PhD Thesis Defense at The Hormel Institute
A panel of advisors from throughout the state met today in the Ray Live Learning Center at The Hormel Institute to evaluate the dissertation defense presented by Mr. Seung Ho Shin, a 6th year Ph.D. student enrolled in the University of Minnesota (Rochester) Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program. Mr. Shin’s dissertation is entitled “Drug Development and novel combination strategies with phytochemicals for precision medicine in cancer”. He is advised by Dr. Zigang Dong, Professor and Executive Director of The Hormel Institute. Other members of Mr. Shin’s dissertation committee include Dr. Ann M. Bode (Professor and Associate Director of The Hormel Institute), Dr. Yuk Sham (Associate Director of Graduate Studies, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program and Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology), and Dr. Carlos P. Sosa (Adjunct Assistant Professor Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and Biomarker Discovery and Computational Biologist at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic).
Shin’s thesis focused on research to enhance the concept of precision medicine, which is defined as matching the most accurate and effective treatment to each individual with the potential to manage the specific characteristics of the disease. In cancer, developing drug candidates and finding effective combination strategies are greatly needed. Shin presented a framework that focused on drug development against a specific cancer-associated protein, effective combinations of drug and natural compounds, and a physiologically-achievable chemoprevention strategy and discoveries involving ginger and aspirin, both with inhibitory and control effects against cancer.
Completing a dissertation is the culmination of several years of research and documentation and defending the work before a thesis committee is the official, final step in the process. This significant milestone signaled imminent closure to Shin’s long journey to higher education. All of The Hormel Institute’s section leaders as well as over 95% of all scientists working at The Hormel Institute have earned a doctorate (Ph.D.) or medical degree (M.D.). Mr. Shin is the first of several Ph.D. students who have completed or will complete an advanced degree at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota. The Hormel Institute is committed to supporting and furthering interest and education in the life sciences for students of all ages, with a concentration on advancing students with their higher education goals.
“The Hormel Institute University of Minnesota is an academic research institute, which means that education is a major priority,” said Dr. Ann M. Bode, associate director. “We pride ourselves on providing educational opportunities at all levels, including the advising and mentoring of doctoral students so that they can become independent researchers and teachers at whatever level they choose.”