Hyojung Choo, PhD

Assistant Professor

Cell Biology, Emory School of Medicine

Office: 542 Whitehead Research Bldg

Email: hyojung.choo@emory.edu

Office Location:

Mailing Address:

Emory University - Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

615 Michael St

Atlanta, GA 30322

Research Focus

-       Instructor of Dept. of Cell Biology, Criss Hartzell (Mentor), 2017 - current, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

-       Instructor of Dept. of Pharmacology, Grace Pavlath (Mentor), 2015 - 2017, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

-     Postdoctoral research fellow, Dept. of Pharmacology, Grace Pavlath (Mentor), 2013 - 2015, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

-     Postdoctoral research fellow, Dept. of Pediatrics, Shawn Jobe (Mentor), 2010 -2013, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

-       Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences & Engineering, Young-Gyu Ko (Mentor), 2004 - 2008, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea

-       B.A. College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, 1999 - 2002, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea

Craniofacial muscles are essential muscles for normal life. They are involved in facial expressions (facial muscles), blinking and eye movement (eye muscles), speaking and eating (tongue and pharyngeal muscles).

An eating disability, called dysphagia, afflicting almost 15 million Americans including elderly, neuronal (Parkinson’s disease) and muscular disease (oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy) patients. However, no cure or therapeutic treatment exist for dysphagia caused by muscular dystrophy. Interestingly, craniofacial muscles have differential susceptibility to several muscular dystrophies. For example, craniofacial muscles are the most affected muscles in oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy but the least affected muscles in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Elucidation of the mechanism(s) behind these differing susceptibilities of craniofacial muscles would lead to development of potential therapeutics targeted to specific skeletal muscles.

Skeletal muscle cells are multinucleated cells generated by fusion of muscle precursor cells during development or by fusion of muscle specific stem cells, called satellite cells, in adult skeletal muscles. Craniofacial skeletal muscles such as extraocular and pharyngeal muscles have active satellite cell fusion in comparison to limb muscles.

One postdoc position in Choo lab is available immediately.