Hyun-Soon Chong, a professor of chemistry at Illinois Tech and cancer therapy researcher, has led the formation of five new undergraduate chemistry degree programs launched by the Department of Chemistry at Illinois Tech: Bioanalytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry and Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry, and Medicinal Chemistry. The new chemistry programs will be open to first-year students this fall and to transfer students in 2019. Chong was looking ahead to the next generation of science researchers as well as the needs of society today in considering the value of the new programs in the chemistry curriculum.
In her role as longtime cancer researcher, Chong is used to keeping one eye on the horizon. She aims to develop antibody drug conjugates for targeted cancer therapy that will allow oncologists to design a new class of hunter-killer cells that can seek out and destroy cancer while leaving normal cells alone.
“The idea is to use a specific tumor-seeking antibody to load cytotoxic drugs or radiation to the targeted tumor site,” she says. “This selective targeting allows a therapeutic small molecule drug or radiation to be safely delivered to cancer cells, while minimizing damage to normal healthy cells.”