Seungmin "Sam" Hwang, Ph.D.


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


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


Role of Autophagy Pathway/Proteins in Host-Pathogen/Tumor Interaction

Host-pathogen/tumor interaction is the main theme of our research and our current research programs are to elucidate the mechanism of Targeting by AutophaGy proteins (TAG) of immune effectors onto the membrane of vacuoles containing pathogens/tumors and to understand the role of autophagy pathway/proteins in tumor microenvironment. 

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 in cellular homeostasis through recycling of essential materials and in immune defense through selective degradation of pathogens. Recently, we found that the autophagy proteins that manipulate intracellular membranes for autophagosome formation play another crucial non-degradative functions in sensing and marking pathogen-containing vacuole for targeting of immune effectors to the vacuole structure. The major goal of our current research program is to understand this non-degradative role of autophagy proteins in targeting effector proteins to membranes and the biological functions of the process.

Research Papers in PubMed