Ick Chan Kwon, Ph.D.

Nanotheragnosis as a New Paradigm of Personalized Medicine


Companion Diagnosis, based on pharmacogenomics, has been recognized as one of most important key representatives of personalized medicine. However, Companion Diagnosis does not provide any clues in developing new ways of therapeutics but it only provides a best choice of drugs based on given genetic information. Therefore to step further for the future advancement of personalized medicine, we need to introduce a concept of therapeutics in Companion Diagnosis. Here, we introduce Theragnosis as a new paradigm of personalized medicine which includes both a real-time visualization of disease phenotypes and a novel adaptive design of therapeutics all together at the same time.

Approaches in combining these two important functionalities all together in a polymer nanoparticle are proposed in this presentation. Self-assembled and auto-quenched fluorescent nanoparticular probes have been designed to visualize target molecules, such as proteases and protein kinases. These nanoparticles can also serve as useful therapeutic tools with using novel drug delivery technologies. Moreover, it might be possible to evaluated therapeutic efficacies in real-time manner when therapeutic design shares principles of diagnostic imaging. Examples of theragnostic design of ‘dose-amplification’ will be introduced in this presentation.


Ick Chan Kwon is a Tenured Principal Research Scientist and Director-General of Biomedical Research Institute in Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). He is also a Professor of KU-KIST Graduate School in Korea University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Textile Engineering at Seoul National University in 1982 and 1984, respectively. He received his Ph. D. in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry from University of Utah in 1993. After a post-doctoral training at Center for Controlled Chemical Delivery in University of Utah, he joined KIST in 1994. He served as a vice president (2005-2008) and president (2008-2010) of the Korean Society of Molecular Imaging and currently serves as an Editor for Asia of the Journal of Controlled Release (Elsevier). He is a fellow of The Korean Academy of Science & Technology and a member of The National Academy of Engineering of Korea. His main research interest is development of smart nano-probes for theragnosis and molecular imaging with polymeric nanoparticles. He received Samsung Polymer Science Award from The Polymer Society of Korea (2013) and Academy Award from The Korean Academy of Science and Technology (2014). He recently awarded Order of Science and Technology Merit (Ungbi Medal) from the Republic of Korea (2016). He has published over 360 peer-reviewed articles (total citation 16,400, h-index 73 by Web of Science) and delivered 70 invited lectures at International Conferences.