Seungmin "Sam" Hwang, Ph.D.


  • Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Committee on Immunology, Committee on Microbiology


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2007
M.S., Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 2002


The University of Chicago 
924 East 57th Street 
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Phone:  (773) 834-5905

Lab Website


Host-Pathogen Interaction, Role of Autophagy in Immune System

(macro-) Autophagy (self-eating) is an evolutionarily conserved pathway that sequesters cytoplasmic materials within a double-membrane bound autophagosome and delivers them to the lysosome for degradation. This catabolic pathway has been shown to play important roles not only in cellular homeostasis through the recycling of essential materials but also in immune defense against intracellular pathogens through the selective recognition and subsequent degradation of pathogens. Recently, we have shown that only a specific cassette of autophagy proteins, but not the entire catabolic pathway, can be used by both host and pathogens to perform non-degradative tasks. Thus, the autophagy proteins that are required to manipulate intracellular membranes for the compartmentalization can play crucial autophagy-independent roles in multiple aspects of infection and host defense.

The goal of our current research program is to understand the role of autophagy pathway/proteins primarily in host-pathogen interaction that governs the outcome of infection and secondarily in the development of tumors and its control by immune system, and eventually to apply our findings to the "enrichment of human life".

Research Papers in PubMed