Jae-Kyun (James) Ko, Ph.D.
Dr. Ko, a renowned molecular biology and genetic engineering scientist, has spent many years conducting research in both commercial and academic settings. He founded Mutagenex Inc. in 2006, providing molecular biology services to over 300 laboratories across 26 countries. Dr. Ko then joined The Ohio State University as an assistant professor, where he established the Molecular Biology Core Laboratory in the Department of Surgery, Wexner Medical Center to support researchers. During his academic career, he conducted three NIH-funded R01 research projects and evaluated medical school applicants as a screener for OSU medical school. He recently reopened Mutagenex in Georgia and plans to offer counseling services to future medical doctors based on his critical expertise and sources.
Dept of Surgery, OSUMC
Director of Molecular Biology Core
Medical school screener for MSTP (MD/PhD program)
08/2018 – 10/2022
- 08/2003 - 04/2007, Ph.D. Physiology and Biophysics, UMDNJ-RWJMS, (Current RWJMS – Rutgers), Piscataway, NJ
- 03/1995 - 02/1997, M.S. Biological Science, KAIST, Daejeon, South Korea
- 03/1991 - 02/1995, B.S. Biotechnology, KAIST, Daejeon, South Korea
08/2018 – 10/2022, Assistant Professor
- Department of Surgery, Wexner Medical Center,
- College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
- Director of Molecular Biology Core
- Conduct three NIH-funded (R01) research
- Admission screener for The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), OSU dual-degree MD-PhD program.
- Teaching graduate courses:
- Fundamentals of Grant Writing (Student evaluation 4.61/5.0, OSU average 4.25/5.0)
- Teaching@OhioState 00105 (research paper seminar)
01/2006 - 07/2018, Executive Director, co-founder
Mutagenex Inc, NJ and GA
- Developed a high-throughput protocol for an innovative site-directed mutagenesis technique
- Established a protocol to produce a large scale of mutant libraries, an essential material for a directed evolution study
- Founded a commercial laboratory, Mutagenex Inc, to provide site-directed mutagenesis and gene manipulation service
- Organized and trained technical teams of Mutagenex
- World-widely collaborated with researchers in more than 300 labs over 26 countries
- Counseled researchers for more than 250 projects resulting in publications
- Designed and published a commercial website (URL: https://www.mutagenex.com/).
05/2008 - 12/2010, Research Teaching Specialist, UMDNJ-RWJMS, Piscataway, NJ
05/2007 - 04/2008, Post Doc. Researcher, UMDNJ-RWJMS, Piscataway, NJ
03/2001 - 02/2003, Senior Researcher, Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
03/1997 - 02/2001, Researcher, Mogam Biotechnology Research Institute, Yongin city, South Korea
- 2011: Invited Seminar, Ko JK, (2014),
Topic: Current Applications of Site-Directed Mutagenesis and Directed Evolution
KAIST, Daejeon, South Korea
- 2006-present: Member of American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
- 2005-present: Member of Biophysical Society (BPS)
- 2020-present: Membership of the Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Journal editorial reviewer:
- International Journal of Pharmacy and Chemistry
- The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
- Venture Capital ($300K) funded from Korean Community in Central New Jersey, 2006
- Research startup funding from Department of Surgery, the College of Medicine, OSU (PI) 08/01/2018 – 07/31/2023
- R01- EY030621 (Co-Investigator), 9/01/2019 – 07/31/2023
National Eye Institute (NEI), "Preservation of Limbal Stem Cell Function in Corneal Injury"
- R01- DK123475 (Co-Investigator), 01/13/2020 – 11/30/2024
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), "Preservation of DCD Allograft Integrity for Liver Transplantation"
- R01- HL153876 (Co-Investigator), 07/01/2020 - 06/30/2024
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Inst (NHLBI), "Inhibiting Cell Death for Protecting Cardiac Injury"
ATAP peptides, nucleic acids encoding the same and associated methods of use
Ma J, Ko JK, Kim CW, Weisleder N (2008). Application No.: PCT/US2007/080307
A pharmaceutical composition for inducing apoptosis comprising a fusion protein of Bfl-1 and green fluorescent protein or a gene encoding same.
Kim CW, Ko JK, Yang WS (2004). Application No.: PCT/KR2004/001324
Exosome containing exogenous antigen through gene transfection and method for utilizing the same.
