Kwanghun Chung

Core Faculty
Phone: (617) 452-2263
Website: Chung Lab
Lab Phone: (617) 452-2263
room: E25-333
MIT address: 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139
Administrative Assistant: William McCoy
assistant phone: (617) 715-4181
assistant email:

Kwanghun Chung

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 completed his undergraduate studies at Seoul National University in 2005, majoring in Chemical and Biological Engineering. He then went to Georgia Institute of Technology and completed his thesis work in 2009 under the mentorship of Hang Lu. During his graduate research he developed automated and integrated microsystems for high-throughput imaging, molecular/behavioral phenotyping, and cell microsurgery of a broad range of living systems including mammalian cells, C. elegans, andDrosophila embryo. After completing collaborations stemming from his PhD work, he then joined Karl Deisseroth Lab at Stanford University for post-doctoral training in 2010.

In his time in the Karl Deisseroth Lab, he invented a novel technology termed CLARITY, which enables system-wide structural and molecular analysis of large-scale intact biological samples including rodent brains and human clinical samples. He was a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at Scientific Interface (BWF-CASI) Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2013, he joined MIT to start his own lab as an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is also a principal investigator of the Picower Institute of Learning and Memory.


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

selected awards/societies

  • 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


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 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.