Kwanghun Chung, PhD
Core Faculty
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Associate Professor at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kwanghun Chung
khchung [at]
(617) 452-2263
Lab Phone
(617) 452-2263

77 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139

Administrative Assistant(s)
Michael Harrison
(617) 253-0009
mharriso [at]
Kwanghun Chung, PhD
Core Faculty
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Associate Professor at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009
  • BS in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, 2005


Kwanghun Chung is currently an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, as well as a Core Member of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES). He is also a Core Member of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University in 2005, and then moved to Georgia Institute of Technology for his Ph.D. training under the mentorship of Dr. Hang Lu, where he developed automated and integrated microsystems for high-throughput imaging, molecular/behavioral phenotyping, and cell microsurgery of a broad range of living systems.

Following his graduation in 2009, Dr. Chung joined the Karl Deisseroth Lab at Stanford University for post-doctoral training in 2010, where he invented a novel technology termed CLARITY (Chung, Nature, 2013), which enables system-wide structural and molecular analysis of large-scale intact biological samples. In 2013, Dr. Chung joined MIT and has been leading an interdisciplinary team to develop and apply novel methods for holistic understanding of large-scale complex biological systems. His group has developed a host of technologies (SWITCH [Cell, 2015], Stochastic Electrotransport [PNAS, 2015], MAP [Nature Biotechnology, 2016], SHIELD [Nature Biotechnology, 2019], and ELAST [Nature Methods, 2020]) that enable rapid and scalable 3D imaging and phenotyping of both animal models and human clinical samples. He cofounded LifeCanvas Technologies to commercialize his inventions, which has enabled rapid adoption of the technologies by over 300 labs and core facilities in leading institutions, and companies across 14 countries.

Chung was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) 2019, the NIH New Innovator Award 2016, the Mcknight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award 2016, the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering Award 2015, the NARSAD Young Investigator Award 2015, the Yumin Awards for Creativity 2014, the Searle Scholars Award 2014, and the BWF Career Award at the Scientific Interface 2012.


The Chung Lab is an interdisciplinary research team devoted to developing and applying novel technologies (e.g. CLARITY [Nature, 2013], SWITCH [Cell, 2015], MAP [Nature Biotechnology, 2016], SHIELD [Nature Biotechnology, 2019]) for integrative and comprehensive understanding of large-scale complex biological systems. Specifically, they develop a host of methods that may enable rapid identification of multi-scale functional networks and interrogation of their system-wide, multifactorial interactions. The Chung Lab is applying these technologies for studying brain function and dysfunction using animal models, human clinical samples, and organoid systems. The Chung Lab has been openly sharing research outcomes and offering training courses to broadly and rapidly disseminate their technologies to empower the scientific community.

Selected Awards/Societies

  • Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2019
  • 2018 Association of Korean Neuroscientists (AKN) Junior Faculty Award
  • 2017 Associate Scientific Advisor, Science Translational Medicine
  • 2016 NIH New Innovator Award
  • 2016 McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award
  • Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award
  • Searle Scholars Program
  • 40 under 40, Cell Magazine
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards at the Scientific Interface
  • Ziegler Award for Best Research Paper
  • Anne Robinson Clough Conference Grant
  • James T. Porter Fellowship
  • Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2019

