Nano-Precision Mechano-Biology

Bringing nanoscale techniques with single-molecule resolution toward mechanobiology

Although complex, life can ultimately be reduced down to coordinated interactions of molecules in cells. To better understand how biological systems work, we investigate their nano-mechanics with single-molecule approaches. Experimental tools like molecular tweezers and fluorescence microscopy are employed for high-precision measurements, but we also develop new technologies when necessary. Combining the wisdom from various disciplines, we attempt to generate and answer questions in synaptic communication, vesicle trafficking, mechanosensitive proteins, and combinations thereof. Wanna join us for an exciting ride?


  • Workshop at the Univ. of Surrey
    2024/07 | Denny Fajrin joins the lab for a two-month international internship program. Hope you have a great stay!
  • 2024/06 | Taehyun, Celine, and Sang Hyeok fly to London to integrate single-molecule biophysics and synthetic biology, making ther international debut.
  • 2024/04 | Celine, Chaelin, and Haeun will jointly lead a WISET project to mentor next-gen students. An exciting initiative!
  • 2024/02 | Dr. Cha has been appointed as a B-IRC Fellow. Congratulations!
  • 2024/02 | New addition to the crew: Ayoung Jeong has joined the lab as a researcher. The first with a biology degree!
  • KPS Biophysics Symposium
    2024/01 | A rewarding trip to Busan for the KPS Biophysics symposium. 6 posters presented, with Chaelin, Seokyun, and Celine bagging the awards.
  • 2024/01 | Two book chapters for Methods in Enzymology are now available online, describing how we do stuff: probing synaptic protein complexes and protein-DNA interactions, both using an advanced tweezers setup. Nice work, Seokyun and Jaehun!
  • 2024/01 | Another IRP experience with Hwiheon. Best wishes for your future!
  • 2024/01 | Jaehyeon and Seokyun, following their remarkable achievements as undergraduates, join the group for their PhD journey. Welcome!
  • 2023/11 | Jaehun participates in the 2023 내연소, winning a prize in the final round. He nicely illustrated how magnetic tweezers work and why we use it to probe biomolecules. Curious to see his presentation? Check out the video here: YouTube
  • Healthy Lab Award
    2023/09 | The lab receives the Healthy Lab Award from the Human Rights Center. Yes, we work out biology with physics, who's surprised?
  • 2023/09 | Sang Hyeok receives an NRF grant for his doctoral research. A silver lining in the dark ages.
  • 2023/09 | Chaelin Lee joins the lab to embark on her undergraduate research. Welcome!
  • 2023/08 | The whole group made a footprint in ICBP 2023 held in Seoul. Congrats to Dr. Cha for the poster award!
  • 2023/07 | Jun Young, after his undergraduate thesis "Freestanding Lipid Bilayers for Single-molecule Biophysical Studies", wants the next level with us. Welcome aboard!
  • 2023/07 | Time of the year! 2023 Biophysics School with brilliant undergraduates.
  • Lights, Camera, Action!
    2023/06 | Videographer visit to film our new video article in JoVE by Celine and Taehyun. We provided a thorough and practical guide to setting up and operating high-speed magnetic tweezers along with the necessary software.
  • 2023/04 | One, two, Cha Cha (Cha): Back-to-back papers by Dr. Cha, Sang Hyeok, Jaehun, and Jun Hyuk on vesicle imaging! We looked at the interactions between lipid vesicles and membrane proteins (termed VPIs, not VIPs), and noticed a strong cooperation between ICAM-1 and CD9 in holding onto the vesicles. The results are published in the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles. Looking forward to the 3rd Cha! See also: 이데일리
  • Efficient vesicle labeling
