Soojung Claire Hur, the Clare Booth Luce Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been invited by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to attend the 2020 Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (JAFOE). The event will be held June 22-24 in Irvine, California.
Organized by the NAE and the Engineering Academy of Japan, the symposium will bring together 60 outstanding early-career Japanese and American engineers to discuss research and technical work in various engineering disciplines. The participants – from industry, academia, and government – were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations.
This year’s iteration will cover cutting-edge developments in four areas: Blockchain, Mitigating Sea Level Rise, Machine Learning and AI for Mental Health, and Soft Robotics. Each participant will be asked to present a poster describing their work.
Hur looks forward to an unparalleled opportunity to meet emerging engineering leaders and potential collaborators.
“Meeting new people often inspires a brilliant new idea for a researcher. This symposium is a great venue for creative brainstorming and building a strong professional network, two things I really enjoy,” said Hur. “The excitement I feel when casual conversations with fellow researchers lead to synergic collaborations for a new, unexpected, fruitful research project is what keeps me pursuing an academic career.”
Hur develops microfluidic platforms to understand complex fluid dynamics principles and to translate acquired knowledge into practical application. In particular, she is interested in studying single-cell mechanics and understanding the veiled correlations between cellular functions and their physical phenotypes. Using this research, Hur has developed instruments to facilitate simple and cost-effective biological assays, with applications in oncology, immunology, gene therapy, and regenerative medicine.
Most recently, Hur received a Career Catalyst Research Grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to develop a device that can collect and genetically modify tumor cells from the blood samples of metastatic breast cancer patients. These purified and modified cells will enable scientists to monitor the patient’s cancer progression in a lab, and to develop and test personalized treatment plans.
“My goal is set to build systems that enable inexpensive, early disease diagnostics and provide accurate information for basic and clinical researchers to test their hypotheses. I grapple with highly interdisciplinary questions. I will significantly benefit from interactions with professionals attending the Frontiers workshop, who may have different perspectives, to discover innovative approaches that might not be possible alone,” adds Hur.
Hur received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a fellow of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute, an associate researcher at the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She joined the Hopkins faculty in 2015.