Dr. Youngwook Won joined the University of Arizona Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery on March 6, 2017, and is now an associate professor in the Department of Surgery. His focus is teaching and advising graduate students and establishing an extramurally-funded research program. With a history of published research in the fields of drug delivery systems such as drug recombinant proteins, cancer nano-therapeutics, cancer gene therapy, and biopolymer carriers, his research focuses on the development of innovative strategies to improve the targeted delivery of small molecule drugs, genes, and stem cells by using naturally derived materials, including recombinant fusion proteins.
Dr. Won earned his MS and PhD from Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea. Prior to joining the University of Arizona, he served at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center as assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and director of the Recombinant Protein Core. He has chosen to bring his passion for research to the University of Arizona along with Cardiothoracic Surgery Division chief, Dr. David Bull.
Dr. Won's previous work with synthetic materials for drug delivery led him to question why the field of drug delivery has, to the present time, focused on the development of artificial materials rather than naturally derived biomaterials. His long-term research goal is the development of biologically based systems to enhance the efficacy of bioactive molecules without the need for synthetic materials.