Hongkun Park, Ph.D.
Hongkun Park is an associate member at the Broad Institute and a professor of chemistry and of physics at Harvard University. He is also affiliated with the Harvard Center for Brain Science, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and Harvard Quantum Optics Center. He is a participant in Klarman Cell Observatory projects that focus on T-cell differentiation and transcriptome variation at the single-cell level.
Park’s research interests lie in developing a detailed physical and chemical understanding of nanometer-sized materials and applying this knowledge to possible technological applications. One of Park’s current research efforts toward these general goals is in the area of nano-bio interfacing. The goal of this effort is to develop new nanoscale tools for interrogating living cells and cell networks.
Park’s group developed a vertical nanowire platform that can deliver diverse biological effectors into virtually any cell type, and the team is applying the platform to interrogate intracellular circuits that dictate the functions of various primary immune cells. Using the same vertical nanowires, Park also developed a highly scalable platform for recording and stimulating real-time dynamics of complex neuronal ensembles, and is using this tool to study the inner workings of the brain. More recently, together with Aviv Regev at Broad, Park’s group developed a pipeline for single-cell transcriptomics that is applicable to a broad range of cell types. He is using it to study the cell-to-cell variability of immune, cancer, and neuronal cells.
Park serves as an associate editor of Nano Letters, and on the editorial boards of Chemical Society Reviews and Chemical Science. He received the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award and Research Corporation Research Innovation Award in 1999; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering and the NSF-CAREER Award in 2001; the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2002; the Visiting Miller Research Professorship from the University of California at Berkeley, the Ho-Am Foundation Prize in Science, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 2003; and the NIH Director's Pioneer Award in 2008. He was elected as a Fellow of the World Technology Network in 2004 and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011.
Park received his B.S. in chemistry at Seoul National University and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Stanford University. From 1996 to 1999, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.