is to study the mechanisms of DNA repair pathways, especially nucleotide excision repair (NER). I enjoy watching musicals and concerts in my free time.

Mihyun Kim (DDRS)

I graduated from UNIST with B.S. in Life science/Chemistry. Currently, I am interested in the mechanisms of nucleotide excision repair pathway (NER), in particularly the interactions between XPA and NER proteins. I enjoy watching movies and listening to music.

Andrew Kim (MCRS)

I am a Korean-American graduate of 2017 Winter at Wake Forest University, North Carolina, USA. Since October of 2018, I have begun researching the biochemical activity of DNA repair enzyme as an intern lab member.

Anuar Makhmut (CTMS)

I received my Bachelors in chemistry from UNIST and I am currently doing my Masters in biology also at UNIST. I am affiliated to Cancer Therapeutics Mechanisms section and my research focuses on developing synthetics methods to generate site-specific, defined DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) for biochemical and cell biological studies. The long term goal of my project is to reveal mechanisms of ICL repair in replication-dependent and -independent manner.

Undergraduate Students

Geun il Yi (MCRS)

I am a senior undergraduate student at UNIST. I'm studying biological science as a major and computer science as a minor. My current research interest is to reveal the relationships between proteins involved MMEJ which is one of DNA repair pathways. I like watching movies and traveling around the world.

Dao Nhat Mai (CTMS)

I am a senior undergraduate student at UNIST, graduating in 2020. My major is Bio-medical Engineering and minor is Business Management. I have a great passion for Cancer Biology, so now I am doing research on cisplatin-induced DNA crosslink under guidance of Postdoctoral Research Fellow Arnold Groehler. I like playing video games and reading manga.

Youngsik Oh (MCRS)

Hello. I am undergraduate student in UNIST. Now, I am junior in biological science (major) and chemical science (minor). I am interested in DNA repair, so I am now studying MMEJ (microhomology-mediated end joining). I enjoy listening to music and playing computer games in my free time.

Sion Lee (DDRS)

Hello! I am a sophomore undergraduate student and I have been doing internship in this lab since 2019 spring semester. My major is Biological Sciences and minor is Electrical Engineering. I'm studying and researching about NER and its related proteins, and I'm learning a lot of experiments.

Visiting Scholars

Former Members

Claudia Aloisi, Visiting Scholar

I am a graduate student at the ETH of Zurich Switzerland, and visiting student at UNIST for a research exchange. I received my M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pisa Italy, and I carried out my Master thesis work in Biotechnology, at the King´s College of London. My current research interest is to investigate the role of DNA repair in the toxicity and mutagenicity of DNA lesions that are linked to an increased risk of carcinogenesis in humans.

Nora Escher, Visiting Scholar

I received my B.S in Biology at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) and I am currently doing my M.S. in Molecular Health Sciences also at ETH. My master thesis is part of a collaboration project with UNIST IBS CGI, which allowed me to investigate at UNIST during one month. The aim of the project is to elucidate the role of Nucleotide Excision repair in the removal of mutagenic DNA lesions.

Jirawas Sornkom, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I received my M.Sc in Biomedical science from Utrecht University, the Netherlands and Ph.D. in Oncology from University of Melbourne, Australia (PI: Prof. Ross D. Hannan). Before joining Schärer’s lab at CGI-IBS, I was working as a research officer in Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia. My research interest is related to how cancer cells respond to DNA damages induced by chemotherapy and how we can improve the outcome of cancer patients by advancing our understanding in DNA repair processes. I enjoy baking and painting in my free time.

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Michelle Tello, Intern

Gian Jaeger, Intern

My name is Gian Jaeger and I am a tenth grader from Zürich Switzerland. I came to UNIST for four weeks to do my personal development month (PDM). During my stay I will grow several plasmids, use these to perform PCR and further develop my understanding of genetic modification by working in the lab.

Kai Schärer, Intern

My name is Kai Schärer. I attend the Inter Community School in Zürich, Switzerland. I am from Switzerland and the United States. I am at UNIST for four weeks for my school personal development month project. I will be working on introducing genes into plasmids and expressing them.

Chan Woo Kim, Intern (POSTECH)