Kwangjin is a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Michel Leroux and a recipient of a prestigious three-year Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2014/15. Kwangjin's doctoral research investigates the ciliary function of a novel protein which is associated with epilepsy in humans. Despite the fact that epilepsy is a very common human disease, there is no known cause for 70% of the cases of epilepsy. If Kwangjin can discover a connection between ciliary function and epilepsy, his research has the potential to help thousands of epilepsy-afflicted people around the world.
Kwangjin obtained his BSc in Biology from Yonsei University (Wonju, South Korea) in 2011, and an MSc from Seoul National University in 2014.
His ability to excel when entrusted with large amounts of responsibility was no doubt honed during Kwangjin’s time with the Korean Army. In the Republic of Korea, all males must perform two years of military service. Kwangjin used his service as an opportunity to improve his leadership skills, working with the US Army in the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA). Over those two years, Kwangjin was awarded five separate accolades from the US Army, culminating in an Army Commendation Medal. This award is given to American and foreign military personnel who have “distinguished themselves by acts of heroic, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service”.
Kwangjin hopes that he can help others with his research and mentorship. “I have a particular interest in sharing my knowledge and ideas with other people,” he says.
Outside of the lab, Kwangjin enjoys Latin dancing (Salsa and Bachata) and is a member of Vancouver Salsa performing group, Baile Cienfuegos. Kwangjin also likes to keep fit by playing volleyball, swimming and indoor cycling. When he has time, he goes hiking to enjoy the beautiful scenery of BC.