Public Release: 

KAIST's IdeasLab on Biotechnology Solutions for Aging Populations at 2016 Davos Forum

KAIST researchers will discuss how biological sciences and health technologies can address challenges and opportunities posed by aging populations in an era of increasing longevity

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Daejeon, Republic of Korea, January 20, 2016--Many countries around the world today are experiencing the rapid growth of aging populations, with a decline in fertility rate and longer life expectancy.

At this year's Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (a.k.a. Davos Forum) on January 20-23, 2016 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, four researchers in the field of biological sciences and biotechnology at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) will discuss the implications of an aging population and explore possible solutions to provide better health care services to the elderly.

KAIST will host an IdeasLab twice on the theme "Biotechnology Solutions for Ageing Populations" on January 21st and 23rd, respectively.

Professor Byung-Kwan Cho of the Biological Sciences Department will give a presentation on "Rejuvenation via the Microbiome," explaining how microorganisms in the human gut play an important role in preventing aging, or even rejuvenating it.

Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department will talk about "Traditional Medicine Reimagined through Modern Systems Biology." Professor Lee will introduce his research results published in Nature Biotechnology (March 6, 2015) and some more new results. He discovered the mechanisms of traditional oriental medicine's (TOM) efficacy by applying systems biology to study structural similarities between natural and nontoxic multi-compounds in the medicine and human metabolites. He will discuss TOM's multi-target approach, which is based on the synergistic combinations of multi-compounds to treat symptoms of a disease, can contribute to the development of new drugs, cosmetics, and nutrients.

Professor Youn-Kyung Lim of the Industrial Design Department will speak about a mobile and the Internet of Things-based health care service called "Dr. M" in her presentation on "Advanced Mobile Healthcare Systems."

Professor Daesoo Kim of the Biological Sciences Department will share his research on human's happiness and greed in the context of nueroscience and behavioral and biological sciences in a talk entitled "A Neural Switch for Being Happy with Less on a Crowded Planet."

KAIST has hosted IdeasLabs several times at the Summer Davos Forum in China, but this is the first time it will participate in the Davos Forum in January.

Professor Lee said, "Just like climate change, the issue of how to address aging populations has become a major global issue. We will share some exciting research results and hope to have in depth discussion on this issue with the leaders attending the Davos Forum. KAIST will engage actively in finding solutions that benefit not only Korea but also the international community."

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