Selected Publications

  • S. Roy, Y.-G. Park, S.K. Ogawa, J.H. Cho, H. Choi, L. Kamensky, J. Martin, K. Chung, S.Tonegawa. “Brain-wide mapping of contextual fear memory engram ensembles supports the dispersed engram complex hypothesis.” bioRxiv (2019)
  • D.H. Yun, Y.-G. Park, J.H. Cho, L. Kamentsky, N.B Evans, A. Albanese, K. Xie, J. Swaney, C.H. Sohn, Y. Tian, Q. Zhang, G. Drummond, W. Guan, N. DiNapoli, H. Choi, H.-Y. Jung, L. Ruelas, G. Feng, K. Chung. “Ultrafast immunostaining of organ-scale tissues for scalable proteomic phenotyping.” bioRxiv (2019)
  • Y.-G. Park, C.H. Sohn, R.Chen, M. McCue, G.T. Drummond, T. Ku, D.H. Yun, N.B. Evans, H.C. Oak, W. Trieu, H. Choi, X. Jin, V. Lilascharoen, J. Wang, M.C. Truttmann, H.W. Qi, H.L. Ploegh, T.R. Golub, S.-C. Chen, M.P. Frosch, H.J. Kulik, B. Lim, K. Chung. “Protection of tissue physicochemical properties using polyfunctional crosslinkers.” Nature Biotechnology (2018): doi:nbt.4281
  • T. Mano, A. Albanese, H.-U. Dodt, A. Erturk, V. Gradinaru, J.B. Treweek, A. Miyawaki, K. Chung, H.R. Ueda. “Whole-Brain Analysis of Cells and Circuits by Tissue Clearing and Light-Sheet Microscopy.” The Journal of Neuroscience (2018): 38 (44) 9330-9337.
  • N. Lippok, M. Villiger, Alexandre Albanese, E.F.J. Meijer, T.P. Padera, K. Chung, S.N. Bhatia, B.E. Bouma. “Depolarization signatures map gold nanorods within biological tissue.” Nature Photonics (2017): doi:10.1038/nphoton.2017.128
  • J. Ren, H. Choi, K. Chung, B.E. Bouma. “Label-free volumetric optical imaging of intact murine brains.” Scientific Report (2017): 7, DOI:10.1038/srep46306
  • T. Ku, J. Swaney, J.-Y. Park, A. Albanese, E. Murray, J.H. Cho, Y.-G. Park, V. Mangena, J. Chen, K. Chung. “Multiplexed and scalable super-resolution imaging of three-dimensional protein localization in size-adjustable tissues.” Nature Biotechnology (2016): 34(9), 973-81.
  • E. Murray, J.H. Cho, D. Goodwin, T. Ku, Justin Swaney, Sung-Yon Kim, Heejin Choi, Jeong-Yoon Park, Austin Hubbert, Meg McCue, Young-Gyun Park, Sara Vassallo, Naveed Bakh, Matthew Frosch,, Van J. Wedeen, H. Sebastian Seung, K. Chung. “Simple, scalable proteomic imaging for high-dimensional profiling of intact systems.” Cell (2015): Dec 3:163(6): 1500-14. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.025. PubMed PMID: 26638076.
  • S.-Y. Kim, J.H. Cho, E. Murray, N. Bakh, H. Choi, K. Ohn, S. Vassallo, L. Ruelas, A. Hubbert, M. McCue, P. Keller, K. Chung.“Stochastic electrotransport selectively enhances the transport of highly electromobile molecules. PNAS (2015): Nov 17: 112(46): E6274-83. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1510133112. Epub 2015 Nov 2. PubMed PMID: 26578787; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4655572.
  • K. Chung, K. Deisseroth. “CLARITY for mapping the nervous system.” Nature Methods 10 (2013): 508-13.
  • K. Chung, J. Wallace, S.-Y. Kim, S. Kalyanasundaram, A. Andalman, T.J. Davidson, K.A. Zalocusky, J. Mattis, S. Pak, V. Gradinaru, H. Bernstein, J. Mirzabekov, C. Ramakrishnan, K. Deisseroth, “Structural and molecular interrogation of intact biological systems.” Nature (2013): 497, 332-337 (This paper was featured in the New York Times and the Guardian)
  • K. Chung, C. A. Rivet, M. Kemp, H. Lu. “Imaging single-cell signaling dynamics with a deterministic high-density single-cell trap array.” Analytical Chemistry 83 (2011): 7044-52.
  • K. Chung, H. Lu. “Automated high-throughput cell microsurgery on-chip.” Lab on a Chip (2009): 9, 2764-2766.

A full list of Professor Chung’s publications can be found on his website.

Courses Taught

HST 562 -  Pioneering Technologies for Interrogating Complex Biological Systems