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Two Renowned Biotechnology Scientists Join Hands

Posted May. 18, 2005 23:26,   


Professor Hwang Woo-suk (age 52) of Seoul National University will be entering into a joint research agreement with the British Dr. Ian Wilmut, who created the first cloned sheep in the world, Dolly, in October of this year.

They will work together to find a cure for the neurodegenerative “Lou Gehrig’s disease” that Stephen Hawking, the world respected British physicist, is ailing from.

During his visit to England, Professor Hwang said through a phone call with Dong-a Ilbo, “I had a two-hour joint consultation with the research team Dr. Wilmut heads at the Roslin Institute and the Edinburgh Medical School on the afternoon of May 17. Dr. Wilmut will visit Korea in October to conclude the research agreement to find a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

Dr. Wilmut visited Korea last April 4 and asked Professor Hwang and his team for joint research. Professor Hwang succeeded in cloning the world’s first human embryo and extracting stem cells last year, and these results are to be used to find a cure for the disease.

The joint research will attempt “cell treatment” of the disease, which involves cloning the cells of a patient suffering from the Lou Gehrig’s disease and after extracting the stem cells, and transplanting them to the patient.

Lou Gehrig’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease in which the motor nerves die and muscles degenerate, is a major incurable disease which humans must conquer.

Professor Hwang said, “The legal matters, such as the intellectual property rights of the accomplishments of the joint research project will be agreed on in time. I am planning to take over, one by one, each of the incurable diseases with the help of Korea’s stem cell technology.”