Koo joins faculty, sharing joint appointment with ANSC & TVMDL

Sunwoo Koo headshot

Photo courtesy of TVMDL.

Dr. Sunwoo Koo joined the faculty as an assistant professor for research in August 2019.

Koo received a bachelor’s degree in biophysics from Iowa State University in 2001 and earned his Ph.D. in biomedical science from Texas A&M University in 2008.

After earning his doctoral degree, Koo pursued postdoctoral training in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and also worked as an assistant research scientist at the Texas A&M Health Science Center in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics. While there, his research focused largely on glioblastoma.

Koo’s primary research focuses are the development of advanced diagnostics and therapeutics by the discovery of biomarkers, protein engineering, and genetic engineering.

Further, Koo will investigate the role of exosomes in infectious communication between pathogens. Protein engineering is widely applied in the development of diagnostic methods. He will focus on enhancing the sensitivity of diagnostic methods through the use of engineered peptides and antibodies. In addition, he will employ NGS to develop techniques for the identification of unknown pathogens.

Koo has also worked with cancer therapeutics and will continue this research in his new role. Based on previous findings, he will develop personalized anticancer therapeutics including redirecting pore-forming toxin toward cancer cells, intracellular anticancer drug delivery through the pores formed on target cell membranes, and ‘toxin-tagging immunotherapeutics’ that will trigger the immune system to kill toxin-bound cancer cells.

Koo holds a joint appointment with the Department of Animal Science and the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL). The primary mission of TVMDL is to promote animal health and protect agricultural, companion animal and public health in Texas – and beyond – through excellence in veterinary diagnostic services.

Koo’s dual-appointment is made possible by the Chancellor’s Research Initiative (CRI). The CRI was established in 2012 by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp to recruit highly-skilled researchers dedicated to the research and academic missions of Texas A&M University and Prairie View A&M University. In 2015, the CRI was expanded to include all agencies and schools within the Texas A&M University System.

See also, Chancellor’s Research Initiative: Koo joins TVMDL as assistant professor for research


For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Kaitlyn Arnold at kaitlyn.arnold@tamu.edu or (979) 845-1542.


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