Large-scale Genetic Interaction Screen for the Discovery of Multiple Drug Targets

Kyoungho Suk
Kyungpook National University
Dec. 1 10:15~10:45


Genetic mutations are linked to a variety of human diseases. To understand how these genes contribute to disease, a reductionist approach is often used; a mutation in gene X causes dysfunction in protein X affecting pathway X to cause disease. Unfortunately, complex biological processes are far from linear and likely involve several layers of interacting networks. A novel approach has been used to identify functional interactions relevant to human disease. Using high-throughput human-yeast genetic interaction screens, a first draft of disease interactome network was obtained. This was achieved by first searching for candidate human disease genes that confer toxicity in yeast, and second, identifying modulators of toxicity via barcode analysis by sequencing (Bar-seq). This study found potentially disease-relevant interactions by analyzing the network of functional interactions and focusing on genes implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), for example. In the subsequent proof-of-concept study focused on ALS, similar functional relationships between a specific kinase and ALS-associated genes were observed in mammalian cells and zebrafish, supporting findings in human-yeast genetic interaction screens. Results of combined analyses highlighted MAP2K5 kinase as a potential therapeutic target in ALS. A similar human-yeast genetic interaction screen was done for kinome. Construction of kinase interactome network will also be discussed.



  • 1994, Ph.D. in Immunology, University of California at Davis, USA (Supervisor: Kent L. Erickson, Ph.D.)
  • 1991, M.S. (Immunology graduate program), Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
  • 1989, B.S. (Genetic Engineering major), Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea


Professional Experience

  • 2004-Present, Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 2016-2017, Associate Dean, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 2009-Present Director, Brain Science and Engineering Institute, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
  • 2008-2009, Visiting Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (Frederick Roth laboratory)
  • 2002-2004, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Korea
  • 1994-1995, Postdoctoral fellow, Section of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA (Supervisor: Erol Fikrig, M.D.)


Awards and Honors

  • 2017, Glia Researcher of the Year, Korean Society of Brain and Neural Science
  • 2016, Outstanding Researcher Awards from the Korean Society of Pharmacology
  • 2015, Academic Achievement Awards from Kyungpook National Univ.
  • 2003, 2015, Excellent Researcher Awards from the Minister of Health and Welfare (Korea)