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Yun-Seok Choi, Ph.D.



  • Assistant Professor, Chemistry
  • Black Hills State University


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Protein Engineering, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Structural Biology, Korea Basic Science Institute, South Korea
  • Ph.D., Bio-Analytical Science, University of Science & Technology, South Korea
  • M.S., Organic Chemistry, Hanyang University, South Korea
  • B.S., Chemistry, Hanyang University, South Korea

Current Research: My research interest is design of biosensors for biomedical applications. Students and I select scientifically or clinically important targets, rationally design sensors for them, engineer to obtain proper affinity and selectivity, biochemically characterize the sensors, and then apply them to biomedical research. Undergraduates will learn basic biochemistry skills from cloning to protein preparation, and can experience the entire process of biosensor development. The experience will be helpful for beginning scientists to pursue research with confidence. I am especially interested in ubiquitin-related research. Ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like modifiers (UBLs) function in every aspect of biological processes in eukaryotes by being conjugated to diverse proteins. Given that the research field is highly active, it was surprising to learn of the lack of a free-ubiquitin (i.e. unconjugated ubiquitin) sensor. I now have developed such sensors and established methods to apply them in ubiquitin-related studies. In the future, I plan to extend the design method to develop sensors for free Nedd8 and ISG15, UBL proteins, that have roles in cancer biology and inflammation, respectively. The design and generation of biosensors will be a good frame-work for inquiry-based research in chemistry or biochemistry laboratory.