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Welcome speech at the opening ceremony of the Korea Virus Research Institute 게시판 상세보기
Title Welcome speech at the opening ceremony of the Korea Virus Research Institute
Department Communications Team Registration Date 2021-07-07 Hits 637
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Welcome speech at the opening ceremony of the Korea Virus Research Institute

Welcome speech at the opening ceremony of the Korea Virus Research Institute

Welcome to the opening ceremony of the Korea Virus Research Institute. Respected National Assemblyman LEE Sang Min, First Vice Minister of Science and ICT YONG Hong Taek, and Daejeon City Deputy Mayor of Science KIM Myung Soo, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. We would also like to thank our fellow scientists who attended on behalf of academia and their institutions.

Many people have put their heart and soul into the creation of the Korea Institute of Virus Research. The inception of the institute began in October 2019, when the President of South Korea ordered a review of the establishment of Korea Virus Research Institute, which was proposed by Professor LEE Gong Ju, who was then a scientific advisor to the Blue House. In mid-July last year, the phone call from Vice Minister YONG Hong Taek to review its establishment under IBS was the starting point of the Korea Virus Research Institute at the IBS headquarters.

As the President of the IBS at the time, I was deeply concerned about whether it was right for IBS to promote the Korea Virus Research Institute. After numerous discussions with the Directors of the IBS Research Centers in the life sciences fields including KIM V. Narry and KOH Gou Young, and through valuable inputs from biologists including Dr. YU Myeong Hee, I decided in favor of that decision. Congressman Lee Sang-min held a meeting on the establishment of the institute at the IBS headquarters to strengthen our position, and during the controversy over overlapping investment with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Congressmen CHO Jung Sik and CHO Seung Rae helped with the funding. On behalf of the researchers and staff at IBS, and all scientists who care about our country, I would like to thank you once again.

The Korea Virus Research Institute is a national strategic initiative that aims to conduct basic research to improve the country’s response to infectious disease crises. Through this institute, we will acquire research capabilities and researchers with expertise in viruses and the human immune system. In line with the vision of IBS, the institute will focus its research efforts on obtaining new scientific discoveries and knowledge related to viruses, while at the same time playing a central role in the national virus research network.

The lesson we have learned from the recent COVID-19 crisis is ‘the power of basic science’. While South Korea has done a remarkable job of preventing the spread of the epidemic through the concerted efforts of the government, medical staff, and people, it has not been able to lead the development of vaccines and treatments to end the situation. The root cause of our failure to do so was unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, we lacked the fundamental scientific knowledge to develop such a response strategy. The Korea Virus Research Institute will be equipped with mid to long-term research capabilities that go beyond immediate clinical measures against the threat of everyday viruses.

In preparation for the Korea Virus Research Institute, the most important part was to appoint excellent directors of the centers. As it is a national strategic research initiative, it was imperative to have South Korean scholars lead the institute, but we have faced difficulties as there was a limited pool of domestic researchers. Fortunately, after rigorous evaluation and verification by the Selection and Evaluation Committee of IBS composed of world-class scholars, two scholars in the fields of virology and immunology, the two pillars of the institute, were selected. In consultation with the Ministry of Science and ICT, IBS has chosen a strategy to include two centers from the outset and to have two scholars as the directors.

Let me introduce you to the two directors. First of all, this is Director CHOI Young Ki. Director Choi will lead the head of the Center for Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Viruses to investigate the pathogenesis of new/mutated and zoonotic viruses. Next is Director SHIN Eui-Cheol. Director Shin will serve as the director of the Center for Viral Immunology to study the immune response to viruses and the mechanism of immune pathology. I would like to express my gratitude to the two of you for willingly taking on this burdensome national project, and I look forward to your outstanding leadership in the future.

The Korea Virus Research Institute is a new challenge for IBS as well. It is a new type of organization, with a mission and scope of research that are unlike the existing research centers. However, we will grow it into a world-class research institute by taking full advantage of the existing system of IBS, which was successful in attracting talented people and conducting mid to long-term basic science research. It is not ideal that an institute with such an important mission was launched without its own building, but through the second stage of the HQ construction project, we will prepare the buildings and facilities of the highest quality as soon as possible. We ask for the support of the government and the National Assembly.

Humanity has faced major crises in recent years due to nature's counterattack against the human activity. Scientific knowledge is absolutely necessary for us to respond to unprecedented crises such as viruses and climate change. IBS will lead the efforts in protecting the nation and its people with the power of basic science. I would like to ask for your encouragement and support from the government, the National Assembly, academia, and the people who attended today. Thank you.

July 6, 2021,
IBS President NOH Do Young


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Last Update 2022-01-10 13:15