Go to contents

Korea’s Embryonic Stem Cell Research Surpasses That of Other Countries

Korea’s Embryonic Stem Cell Research Surpasses That of Other Countries

Posted June. 13, 2005 06:58,   


On June 11, Hwang Woo-suk, a Seoul National University professor, delivered a speech on his team’s research result and possibilities for the future at the conference hall of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston where supporters of embryonic stem cell research gathered.

Approximately 150 people, including scientists, doctors, and officials of civic groups, packed the conference room and expressed their respect to Hwang by giving him a standing ovation.

In and out of the conference room, patients with incurable diseases showed their high expectations of Hwang’s research. One old man who identified himself as father-in-law of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich arrived in Houston by plane from Chicago in order to meet professor Hwang for “just five minutes.”

He waited for Hwang at the hotel where Hwang stayed in the morning and requested Hwang, who was on his way to the conference room, to make his wife with an incurable disease cherish her hope.

In addition, on a bus that was transporting participants from a nearby hotel to the conference room, the president of a group supporting stem cell research even told a disabled woman on her wheelchair, “don’t worry. Professor Hwang came,” while helping her.

On the evening of that day, Professor Hwang received the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI)’s first “Global Achievement Award” at the Marriott Medical Hotel in Houston.

At the hotel, Mrs. Sheryl Travis noted, “In my lifetime, I only wish my daughter recovers her health from multiple sclerosis” and added that after listening to professor Hwang’s address, she was moved to tears at the thought of the possibility of her daughter’s recovery.

Prior to Hwang’s prize, on June 8, Korean patent experts in the U.S. launched a strategy support team for intellectual property rights aimed at helping Hwang at the Hilton Hotel in Macklin, Washington D.C. The strategy support team consists of patent attorney Lee Taek-soo, Lee Seon-hee, lawyer Kim Joo-mi, Han Sang-joon, and a guest researcher of Georgetown University, Lee Seong-woo (former director of genetic engineering division of the Korean Intellectual Property Office).

In an interview with Korean reporters in the U.S., Hwang remarked, “seeing nuclear transportation work designed to extract embryonic stem cells in the laboratory of Seoul National University, a prominent foreign research team yielded to a Korean team,” and compared the gap in research achievements between Korea and foreign countries to the difference between Pele’s soccer and village soccer.