Go to contents

Professor Hwang Woo-suk : Cloning Hope to the People

Posted December. 30, 2004 22:30,   


It was a “revolution.”

Seoul National University veterinary professor Hwang Woo-suk (age 51) – The research team led by professor Hwang announced in February that they had succeeded in cloning a human embryo and extracting stem cells from it, the first time ever in the world.

Stem cells are pluripotent cells which can grow into any of the organs composing the human body. The research was considered a breakthrough for treating incurable diseases.

Professor Roger Pederson of University of Cambridge, a worldwide authority in biotechnology, judged the following.

“England has swept the world with the industrial revolution in the 18th century. The United States brought about the information & communication revolution in the 20th century. The bio revolution for the 21st century will take place in Seoul, Korea.”

Professor Hwang leaped into worldwide fame as a star scientist. The international press, including the New York Times headlines, wrote of his work on their front pages. Some one hundred lectures were done overseas.

“Time,” a U.S. weekly news magazine, selected Professor Hwang as one of the “people who mattered in 2004.” Science magazines “Science” and “Nature” chose his work as one of top 10 research of the year.

However, Professor Hwang has started worrying recently.

“I am most happy when I’m in my laboratory. However, lately, I have been making involuntary excursions. Instead, I reduced my four-hour daily sleep and supplemented my research time.”