Kim CW, Ko JK, Cho JA (2003). Application No.: PCT/KR2003/001575
- Oltra SS, Colomo S, Sin L, Pérez-López M, Lázaro S, Molina-Crespo A, Choi KH, Ros-Pardo D, Martínez L, Morales S, González-Paramos C, Orantes A, Soriano M, Hernández A, Lluch A, Rojo F, Albanell J, Gómez-Puertas P, Ko JK, Sarrió D, Moreno-Bueno G. Distinct GSDMB protein isoforms and protease cleavage processes differentially control pyroptotic cell death and mitochondrial damage in cancer cells. Cell Death Differ. 2023 May;30(5):1366-1381.
- Zhou X, Cho JH, Yi J, Choi K, Park KH, Zhu H, Cai C, Haggard E, Zhou J, Ko JK, Ma J. Quantification of autophagy flux in isolated mouse skeletal muscle fibers with overexpression of fluorescent protein mCherry-EGFP-LC3. STAR Protoc. 2023 Jan 23;4(1):101871. (Co-corresponding author)
- Arystarkhova E, Toustrup-Jensen MS, Holm R, Ko JK, Lee KE, Feschenko P, Ozelius LJ, Brashear A, Vilsen B, Sweadner KJ. Temperature instability of a mutation at a multidomain junction in Na,K-ATPase isoform ATP1A3 (p.Arg756His) produces a fever-induced neurological syndrome. J Biol Chem. 2023 Jan;299(1):102758.
- Kim DH, Lee J, Suh Y, Ko JK, Lee K. Transdifferentiation of Myoblasts Into Adipocytes by All-Trans-Retinoic Acid in Avian. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022;10:856881.
- Membrane-delimited signaling and cytosolic action of MG53 preserve hepatocyte integrity during drug-induced liver injury. Han Y, Black S, Gong Z, Ko JK, et al. J Hepatol. 2021, Nov 1:S0168-8278(21) 02154-1.
- Geng BC, Choi KH, Wang SZ, Chen P, Pan XD, Dong NG, Ko JK, Zhu H. A simple, quick, and efficient CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing method for human induced pluripotent stem cells. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2020, 41, 1427–1432. (Co-corresponding author)
- Choi S, Cui C, Luo Y, Kim SH, Ko JK, Huo X, Ma J, Fu LW, Souza RF, Korichneva I, Pan Z: Selective inhibitory effects of zinc on cell proliferation in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma through Orai1. FASEB J . 2018, 32: 404-416. Epub 2017 Sep 19.
- Cai C, Lin P, Zhu H, Ko JK, Hwang M, Tan T, Pan Z, Korichneva I, Ma J: Zinc Binding to MG53 Protein Facilitates Repair of Injury to Cell Membranes. J Biol Chem. 2015, 290: 13830-13839. Epub 2015 Apr 13.
- De G, Ko JK, Tan T, Zhu H, Li H, Ma J: Amphipathic tail-anchoring peptide is a promising therapeutic agent for prostate cancer treatment. Oncotarget. 2014, 5: 7734-7747.
- Ko JK, Choi KH, Zhao X, Komazaki S, Pan Z, Weisleder N, Ma J: A versatile single-plasmid system for tissue-specific and inducible control of gene expression in transgenic mice. FASEB J 2011, 25: 2638-2649. Epub 2011 Apr 25.
- Ko JK, Choi KH, Peng J, He F, Zhang Z, Weisleder N, Lin J, Ma J: Amphipathic tail-anchoring peptide and Bcl-2 homology domain-3 (BH3) peptides from Bcl-2 family proteins induce apoptosis through different mechanisms. J Biol Chem 2011, 286: 9038-9048. Epub 2010 Dec 28 (Selected as a Paper of the Week).
Reviewer's commentary: A New Weapon in the Fight against Cancer
- Tjondrokoesoemo A, Park KH, Ferrante C, Komazaki S, Lesniak S, Brotto M, Ko JK, Zhou J, Weisleder N, Ma J: Disrupted membrane structure and intracellular Ca²+ signaling in adult skeletal muscle with acute knockdown of Bin1. PLoS One 2011, 6(9):e25740. 2011 Sep 30.
- Hwang M, Ko JK, Weisleder N, Takeshima H, Ma J: Redox-dependent oligomerization through a leucine zipper motif is essential for MG53-mediated cell membrane repair. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2011, 301: C106-114. Epub 2011 Apr 27.
- Zhao X, Min CK, Ko JK, Parness J, Kim do H, Weisleder N, Ma J: Increased store-operated Ca2+ entry in skeletal muscle with reduced calsequestrin-1 expression. Biophys J 2010, 99:1556-1564.
