• R & D
  • Life Science Institute

As Macrogen's affiliated institute, Life Sciences Research Institute plays a key role in researching on and developing core technologies for Macrogen's business. Its major achievements include the first complete analysis of the microbial Zymomonas mobilis genome in Korea, development of the Zymomonas mobilis Oligo chip, and completion of the BAC clone map through the Korean human genome project.

As a result, large-scale sequencing and bioinformatics technologies, BAC end sequencing technology, and Oligo chip design and production technologies are widely used for Macrogen's general sequencing and genome analysis, development of various types of Oligo chip, Microarray analysis service.

The Life Science Institute is currently engaging in the research on the production of ethanol and other useful chemical substances including organic acids by using the bacterium Zymomonas mobilis. Furthermore, the Institute is also involved in the research and development of new and customized medicines based on the Mongolian project. The company is also conducting research on the stem-cells, considered to be vital for the regenerative medicine of the future

  • Zymomonas mobilis genome project
    • As a microbe with the highest efficiency and productivity in alcohol production among all known bacteria, Zymomonas mobilis is a strong ethanol production strain that has been the subject of extensive research conducted in the field of alternative energy in recent decades. In Korea, Professor Kang Hyun-sam (also a current Macrogen adviser) of Seoul National University has led genome mapping research efforts. Macrogen started participating in the research in 2000. The company also analyzed base sequences within 6 months through random shotgun. It was the first company in Korea to register its results with the US NCBI and Genbank (November 2001). In addition, Macrogen applied for a patent on core genes through genome research using the Zymomonas Microarray and expanded the scope of research to include metabolic engineering for organic acid (succinate, malate) as well as ethanol production for fuel.

      Zymomonas genome overview Zymomonas DNA chip development
  • Completion of the draft Korean human genome map (KOGENOME Project)
    • Genome research leader Macrogen completed the draft Korean human genome map called "Korean BAC Clone Map." It used methods of slicing Korean DNA into about 100,000 pieces, confirming 500 base sequences of the end of every piece, and comparing them with HGP's genome map using bioinformatics technology.

      Through the completion of the draft genome map, Macrogen secured most of the BAC clones consisting of 110,000 bases on the average and laid down the foundation for conducting research on functions by gene for disease diagnosis and treatment by accurately selecting target disease genes using the disease-related gene database.

      The company also completed the development of "MacArray Karyo 4000," which is capable of diagnosing the quantitative, structural, abnormal symptoms (microdeletion, subtelomere, and telomere) of chromosomes using the Korean human genome map and 4,000 BAC clones with 1Mb resolution as well as the development of the FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) probe, which can diagnose major oncogenes.

      You can see the Korean BAC Clone Map for all human chromosomes on our website.

      Clicking the "Details of BAC Clone Map" button shows a window with an array of chromosomes which are labeled with each chromosomal number. The BAC Clone map of each chromosome indicates the protein coding regions and the disease-related gene locations. Also, on the bottom of the image, you can see the information on the colors which were displayed on the map.
  • Mongolian genome project
    • Identifying genes related to complex diseases such as cancer, hypertension, and diabetes requires disease pedigree research on an isolated group or a large family. Northeast Asia including Mongolia and Siberia is ideal for population genetics access because their pedigree is relatively well preserved, owing to the many nomadic people and isolated minority races living in the back region. In addition, Mongolians are almost genetically identical to Koreans; thus, it is only reasonable to apply the research result to Koreans. The result is also important as the prototype of Asians.

      In collaboration with the Transgenic Research Institute of Seoul National University, Macrogen selected isolated minority groups and disease pedigrees in Mongolia and established the epidemiology, medical treatment, and genetic information database. It is currently conducting research on finding disease-related gene loci. The resulting disease gene group obtained can be applied to the development of new diagnosis methods as well as new medicine and treatment methods. Furthermore, personalized predictive medicine associated with individual genetic information can be established.
  • Stem Cell Research
    • Stem cells will become the crucial player in the future regenerative medicine. As part of the Applied Cell Research Corps, MACROGEN is conducting research on the "stem-cell differentiation network data mining system," while searching for main genes related to cell differentiation, using its own genetic analysis technology. Other areas of basic research MACROGEN is conducting for the advancement of the regenerative medicine include the following:
      - Research and development of the methods and criteria for examining the safety and efficacy of stem cells;
      - Research and development of the cell lines for testing medicinal efficacy;
      - Research and development of the cell lines for monitoring the exploration of substances responsible for differentiation;
      - Research and development of cell treatments.