Joon Haeng Rhee
Professor of Microbiology, Chonnam National University Medical School
Dr. Rhee is a Professor of Microbiology at Chonnam National University Medical School where is Korea Chief. He also is the Director of the National Research Laboratory of Molecular Microbial Pathogenesis and the Director of the Research Institute for Vibrio Infections at the Clinical Vaccine R&D Institute in South Korea.
Dr. Rhee graduated from the Chonnam National University Medical School and received his PhD from the same university. He has spent the last 20+ years working on the molecular pathogenesis of Vibrio vulnificus infections. His laboratory has recorded V. vulnificus-host interactions using molecular and cellular microbiological tools. In 2002, he reported the whole genome sequence of CMCP6 which became one of the standard strains in our research field. Virulence regulatory roles of ToxRS, cAMP-CRP, LuxS quorum sensing, and HlyU were also documented by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in his laboratory that he has mentored over his career. Since the early 2000s, he has focused on the genes preferentially expressed while the pathogen is interacting with host animals. Recently, he had the fortune of solving the puzzle of cytotoxic mechanism exerted by V. vulnificus which proved that a RTX toxin is the major exotoxin responsible for the hallmark cytotoxic activity and triggers a programmed necrotic cell death mechanism.