Chang Won Park
Director, Division of Clinical Diagnostics Business, Macrogen, Korea
Gender innovation in clinical genetic tests
PARALLEL SESSION 3: Advancing Gender Sensitive Innovation Ecosystems
Chang Won Park is now in charge of the division of clinical diagnostics business at Macrogen. He received his B.S. in physics from Seoul National University in 1993. After shifting toward biological sciences, he received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in biological sciences from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 1996 and in 2001, respectively. His research subject in graduate school was mammalian genetics and epigenetic modification of mammalian genome. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow and subsequently as a research associate in the gastroenterology division of the University of Minnesota Medical School.
His research area there was gene-delivery vector development for the sickle-cell disease and hemophilia. After his academic career, he worked in the industry of mass spectrometry for two years in Korea, focused on the development of diagnostic application of MALDI-TOF MS. Currently, he is working on the R&D of clinical genetic tests regarding the detection of pathogenic DNA variants with the most advanced Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies.
Summary of talk for Gender Summit 6 Asia-Pacific:
After the completion of Human Genome Project, the analysis technology of human DNA has been revolutionized by NGS leading to the opening of $1,000 genome era, and the Big Data of human genome sequences. This brilliant technological progress is now transforming the entire clinical testing industry as well as the clinical practices dramatically. Large-scale multi-gene testing will be a norm in the personalized medicine of 21st century, and will be provided at a very low cost, eventually reducing the overall cost and economical burden of health care systems globally. In the clinical genetic tests, gender difference is not only a critical issue but also an imperative requirement for the accurate and reliable analysis. The intrinsic difference in the composition of the genetic material (X and Y chromosomes) between genders has to be precisely taken into account for a clinical genetic testing. There are a couple of clinical genetic tests where gender issue must be seriously considered such as BRCA1/2 test for the susceptibility of breast or ovarian cancer. By investing much resources into technological innovation, Macrogen has been placing higher priorities on these gender-specific issues and planning for providing these tests at very affordable prices, making them available for everyone in demand of such tests.