- Woo JS, Hwang JH, Ko JK, Weisleder N, Kim do H, Ma J, Lee EH: S165F mutation of junctophilin 2 affects Ca2+ signaling in skeletal muscle. Biochem J 2009, 427:125-134.
- Woo JS, Hwang JH, Ko JK, Kim do H, Ma J, Lee EH: Glutamate at position 227 of junctophilin-2 is involved in binding to TRPC3. Mol Cell Biochem 2009, 328:25-32.
- Cai C, Weisleder N, Ko JK, Komazaki S, Sunada Y, Nishi M, Takeshima H, Ma J: Membrane repair defects in muscular dystrophy are linked to altered interaction between MG53, caveolin-3, and dysferlin. J Biol Chem 2009, 284:15894-15902.
- Cai C, Masumiya H, Weisleder N, Matsuda N, Nishi M, Hwang M, Ko JK, Lin P, Thornton A, Zhao X, et al.: MG53 nucleates assembly of cell membrane repair machinery. Nat Cell Biol 2009, 11:56-64.
- Landstrom AP, Weisleder N, Batalden KB, Bos JM, Tester DJ, Ommen SR, Wehrens XH, Claycomb WC, Ko JK, Hwang M, et al.: Mutations in JPH2-encoded junctophilin-2 associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in humans. J Mol Cell Cardiol 2007, 42:1026-1035.
- Ko JK, Choi KH, Pan Z, Lin P, Weisleder N, Kim CW, Ma J: The tail-anchoring domain of Bfl1 and HCCS1 targets mitochondrial membrane permeability to induce apoptosis. J Cell Sci 2007, 120:2912-2923 (Editor's highlighted paper).
Reviewer's commentary: Lethal sting in a Bcl2 tail
- Yang WS, Ko JK, Park SO, Choi HY, Kim YN, Kim CW: C-terminal region of Bfl-1 induces cell death that accompanies caspase activation when fused with GFP. J Cell Biochem 2005, 94:1234-1247.
- Qin L, Li X, Ko JK, Partridge NC: Parathyroid hormone uses multiple mechanisms to arrest the cell cycle progression of osteoblastic cells from G1 to S phase. J Biol Chem 2005, 280:3104-3111.
- Ko JK, Ma J: A rapid and efficient PCR-based mutagenesis method applicable to cell physiology study. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2005, 288: C1273-1278.
(Top 50 most downloaded article of the journal in 2005)
(Application of the Golden Gate cloning techniques to physiology study)
- Cho JA, Yeo DJ, Son HY, Kim HW, Jung DS, Ko JK, Koh JS, Kim YN, Kim CW: Exosomes: a new delivery system for tumor antigens in cancer immunotherapy. Int J Cancer 2005, 114:613-622.
- Choi KH, Choi HY, Ko JK, Park SS, Kim YN, Kim CW: Transcriptional regulation of TNF family receptors and Bcl-2 family by chemotherapeutic agents in murine CT26 cells. J Cell Biochem 2004, 91:410-422.
- Kwon GY, Jeong J, Woo JK, Choi HY, Lee MJ, Ko JK, Shim YH, Kim CW: Co-expression of bfl-1 enhances host response in the herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase/ganciclovir gene therapy system. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2003, 303:756-763.
- Ko JK, Lee MJ, Cho SH, Cho JA, Lee BY, Koh JS, Lee SS, Shim YH, Kim CW: Bfl-1S, a novel alternative splice variant of Bfl-1, localizes in the nucleus via its C-terminus and prevents cell death. Oncogene 2003, 22:2457-2465.
- Ko JK, Choi KH, Kim HJ, Choi HY, Yeo DJ, Park SO, Yang WS, Kim YN, Kim CW: Conversion of Bfl-1, an anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family protein, to a potent pro-apoptotic protein by fusion with green fluorescent protein (GFP). FEBS Lett 2003, 551:29-36.
- Ko JK, Choi KH, Kim IS, Jung EK, Park DH: Inducible RGS2 is a cross-talk regulator for parathyroid hormone signaling in rat osteoblast-like UMR106 cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2001, 287:1025-1033.
Book & chapter
- Ko JK, Ma J: Efficient PCR-based mutagenesis method applicable to diverse mutagenesis strategies using type IIs restriction enzymes. In PCR: Methods Express. Scion Publishing Ltd. (2007) 217-228. (Application of the Golden Gate cloning technique to diverse mutagenesis studies)
- Kang KW, Hong SJ, Kim DR, Jung HI, Ko JK, Kim YH, Choi KH (1995) Animal being forgotten - Leech. Academy Press, Korea
Complete List of Published Works