Photo of Hongyoon Choi

Biotechnology & medicine

Hongyoon Choi

Bringing innovation in the diagnostic methods and drug development.

Year Honored

Seoul National University Hospital


One of the biggest hurdles encountered in the medical and new drug development fields is uncertainty. Because of the biological and disease complexity, it is difficult to predict the cure at the individual patient level. In addition, it's also difficult to predict biological changes, so it is often ineffective for patients in the laboratory during the development of new drugs.

Hongyoon Choi has conducted research with the aim of bringing innovation to the diagnostic methods and drug development through technologies that can reduce uncertainty by data. Hongyoon developed several AI models using medical imaging to provide biomarkers that can predict therapeutic responses or future outcomes. To develop biomarkers and discover new targets of diseases, he has integrated different types of biological and medical data. Among the various types of data, he has especially focused on integrating spatial transcriptomics, an up-to-date technology that provides gene expression profiles in tissues, with images through AI. This data integration helps to understand and visualize biological profiles that have never been seen before, and this could be a major turning point in moving the center of research for disease and new drug development from conventional laboratory research to data-based analysis.

Hongyoon co-founded Portrai with the main goal of introducing a new era in the field of drug discovery and development by integrating various data based on cutting-edge technologies including spatial transcriptomics. The solution of Portrai aims to verify safety and efficacy issues concerning new drugs with higher precision at the early stage of drug development. With Portrai’s platform services, many unknown variables involved with drug development can be clarified, such as unexpected drug mechanisms, cellular level mapping of drug delivery, and strategies for appropriate target disease subtypes. Hongyoon believes that this new data, which people have not seen before, can enhance the success rate of new drugs and eventually contribute to conquering diseases.