Renowned biomedical research scientist joins university as professor and fellow

Seong K. Mun

Seong K. Mun

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, Oct. 1, 2008 – Seong K. Mun, has joined Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region as professor of Physics and research fellow at the Virginia Tech Institute for Advanced Study.

Mun began his professional career at the Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington D.C., in 1981 and most recently held the positions of research professor of radiology, adjunct professor of microbiology and immunology, and associate vice president for special programs.

During his 27-year tenure at Georgetown, Mun also served as director, Division of Imaging Physics from 1982 to 1983 and director of Imaging Science and Information Systems (ISIS) Center from 1984 to 2007. In 1983 he led the development of one of the first high field whole body MRI systems at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

Mun’s research focuses on the role of imaging and information technology in a variety of healthcare settings such as diagnostic imaging, chronic illness management, home monitoring, telemedicine, disease surveillance, surgical instrumentation, and cancer therapy. The U.S. Department of Defense, the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and several corporations are among the organizations currently funding his research.

In 1988, he was honored with the Global IT Infrastructure Award on Deployable Radiology for U.S. Troops in Bosnia by Global IT Infrastructure and in 2007. Mun received the Thurman Award for Significant Contribution to the Military Medicine by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command. He has been a principal research partner of the Department of Defense (DOD) in a number of major programs such as development of the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), disease management, global teleradiology, telemedicine, medical electronic record and, more recently, medical robotics and transmission ultrasound imaging.

“Dr. Mun is a renowned scientist in biomedical research and we are very fortunate to have him join us at Virginia Tech,” said Lay Nam Chang, dean of the Virginia Tech College of Science. “His expertise and outstanding track record will add immeasurably to strengthening our position in an important area of study,”

Jim Bohland, vice president and executive director, Virginia Tech, National Capital Region Operations, said that Mun's extensive and ongoing research in a field that is not traditional for Virginia Tech opens the door to many new opportunities for the university. "Dr. Mun will play a vital role in helping expand our research capabilities in the National Capital Region, especially in light of the recent announcement that Tech is building a major research center in the area," said Bohland. "I have had the pleasure of working with him for the past five years in collaborative efforts with Georgetown, and find him to be a creative thinker and someone who works effectively in developing research teams."

From 1989 to 2004, Mun organized the International Conference on Image Management and Communication (IMAC). Other conferences he has organized include Distributed Care and Home Care: IEEE-EMBS Special Symposium in 2006, Multicenter Image Management in 2005 and 2007, National Forum on the Future of Defense Health Information System in 2008, and Traumatic Brain Injury Imaging Workshop 2008.

Mun served as president of the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, from 1992 to 1996, and of the Washington Academy of Biomedical Engineering in 2005. Currently, he serves on the editorial boards of International Journal of Computer-Assisted Radiology and Surgery and Journal of Telemedicine.

He has also been a guest editor for IEEE –TITB (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) in 2007 and Journal of Military Medicine of Association of United States Army in 2008. He is a Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, a member of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a board member of American Telemedicine Association. Mun is also on the Science and Technology Advisory Board of NextTechs Technologies LLC, a global technology intermediation firm.

He has authored numerous original papers in refereed journals and has written hundreds of abstracts, reports, and publications in proceedings. In 2007, Mun was invited to testify at the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on disease on behalf of Project Argus of the Imaging Science and Information Systems Center. As associate vice president, he was a member of the Office of Federal Relations of Georgetown University and responsible for developing a number of medical research programs by working with U.S. Congress.

Mun received a doctoral degree in physics for his research in the biophysical properties of hemoglobin at the State University of New York, Albany. His postdoctoral fellowships include training in medical physics at the University of Colorado Medical Center and MRI contrast development research training at the State University of New York lab of Paul Lauterbur, Nobel Laureate in Medicine for his work on Magnetic Resonance Imaging.