The College of Public Health has welcomed ten new faculty this fall who we want to introduce to the wider CPH community. Up this week is In Ki Cho, Ph.D., who has joined the Department of Environmental Health Science as a research scientist.
What brought you to the field of public health?
It is quite easy to see why the field of Public Health is important nowadays with recent outbreaks of SARS-CoV2 and Monkeypox, but I got interested in the field due to my interest in the impact of environmental exposures on gene expressions and how its impact can impact on an organismal level. Where I went to college, there was a factory that dealt with heavy metals especially lead. My undergraduate research project was to investigate the impact of lead exposure on gene expression in yeast. Lead is an environmental toxicant that can cause birth defects and has a very devastating impact on brain development. Even at the level of single-cell organisms, we could see the impact of exposure on gene expression, and ever since, I was interested in exposures, cells, and genes.
What excites you or motivates you about your research?
My current research focuses on improving stem cell models. With the development of induced pluripotent stem cells, the field of developmental biology and genetics exploded. Also, new technologies such as single-cell sequencing and CRISPR-Cas9 can facilitate discoveries in a high-throughput manner. All these new developments make me excited and motivated.
How have you partnered with communities to improve health? Is there service or outreach work you’d like to do in Athens or Georgia?
I did not have a chance to get involved in any outreach works here in Athens, but I used to volunteer for high school science outreach programs when I was in Atlanta. I would love to get involved in the near future.
What are you looking forward to this Fall semester?
Of course, football.
Last one – what do you do for fun?
When I do have time, I go for a hike, watch movies, or go out to take photos.
Posted on August 24, 2022.