Wednesday, March 11: Special Seminar with KNI Prize Postdoctoral Fellow

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Dr. Jeong Hoon Ko will discuss his work on "Polymer Coating of Gas Vesicles for Extended Ultrasound Bioimaging"

KNI Seminar with Dr. Jeong Hoon Ko

March 8, 2021

Join the Kavli Nanoscience Institute for a special seminar with Dr. Jeong Hoon Ko (JK), 2019 KNI Prize Postdoctoral Fellow.


Event is free and open to the public; registration is required.

Talk Title: Polymer Coating of Gas Vesicles for Extended Ultrasound Bioimaging

Since Röntgen's discovery of X-rays in 1895, bioimaging has transformed both clinical medicine and basic biology. Today's scientists have various imaging modalities at their arsenal, but each technique has its own limitations when applied at the whole-organism level. Recently, breakthroughs in ultrasound imaging using protein-based gas vesicles (GVs) have highlighted its potential for bioimaging. As this approach is mainly used for endogenously expressed GVs due to their rapid clearance by the immune system, extended circulation time of exogenous GVs would open doors to highly functional ultrasound imaging probes with ability to reach specific targets, deliver therapeutic agents, and image physiological phenomenon for extended time. In this talk, I will discuss our efforts and successes in extending the in vivo circulation time by reducing immune cell recognition with polymer coating, including in vitro and in vivo characterization of GVs with different polymer coatings and our finding that different polymers led to drastically different circulation profile.

Jeong Hoon Ko (JK) received his B.S.E. in biomedical engineering and A.B. in chemistry with distinction from Duke University. He conducted his graduate research with Professor Heather D. Maynard at the University of California, Los Angeles, and received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2018. His research involved using glycopolymers to improve the properties of therapeutic proteins and synthesizing novel polymers through ruthenium-catalyzed polymerization techniques. He began his postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Robert H. Grubbs at the California Institute of Technology, where he is currently the Kavli Nanoscience Institute Prize Postdoctoral Scholar in Chemistry. He began his co-appointment at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes in 2020 under supervision of Dr. Michael G. Harrington as an HMRI Postdoctoral Fellow.

For more information on the Kavli Nanoscience Institute's Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship program, please visit:

For more information, please contact Tiffany Kimoto by email at