Amazing interactions

Meet Kyu Hong

Kyu Hong, an associate director in bioanalysis at Immune-Onc Therapeutics, and his team have a lead molecule in clinical trials for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with a number of others in the pipeline.

Having an open mind allows for greater discovery, according to Kyu Hong. Over the course of more than 20 years of experience in bioanalysis, Mr. Hong learned that an open mind is equally as important as having a passion for studying science. He extends his open- mindedness not only to his professional and personal relationships (“My kids keep me open-minded and patient,” he said with a chuckle), but also to his approach to adopting new ways of working. And it’s one of the reasons he was drawn to bio-layer interferometry (BLI) for label-free analysis.

"I admire scientists that are open-minded and try to explore a different approach rather than just sticking with a current platform, said Mr. Hong. “We have an antibody engineering department that reviews molecular candidates to generate different lead molecules. In terms of selecting BLI technology, it’s a really useful tool to screen [molecular] candidates and quickly create a selection to move forward. It's a really useful tool for me and us.”

The flexibility, accessibility and scientific innovation of this next-generation of BLI technology appealed to Mr. Hong and his team. He was impressed with the ability to quickly set up the system and teach others about it. When up against tight deadlines, the team needed a system that worked as quickly and effectively as they did.

“One reason that I like Gator® is the customer interaction with tech support,” said Mr. Hong. “Whenever we have questions about the technology, Gator® is quick to respond. The tech support and expertise are phenomenal, which was the main driver for me to use this [system].”

Mr. Hong was excited to be an early adopter of the Gator® System, because it gave him the chance to help shape the development of the technology as a beta user. Just as he appreciates the chance to implement new ways of approaching baseball practice with his son, he enjoys the opportunity to give real-time feedback to companies he partners with to help ensure the best outcomes for everyone.


"In Gator’s case, they're really willing to listen to a user's voice and then they try to correct and adjust. We suggested a couple of improvements, and Gator worked with us to make sure we were heard and supported,” said Mr. Hong.

This feedback early on with key customers resulted in a system that is intuitive and purpose-built. A system built for scientists by scientists in a manner that can reach more researchers. And, more importantly, a system designed to help innovative and passionate thinkers explore the molecular universe in more meaningful ways.

Mr. Hong continues to grow his appreciation for the process behind scientific discovery, as well as for those, like his team and the team at Gator Bio, who embrace it with the spirit of collaboration and openness — and the way in which that process often requires a willingness to hear other perspectives to find success.

“Spending time with my kids helped me to be a better scientist in learning that people have different perspectives,” Mr. Hong said. “My thought process or ideas are not the only way to do something. You have to be open to other people and their perspectives, and understanding that their way of thinking is also valid.”


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