Young Joo Sun, PhD

Dr. Young Joo Sun is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University. Dr. Sun is a protein biochemist and a translational scientist with more than a decade of training in integrative structure biology and protein engineering. He received his B.S. in systems biology from the Yonsei University, South Korea, and completed his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Iowa in 2019. For his Ph.D., he worked on structural/biochemical characterization and engineering of protein-protein interaction domains to identify molecular mechanisms of neuronal degeneration and cancer metastasis. From there, he has developed his core belief that the rationally designed compounds (based on the protein structural information) that mimic the natural binding partners of pathogenic molecules can result in highly specific and effective therapeutics for patients. Following his core belief, he joined Dr. Vinit Mahajan's laboratory (The Molecular Surgery Laboratory, Stanford Ophthalmology, Palo Alto, CA) in 2019 to apply his expertise to more translational and patient-directed research projects. Dr. Mahajan runs an interdisciplinary eye-disease research team. With his support, Dr. Sun collaborates with drug discovery experts at Stanford ChEM-H and structural biology experts at SLAC national accelerator laboratory to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms of inherited ocular diseases and develop therapeutics for AMD patients based on protein structures.