Younsoo Bae

Contact Information

333 Bio Pharm Complex
789 South Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40536

phone: 859-323-6649
fax: 859-257-7564

Contact by email


  • Assistant Professor
    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences


  • B.E.
    Hanyang University School of Engineering, 1999
  • M.E.
    The University of Tokyo School of Engineering, 2002
  • Ph.D.
    The University of Tokyo School of Engineering, 2005


Younsoo Bae, Ph.D.

Dr. Younsoo Bae is a pharmaceutical scientist with expertise in controlled drug and gene delivery therapeutics. Dr. Bae received his PhD in materials science and engineering from University of Tokyo in 2005, and completed postdoctoral training at the school of pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison before he joined the department of pharmaceutical sciences, University of Kentucky, in 2008.

As of February 2013, Dr. Bae is has published 43 peer-reviewed papers, and served as a reviewer for papers submitted to 38 scientific journals (Elsevier top reviewer in the subject area of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2012), international and domestic grant applications, and conferences (Controlled Release Society, Society for Biomaterials, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, and International Conference on Biomaterials Science). He is also an inventor on 12 issued and provisional patents.

Chemotherapy is a common therapeutic option for cancer and various human diseases, but the lack of effective and safe methods to control a location and timing of drug action in the body limits clinical applications of many potent drugs. Nanoparticle drug carriers (< 100 nm in diameter) become important tools that may solve these problems by delivering anticancer drugs to tumors safely and maintaining effective drug concentrations in the tumor tissues for an extended time.

Dr. Bae’s research team has been developing polymer nanoassemblies, such as block copolymer micelles (BCMs) and crosslinked nanoassemblies (CNAs), as biocompatible, multifunctional, and modular tools that can fine-tune the amount, rate, and timing of drug release in tumors. The ultimate goal is to improve efficacy and safety of cancer chemotherapy by customizing drug delivery patterns in each patient.

The research team has demonstrated that BCMs and CNAs can be used as drug carriers and gene vectors, which successfully delivered various payloads (anticancer drugs, proteins, nucleotides, and imaging agents) to tumors in controlled manners, and confirmed effective antitumor activity and reduced toxicity in mouse models established from human lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancers through previous studies.

Current research is focused on elucidating the mechanisms by which BCMs and CNAs carry various molecular payloads for cancer diagnosis, imaging, and treatment to cancer cells in the heterogeneous tumor microenvironment in vivo (low pH, low oxygen, high collagen deposition, or high interstitial tissue pressure), and optimizing the polymer nanoassemblies for personalized cancer therapy in future clinical applications.


Selected Papers

Highly Cited Papers (> 100 citations)

  • Y. Bae and K. Kataoka (2009) Intelligent polymeric micelles from functional poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(amino acid) block copolymers. Adv. Drug Delivery Rev., 61, 768-784.
  • Y. Bae, N. Nishiyama and K. Kataoka (2007) In vivo antitumor activity of the folate-conjugated ph-sensitive polymeric micelle selectively releasing adriamycin in the intracellular acidic compartments. Bioconjugate Chem., 18, 1131-1139.
  • M.R. Kano, Y. Bae, C. Iwata, Y. Morishita, M. Yashiro, M. Oka, T. Fujii, A. Komuro, K. Kiyono, M. Kaminishi, K. Hirakawa, Y. Ouchi, N. Nishiyama, K. Kataoka and K. Miyazono (2007) Improvement of cancer-targeting therapy, using nanocarriers for intractable solid tumors by inhibition of TGF-β signaling. PNAS, 104, 3460-3465.
  • Y. Bae, W.-D. Jang, N. Nishiyama, S. Fukushima and K. Kataoka (2005) Multifunctional polymeric micelles with folate-mediated cancer cell targeting and pH-triggered drug releasing properties for active intracellular drug delivery. Mol. BioSyst., 1, 242-250.
  • Y. Bae, N. Nishiyama, S. Fukushima, H. Koyama, M. Yasuhiro and K. Kataoka (2005) Preparation and biological characterization of polymeric micelle drug carriers with intracellular ph-triggered drug release property: tumor permeability, controlled subcellular drug distribution, and enhanced in vivo antitumor efficacy. Bioconjugate Chem., 16, 122-130.
  • Y. Bae, S. Fukushima, A. Harada and K. Kataoka (2003) Design of environment-sensitive supramolecular assemblies for intracellular drug delivery: Polymeric micelles that are responsive to intracellular pH change. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 42, 4640-4643.

