Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Kwanghun Chung

Kwanghun Chung

Investigator in The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Neuroscience
Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
Department of Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Contact Info

Office: 46-6263
Phone: 617-452-2263

Administrative Assistant

Michael Harrison
Phone: 617-253-0009

The Chung Lab is an interdisciplinary research team devoted to developing and applying novel technologies for holistic understanding of large-scale complex biological systems. Specifically, we develop a host of methods including CLARITY (Nature, 2013), SWITCH (Cell, 2015), stochastic electrotransport (PNAS, 2015), MAP (Nature Biotechnology, 2016) and SHIELD (Nature Biotechnology, 2018) that may enable identification of multi-scale functional networks and interrogation of their system-wide, multifactorial interactions. We are applying these technologies for studying brain function and dysfunction using animal models, human clinical samples, and organoid systems.

Kwanghun Chung is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, as well as a Core Member of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES). He is also a Core Member of The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University in 2005, and then moved to Georgia Institute of Technology for his Ph.D. training under the mentorship of Dr. Hang Lu, where he developed automated and integrated microsystems for high-throughput imaging, molecular/behavioral phenotyping, and cell microsurgery of a broad range of living systems. Following his graduation in 2009, Dr. Chung joined the Karl Deisseroth Lab at Stanford University for post-doctoral training in 2010, where he invented a novel technology termed CLARITY, which enables system-wide structural and molecular analysis of large-scale intact biological samples. In 2013, Dr. Chung established his independent group at MIT and has been leading an interdisciplinary team to develop and apply novel technologies for holistic understanding of large-scale complex biological systems. Chung was the recipient of the McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award 2016, the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering Award 2015, the NARSAD Young Investigator Award 2015, the Yumin Awards for Creativity 2014, the Searle Scholars Award 2014, and the BWF Career Award at the Scientific Interface 2012. 

2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

2016 NIH New Innovator Award

2016 Association of Korean Neuroscientists (AKN) Junior Faculty Award

2016 McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award

2015 Samuel Goldblith Career Development Professorship, MIT

2015 Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering

2015 NARSAD Young Investigator Award

2014 Yumin awards for creativity

2014 Searle Scholars Program

2014 40 under 40, Cell magazine

2012 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards at the Scientific Interface

Featured publications are below. For a full list visit the lab website linked above.

April 4, 2022
Dheeraj S Roy, Young-Gyun Park, Sachie K Ogawa, Jae H Cho, Heejin Choi, Lee Kamensky, Jared Martin, Kwanghun Chung, Susumu Tonegawa. Nature Communications volume 13, Article number: 1799 (2022)
November 12, 2021
Joha Park, Sarim Khan, Dae Hee Yun, Taeyun Ku, Katherine L. Villa, Jiachen E. Lee, Qiangge Zhang, Juhyuk Park, Guoping Feng, Elly Nedivi, Kwanghun Chung. Science Advances, 12 Nov 2021, Vol 7, Issue 46
August 5, 2021
Seo Woo Choi, Webster Guan, Kwanghun Chung. Cell, Volume 184, ISSUE 16, P4115-4136, August 05, 2021
December 8, 2020
Alexandre Albanese, Justin M. Swaney, Dae Hee Yun, Nicholas B. Evans, Jenna M. Antonucci, Silvia Velasco, Chang Ho Sohn, Paola Arlotta, Lee Gehrke & Kwanghun Chung, Sci Rep 10, 21487 (2020).
May 18, 2020
Taeyun Ku, Webster Guan, Nicholas B. Evans, Chang Ho Sohn, Alexandre Albanese, Joon-Goon Kim, Matthew P. Frosch & Kwanghun Chung, Nat Methods 17, 609–613 (2020).

Technologies enable 3D imaging of whole human brain hemispheres at subcellular resolution

June 13, 2024
Research Findings
A suite of three innovations by an MIT-based team enables high-throughput imaging of human brain tissue at a full range of scales and mapping connectivity of neurons at single cell resolution.

Sparse, small, but diverse neural connections help make perception reliable, efficient

February 2, 2023
Research Findings
First detailed mapping and modeling of thalamus inputs onto visual cortex neurons show brain leverages “wisdom of the crowd” to process sensory information

A single memory is stored across many connected brain regions

April 11, 2022
Research Findings
Innovative brain-wide mapping study shows that “engrams,” the ensembles of neurons encoding a memory, are widely distributed, including among regions not previously realized

Next-generation tissue expansion method improves neural imaging

January 13, 2022
Research Findings
An upgrade of ‘MAP’ enables labeling of more proteins, deeper studies of circuit junctions in brain tissue

‘SCOUT’ helps researchers find, quantify significant differences among organoids

December 8, 2020
Research Findings
Unbiased, high-throughput analysis pipeline improves utility of ‘minibrains’ for understanding development and diseases such as Zika infection

Technology makes tissues elastic and lasting for easier imaging

May 18, 2020
Research Findings
By making brain and other tissues reversibly stretchable or compressible, ELAST allows labeling probes to infuse more quickly

Human Models of Disease

December 16, 2019
News Feature
Stem cell, genetic technologies enable sophisticated studies of human brain cells and brain "organoids"

Study pinpoints Alzheimer’s plaque emergence early and deep in the brain

October 4, 2019
Research findings
Amyloid emerges early in deep regions such as the mammillary body and marches outward along specific circuits

Kwanghun Chung wins PECASE

July 3, 2019
Picower People
White House award is highest in nation for young scientists

Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer’s symptoms

March 14, 2019
Research findings
Noninvasive treatment can improve Alzheimer’s symptoms such as memory loss and amyloid plaque buildup in mice.

Clover Su
Research Scientist

Jose Vargas Asencio
Postdoctoral Associate

Seo Woo Choi
Graduate Student

Lauren DeLorenzo
Research Engineer

Chuanxi Zhao
Technical Associate

Webster Guan
Graduate Student

Nicholas Haas
Graduate Student

Kit-Yi Yam
Postdoctoral Associate

Slayton Marx
Software Engineer Researcher

Minyoung Evelyn Kim
Graduate Student

Mira Moukheiber
Software Engineer Researcher

Shaoyu (Sebastian) Lin
Postdoctoral Fellow

Joha Park
Postdoctoral Fellow

Juhyuk Park
Postdoctoral Fellow

Srinu Pujari
Graduate Student

Jiho Shin
Postdoctoral Fellow

Yuxuan Tian
Graduate Student

Xinyi Gu
Graduate Student

Jisoo Kim
Graduate Student

Dae Hee Yun
Graduate Student