You are here

Faculty - Young-Eun Cho

Young-Eun Cho
Assistant Professor
482 CNB

Postdoc, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR, NIH)
PhD, Yonsei University College of Medicine
MS, Yonsei University College of Medicine
BSN, Yonsei University College of Nursing

Research Focus/Clinical Interests: 
  • Biomarker research related to obesity and its cardiovascular complications
  • The role of placenta-derived extracellular vesicle (EVs) on gestational complications
  • Breast milk EVs miRNAs in obese mothers and their effect on childhood obesity

Dr. Young-Eun Cho’s initial research focused on cardiovascular physiology. She obtained her master’s and PhD in vascular physiology related to hypertension and diabetes. In order to expand her research area into the clinical field, she started obesity-related biomarker research at the NIH. Weight gain after kidney transplantation is a critical complication that leads to lower long-term survival rates. In order to find predictive biomarkers of weight gain, she examined the changes of fat mass and reactive oxygen species after kidney transplant. In addition, she optimized omics methodologies to find biomarkers related to various diseases; mRNA, miRNA, and DNA methylation were analyzed to find out potential biomarkers in PTSD, TBI, and ischemic stroke patients.

Dr. Cho’s current research interest is about extracellular vesicles (EVs). They are small particles released from all kinds of cells with biological materials, including miRNAs, proteins, and lipids. Because encapsulated cargos in EVs are involved in modifying cellular mechanism in recipient cells, they are considered to play an important role in intracellular communication. Dr. Cho examined EVs and proteins/miRNAs in EVs to find out their roles associated with weight changes in kidney transplant recipients and breast cancer survivors intervened with a Mediterranean diet.

At the University of Iowa, she runs her laboratory in the MedLab building (2182 ML). Currently, she is preparing studies to investigate the role of maternal EVs in childhood obesity. Using omics methodologies, she will examine EVs and their cargos from placenta and breastmilk. It will provide evidence to determine biomarkers that affect childhood obesity in order to prevent or reduce obesity-related health complications.