Jeong-Sun Seo

Dr. Jeong-Sun Seo is a leading figure who has held esteemed positions throughout his career. He taught biochemistry and molecular biology at the Seoul National University for 43 years until he retired in 2017. He then moved to the Seoul National University Bundang hospital as a Distinguished Professor where he later assumed the position of Director, overseeing its Precision Medicine Center. In 1997, he founded the biotechnology company, Macrogen at the backdrop of a tumultuous economic crisis in South Korea.

Traditionally, academic faculty from Korean universities reserve themselves to research and teaching. They refrained from projects that led to commercial profits, since it was frowned upon by society and translating research into business was not allowed. However, in light of the financial crisis, the then South Korean president, Kim Dae Jung brought about many economic reforms. He called out to the Professors to participate in his efforts to get the country out of crisis and renewed several prevailing regulations. “It was during that time, I established Macrogen, which now has almost 23 years of history” Dr. Seo said.

In the year 2000, he established an association for Korean biotech venture capitalists. “We had six companies who donated a small sum of US$ 30,000 each.” By 2008, there were three different associations which eventually merged into KoreaBio, an organization where Dr. Seo has been serving as the president since inception. He feels that the merger was a successful move and it has really aided the biotech landscape in South Korea.
Country: South Korea