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Final Words: Huiyoung “Jimmy” Yun Speaks About How Working For An NGO Led Him To Research

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Author: Huiyoung "Jimmy" Yun | Category: Final Words... | Physiology & Pharmacology | Physiology and Pharmacology | November 02, 2015

Congratulations Huiyoung "Jimmy" Yun, a graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology, for finishing your dissertation on "ERβ and COBRA1 in prostate cancer: Friend or Foe?"

Please tell me about yourself, why did you pick UT Health Science Center, and your program.

I was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. I finished my undergraduate degree in Bioinformatics & Life Science in Korea, then I moved to U.K. for the Cancer Biology program at University of Manchester. 

Then I worked with the NGO group, Starlight Children’s Foundation, in Sydney, Australia. It was only two months working experience, but seeing sick children made me want to cure them one day. 

As a first step, I wanted to extend my knowledge so I decided to enroll at UT Health Science Center.

Please provide a few sentences summarizing your dissertation. What was the experience like for you?

My dissertation focuses on finding a new therapeutic target for prostate cancer by understanding the precise mechanisms involved with a non-toxic natural compound. 

My study suggests that 2-methoxyestradiol, an estradiol metabolite, simultaneously activates ERβ and suppresses COBRA1 in combination with androgen deprivation therapy would benefit men diagnosed with castration resistant prostate cancer.

The experience was truly great. I’ve enjoyed and learned so much. Before joining this lab, I did not have much experience in bench work and almost no knowledge about it. Since then, I've gained so much confidence that I can perform any experiment at the master level because of my great lab mates and mentor.

Why are you passionate about your research topic? How did you first become interested in it?

I’ve been interested in what cancer is and how we can treat it. I learned so much about how drugs work in humans from my pharmacology classes. Because my mentor and I share interests--I could naturally think about my project involved in cancer treatment.

What was your best memory during graduate school or what did you learn?

There are too many good memories with a number of friends in San Antonio. I’ve been travelling around and meeting tons of new friends. 

One of the best memories I've had was sitting near the beach, reading a book, and drinking alcohol.

What’s next?

I would be working as a post-doc position somewhere in U.S. probably near ocean or river. Possibly pediatric cancer field.

Any advice for your fellow graduate students?

Never give up. If you have a chance, you are lucky.  

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