Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Kwanghun Chung

Kwanghun Chung

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Neuroscience
Investigator in The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
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

Allison Christiansen
Office: E25-324
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.

December 17, 2018
Young-Gyun Park, Chang Ho Sohn, Ritchie Chen, Margaret McCue, Gabrielle T. Drummond, Taeyun Ku, Dae Hee Yun, Nicholas B. Evans, Hayeon Caitlyn Oak, Wendy Trieu, Heejin Choi, Xin Jin, Varoth Lilascharoen, Ji Wang, Matthias C. Truttmann, Helena W. Qi, Hidde L. Ploegh, Todd R. Golub, Shih-Chi Chen, Matthew P. Frosch, Heather J. Kulik, ByungKook Lim, Kwanghun Chung, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Biotechnology volume 37, pages 73–83 (2019)
July 25, 2016
Taeyun Ku, Justin Swaney, Jeong-Yoon Park, Alexander Albanese, Evan Murray, Jae Hun Cho, Young-Gyun Park, Vamsi Mangena, Jiapei Chen, and Kwanghun Chung. Nature Biotechnology, 2016, 34(9), 973-81.
December 3, 2015
Evan Murray, Jae Hun Cho, Daniel Goodwin, Taeyun Ku, Justin Swaney, Sung-Yon Kim, Heejin Choi, Jeong-Yoon Park, Austin Hubbert, Meg McCue, Young-Gyun Park, Sara Vassallo, Naveed Bakh, Matthew Frosch,, Van J. Wedeen, H. Sebastian Seung, and Kwanghun Chung. Cell, Dec 3:163(6): 1500-14.
November 17, 2015
Sung-Yon Kim, Jae Hun Cho, Evan Murray, Naveed Bakh, Heejin Choi, Kimberly Ohn, Sara Vassallo, Luzdary Ruelas, Austin Hubbert, Meg McCue, Philipp Keller and Kwanghun Chung. PNAS, 2015 Nov 17: 112(46): E6274-83.
May 30, 2015
Kwanghun Chung*, Karl Deisseroth*, Nature Methods, 2013, 10, 508-513 (*co-correspondence)

‘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.

Chung leads collaboration to make the best brain map yet

January 2, 2019
News Feature
Project will reveal the entire human brain, down to subcellular features

Mapping the brain, cell by cell, with SHIELD

December 17, 2018
Research findings
Technique for preserving tissue allows researchers to create maps of neural circuits with single-cell resolution

Dozens from Picower present research at SfN

November 13, 2018
Recent Events
Researchers take part in field's largest annual exchange of ideas

Innovations giving neuroscientists exciting new ways to gain insights, symposium speakers say

October 25, 2018
Recent Events
Experts show advances in microscopy, tissue engineering, reporters of brain activity

Alex Albanese
Postdoctoral Fellow

Seo Woo Choi
Graduate Student

Lauren DeLorenzo
Research Engineer

Nick DiNapoli
Technical Associate

Nick Evans
Research Engineer

Webster Guan
Graduate Student

Nicholas Haas
Graduate Student

Xin Jin
Postdoctoral Fellow

Lee Kamentsky
Research Engineer

Minyoung Evelyn Kim
Graduate Student

Vanessa Kitova
Undergraduate Researcher

Loiuse Gabrielle C Lima
Undergraduate Researcher

Shaoyu (Sebastian) Lin
Postdoctoral Fellow

Vamsi Mangena
Graduate Student

Joha Park
Postdoctoral Fellow

Juhyuk Park
Postdoctoral Fellow

Young-Gyun Park
Postdoctoral Fellow

Srinu Pujari
Graduate Student

Jiho Shin
Postdoctoral Fellow

Yuxuan Tian
Graduate Student

Nijesh Upreti
Technical Assistant

Ji Wang
Postdoctoral Fellow

Katherine Xie
Technical Assistant

Dae Hee Yun
Graduate Student