    2023/03 | The first research paper out from the lab: Minkwon, Sang Hyeok, and Jun Hyuk teamed up to improve the fluorescent labeling of vesicles, with help from Jaehyeon. The method works great, and the results are published in Analytical Chemistry with a cover image. Congratulations guys!
  • 2023/02 | A new kid on the block: Seokyun Hong from POSTECH Physics joined the crew for his undergraduate research. Welcome!
  • 2023/02 | Seong-Soo Yang completed his two-week IRP with the best research award! Nicely done.
  • 2023/01 | Trip to Jeju Island for the annual KPS Biophysics meeting. Sorry Jun Young for "losing" the raffle!
  • 2023/01 | Jaehun Jung officially joins the team for his PhD pursuit. Welcome!
  • 2022/10 | The group attended in-person KPS meeting, first in three years! Making good progress.
  • 2022/07 | Two SURFers want some taste of biophysics: Jaehyeon Shin (Physics) and Yebin Yang (I-Bio) will stay for summer.
  • 2022/07 | We host the annual Biophysics School, looking after 50+ enthusiastic kids. Thanks to the team for your participation!
  • 2022/07 | BRL members gather in 평해연수원, the more the merrier!
  • High-resolution magnetic tweezers
    2022/06 | Dr. Shon, together with Prof. Tae-Young Yoon (SNU) and coworkers, wrote an extensive review on high-resolution magnetic tweezers in Annual Review of Biochemistry.
  • 2022/03 | Two undergraduates visit the lab for research experience: Ivana Richter studies molecular biology in TU Dresden (Germany), and Jun Young Baek comes from our Physics dept. Enjoy your stay!
  • 2022/02 | Our invited review on nano-precision mechanobiology is published in Molecules and Cells. We introduce how single-molecule tweezers can unravel the secrets of mechanical events in cells. Good work, guys!
  • 2022/01 | The group attended and presented some posters at the KPS Biophysics meeting in 강릉. Taehyun won a poster award, and Celine and Hyeonjeong both won a raffle! Didn't miss out on the local cuisine.
  • 2022/01 | Hyeonjeong Kim visits the lab for I-Bio winter internship. She wants to find out what's going on in our lab. Welcome Hyeonjeong!
  • 2021/08 | Dr. Cha joins the KIURI team for vesicle research. See: Link
  • 2021/07 | Two new PhD students, Celine Park and Sang Hyeok Jeong join the lab after 1-month of rotation. Welcome you all!
  • 2021/06 | Dr. Cha has received a postdoctoral grant from NRF. Congratulations!
  • 2021/05 | Dr. Shon's work on SNARE-recycling NSF proteins (conducted at SNU) is published in Nature Communications. We applied magnetic tweezers to observe the millisecond-scale disassembly of SNAREs at high spatiotemporal resolutions.
  • 2021/04 | The first film on Shon Lab is just released: Link (I-Bio production)
  • 2021/03 | Dr. Sang-Hyun Rah joins the lab as a postdoc with the prestigious PIURI Fellowship (See: 포스텍). He obtained his PhD in Physics from KAIST and previously worked at TU Delft. Dr. Rah will be conducting research on synaptic membrane proteins. Welcome!
  • BioDrone Award
    2020/11 | Our lab received the 1st BioDrone Award from MDimune! We will be conducting research on cell-derived nano-vesicles. See: 매일경제, 네이버
  • 2020/10 | Prof. Shon is now jointly appointed as a faculty member of I-Bio. We welcome people from both physics and biology!
  • 2020/09 | Dr. Minkwon Cha joins the lab as a postdoc. He was trained in single-molecule biophysics during his PhD at KAIST/SNU. He also knows how to handle wild cats. Welcome!
  • 2020/07 | First members of the group! Taehyun Yang and Jun Hyuk Park from Physics Dept. has joined the lab as the first PhD students. Ah-hyun Kim also joins us as the lab manager and will take care of administrative work. Welcome you all!
  • Lab space renovation: before (left) and after (right)
    2020/07 | The lab officially opens in POSTECH.
  • 2020/06 | Lab construction has started, scheduled to finish in July. Seems like a lot of work.
  • 2020/04 | Shon lab website has launched.