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|Faculty of the Month - Eric di Luccio|
Dr. Eric di Luccio is an assistant professor at KNU with a Master’s degree in science and a PhD in neuroscience and structural biology, which he earned at the University of the Mediterranean Aix-Marseille II in France. Dr. di Luccio did his graduate research at the Institut Fédératif de Recherche (IFR) Jean-Roche research center, specifically at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
After receiving his doctorate, he moved to America to continue his training at UC Davis for six years. His postdoctoral research focused on structural biology, genetic and protein engineering, and x-ray crystallography at one lab, and bioinformatics and computational biology at another. In 2008, he almost became an astronaut. He was among a select few to be chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be screened for the ultimate selection of four new European Astronauts. He underwent some very intense tests at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Germany during the summer of 2008. Unfortunately, he did not make the final selection, and decided to resume his academic career.
Dr. di Luccio’s current field of study focuses on epigenetic research and how it can be used for understanding diseases, mainly cancer. He works in a lab at KNU where knowledge and information is passed on to colleagues and students alike, which they all appreciate and enjoy. The lab he works at is now teaming up with other researchers in the US and France to develop drugs based on their findings about epigenetics. This research has drawn the attention of drug companies in Japan, Germany, and America, who are all interested in anti-cancer molecules that are being developed, which, according to di Luccio, has been his most memorable professional moment to date.
Dr. di Luccio’s interests go well beyond academia. When he was doing his post-graduate research in California, he went to the university’s flight school and received a pilot’s license from the FAA, making him a certified private pilot for single engine aircraft such as Cessna 172 and 152. In his spare time, Eric di Luccio enjoys running and cycling. He ran the San Francisco half marathon twice, and still has a strong interest in space exploration and aviation. When he is not working or enjoying his hobbies, he likes spending time with his wife and daughter who live with him in Korea.
According to Dr. di Luccio, The best part about working at KNU is the freedom and latitude the university offers to perform research and to teach in a comfortable, yet striving, environment. He goes on to say that “KNU offers opportunities to excel in research, teaching and community service. Working at KNU reinforced my willingness to pursue a career in academia”.
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