    Drug Delivery

  • H.J. Lee, Y. Bae (2013) Pharmaceutical differences between block copolymer self-assembled and cross-linked nanoassemblies as carriers for tunable drug release, Pharm. Res., 30, 478-488.
  • A.M. Eckman, E. Tsakalozou. N.Y. Kang, A. Ponta, Y. Bae (2012) Drug release patterns and cytotoxicity of PEG-poly(aspartate) block copolymer micelles in cancer cells. Pharm. Res., 29, 1755-1767.
  • S. Akter, B.F. Clem, H.J. Lee, J. Chesney and Y. Bae (2012) Block Copolymer Micelles for Controlled Delivery of Glycolytic Enzyme Inhibitors. Pharm. Res., 29, 847-855.
  • D. Scott, J. Rohr and Y. Bae (2011) Nanoparticulate formulations of mithramycin analogs for enhanced cytotoxicity. Int. J. Nanomed., 6, 2757-2767.
  • M.D. Howard, A. Ponta, A. Eckman, M. Jay and Y. Bae (2011) Polymer micelles with hydrazone-ester dual linkers for tunable release of dexamethasone. Pharm. Res., 28, 2435-2446.
  • H.J. Lee and Y. Bae (2011) Cross-linked nanoassemblies from poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(aspartate) block copolymers as stable supramolecular templates for particulate drug delivery. Biomacromolecules, 12, 2686-2696.
  • H.-C. Shin, A.W.G. Alani, H. Cho, Y. Bae, J.M. Kolesar and G.S. Kwon (2011) A 3-in-1 polymeric micelle nanocontainer for poorly water-soluble drugs. Mol. Pharm., 8, 1257-1265.
  • A. Ponta and Y. Bae (2010) PEG-poly(amino acid) block copolymer micelles for tunable drug release. Pharm. Res., 27, 2330-2342.
  • Y. Bae, A.W.G. Alani, N.C. Rockich, T.S.Z.C. Lai and G.S. Kwon (2010) Mixed pH-sensitive polymeric micelles for combination drug delivery. Pharm. Res., 27, 2421-2432.
  • A.W.G. Alani, Y. Bae, D.A. Rao and G.S. Kwon (2010) Polymeric micelles for the pH-dependent controlled, continuous low dose release of paclitaxel. Biomaterials, 31, 1765-1772.
  • Y. Bae, T.A. Diezi, A. Zhao and G.S. Kwon (2007) Mixed polymeric micelles for combination cancer chemotherapy through the concurrent delivery of multiple chemotherapeutic agents. J. Control. Release, 122, 324-330.

    Gene Delivery

  • T.-H.H. Chen, Y. Bae, D.Y. Furgeson, G.S. Kwon (2012) Biodegradable hybrid recombinant block copolymers for non-viral gene transfection. Int. J. Pharm., 427, 105-112.
  • T.C. Lai, Y. Bae, T. Yoshida, K. Kataoka and G.S. Kwon (2010) pH-Sensitive multi-PEGylated block copolymer as a bioresponsive pDNA delivery vector. Pharm. Res., 27, 2260-2273.
  • T.-H.H. Chen, Y. Bae and D.Y. Furgeson (2008) Intelligent biosynthetic nanobiomaterials (IBNs) for hyperthermic gene delivery. Pharm. Res., 25, 683-691.
  • M. Han, Y. Bae, N. Nishiyama, K. Miyata, M. Oba and K. Kataoka (2007) Transfection study using multicellular tumor spheroids for screening non-viral polymeric gene vectors with low cytotoxicity and high transfection efficiencies. J. Control. Release, 121, 38-48.

  • M.P. Xiong, Y. Bae, S. Fukushima, M.L. Forrest, N. Nishiyama, K. Kataoka and G.S. Kwon (2007) pH-responsive multi-PEGylated dual cationic nanoparticles enable charge modulations for safe gene delivery. ChemMedChem, 2, 1321-1327
  • Other applications

  • M. Dan, D.F. Scott, P.A. Hardy, R.J. Wydra, J.Z. Hilt, R.A. Yokel, Y. Bae (2013) Block copolymer cross-linked nanoassemblies improve particle stability and biocompatibility of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, Pharm. Res., 30, 552-561.
  • E. Tsakalozou, A.M. Eckman, Y. Bae (2012) Combination Effects of Docetaxel and Doxorubicin in Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer Cells. Biochem. Res. Int., 2012, 1-10.
  • H.J. Lee, A. Ponta and Y. Bae (2010) Polymer nanoassemblies for cancer treatment and imaging. Ther. Delivery, 1, 803-817.
  • Y. Lee, S. Fukushima, Y. Bae, S. Hiki, T. Ishii and K. Kataoka (2007) A Protein Nanocarrier from Charge-Conversion Polymer in Response to Endosomal pH. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 129, 5362-5363.
page last modified: February 21 2013     

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