About Sung Min Han
Dr. Han completed his undergraduate education in Biotechnology in the Republic of Korea in the year 2000. Following that, he served in the Republic of Korea Air Force for three years. From 2001 to 2003, he pursued his master’s degree under the mentorship of Dr. Hyeon-Sook Koo at Yonsei University in South Korea. During this time, Dr. Han conducted research on the role of mitochondria in aging, using the nematode C. elegans as a genetic and in vivo model organism. In 2012, Dr. Han completed his Ph.D. training under the guidance of Dr. Michael Miller at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School. During his Ph.D. program, he continued his investigation into novel signaling mechanisms that connect abnormal mitochondrial function to the mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. Following his training in neurodegenerative disorders, Dr. Han developed a keen interest in understanding how the nervous system can restore its function after injury. To pursue this interest, he joined Dr. Marc Hammarlund’s lab at Yale University to delve into the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie axon regeneration after neuronal injury. In 2018, Dr. Han became an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. He currently serves as the Course Director for GMS6893 – Clinical and Translational Science Seminar Series, GMS6622 – Mitochondrial Biology in Aging and Disease, and GMS6771 – Clinical Neuroscience of Aging.
My long-term research goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of two key aspects: (i) how the nervous system maintains its function and structural integrity throughout an organism’s lifespan, and (ii) how these processes impact the overall aging and health of the organism.
At present, my research objectives are centered around investigating the following key areas: i) Exploring how aging neurons regulate mitochondrial dynamics and localization in response to localized demands and injury. ii) Investigating the role of mitochondria in controlling nuclear gene expression under specific conditions, with a focus on aging and injury. iii) Examining how mitochondria respond to environmental stressors and their influence on the aging process and overall organismal health. iv) Understanding how stress on mitochondria within the nervous system can impact an organism’s lifespan and healthspan.
To address these research questions, we employ the nematode C. elegans as a powerful genetic and in vivo model system, allowing us to delve into these complex issues.
- C. elegans
- Motor Neuron Disease
- Nerve regeneration