Neurological disease is characterized by its complex level of pathology. Identification of new pathologies and development of therapeutic targets and new therapies in the area of neurological disease are made possible through systematic and comprehensive understanding at the anatomical, physiological and biochemical levels. At the Institute, professors from basic and clinical medicine at Seoul National University College of Medicine gathered to conduct research on neuroscience. In addition, outcomes from the Institute can be used as a basis for the research investment, legislation, and public relations in Korea.
The Neuroscience Research Institute was established in 1988 by Director Yoo-Hun Suh, Planning Commissioner Sang-Jeong Kim, Jun Kim, Sung Joong Lee, Ki Joong Kim, Kwang Woo Lee, Byung Woo Yoon, Bum Seok Jeon, Jae Kyu Roh. Kyung-min Lee, Man-ho Kim, Kyu-chang Wang, Byung-kyu Cho, Dong-gyu Kim, Hyun-jip Kim, Chun-ki Chung, Yong-sik Kim, Hye-sun Kim, Sa Sun Cho, Jung-ik Cha, Won-kyung Ho, Seok-ho Lee, Sang-jung Kim, Ki-young Cho, Seong-hye Park, In-hee Mook, Yong-seung Hwang, Seok-bae Oh, Mi-Sook Chang, Se-young Choi, and Seung-bok Lee. The first project of the Institute was the "Neural Tissue Cell Culture Workshop” (November 21-26, 1988), which invited Professors Seung-Up Kim (Canada) and Yoo-Hun Suh, contributing to the introduction of neuronal cell culture techniques in Korea.
The Institute held the International Symposium for PET on November 11, 1989 with the world's leading PET experts at Hilton Hotel in Seoul, playing a leading role in the introduction and development of PET in Korea (Annals of Seoul National University College of Medicine, 1989). In preparation for the aging society in the future, the Institute also held the first symposium on neurological aging diseases, “Nervous system aging disease symposium; Etiology and pharmacology” with Professors Suh Yoo-Hun and as Chang Hye Won (University of Columbia) as invited speakers. For the development of neuroscience in Korea, the Korean Neuroscience Society was founded at the Shilla Hotel by the professors at the Institute, such as Chanwoong Park, Gilsoo Choi, and Yooheon Seo on November 16, 1992.
From then on, the International Neuroscience Seoul Symposium was held every year to lay a solid foundation for the development of neuroscience in Korea. In 1993, the first international workshop on transgenic animal manufacturing in Korea was held in cooperation with the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), with 30 young scientists from five Asia-Pacific countries participating in human disease research. The workshop made an opportunity to introduce transgenic mouse models used in human disease research in Korea.
The “Molecular Neurobiology Technique Workshop” was held in July 4-9, 1994, leading to an active utilization of molecular biology techniques in brain research in Korea. The Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN) and the Federation of Asian-Oceanian Neuroscience Societies (FAONS) were successfully organized in 1998 and 2002, respectively, by the chairmanship, Professor Yoo-Hun Suh. The Korean Brain Society was founded in February 10, 1998, and Professor Yoo-Hun Suh was elected as the first chairman. The historic brain research promotion law (Yoo-Hun Suh and Ho-Sun Jung as Chairpersons) was enacted for the first time in the world in May, where the Institute played a major role in its enactment and becomes the central research institute for the development of brain research in Korea.
The Institute also played a central role to establish the Korean Society for Degenerative Neuropathy (Suh Yoo-Hun as Chairperson and Kwang-Woo Lee as Vice-Chairperson) on April 14, 2007, reconfirming that the Institute as a leading research institute in Korea. Since 2002, the Institute has also held the Brain Awareness Week event every year to remind the public of the importance of the brain.
From 2010 to 2014, Professor Byung-Woo Yoon (Neuroscience) has served as the director of the Institute, who was succeeded by Professor Sang-Jeong Kim(physiology) from 2014.
The Institute publishes more than 10 SCI papers and holds seminars in neuroscience every year to contribute to the development of neuroscience in Korea.