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Dear Readers,

The number of Koreans living overseas has been rising consistently since 1990, and now, exceeds 7.2 million. Human resources of the Korean Diaspora are enormous, and are well demonstrated in many fields. World Korean Medical Organization (WKMO) alone has 30,000 physicians of Korean heritage scattered throughout the world, outside of the Korean peninsula. In the face of globalization and trans-nationalism, WKMO promotes building a network, linking physicians of one country to another, creating platforms for collaboration.

The upcoming WKMO European Forum in London on March 21, 2015, exemplifies this network building. Colleagues from Asia, South and North America, Middle East, and Europe will gather to discuss trans-cultural healthcare and global initiatives. We hope to enhance the value and the need of networking and increase productivity of our vast human resources.

In this issue of WKMJ, we feature Dr. Philip Jaisohn (Jae-Pil Seo) and his work. As one of the most distinguished men in the history of Modern Korea, he was the first naturalized Korean American and the first Korean to obtain an MD degree and practice medicine in the United States. His tumultuous life of 87 years was filled with challenges and hardships. Through it, we witness amazing dedication and pursuit towards humanity and a peaceful world. As you read his story, I hope you will be inspired by Dr. Jaisohn’s visionary life, as he had embodied the best values from both Korean and American roots.

The entrepreneur interview is Dr. B.G. Rhee President of Green Cross Holdings, the maker of one of the world’s most sold hepatitis B vaccines and leading manufacturer of blood plasma derived products. Dr. Rhee also serves as the chairman of Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization since 2013. In the interview, Dr. Rhee shares his philosophy and principles of biopharmaceutical leadership in Korea.

You will also find other interesting articles in the current issue, including biopharmaceutical reports on biosimilar reference products and diabetic neuropathy patient stratification.

I hope you will find WKMJ to be a community through which you can bring positive impacts on healthcare and its industry. This magazine is for you. Thanks for reading!

Chul S. Hyun, MD, PhD


President of WKMO

Weill Cornell Medical College


Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year, the year of the Ram. It is hard to believe it already has been a year since the WKMJ started publishing. We highlight a very special Korean medical figure, Dr. Philip Jaisohn (Jae-Pil Seo) who has many firsts but was also a pioneering activist. Dr. Jaisohn is prominent Korean being the first naturalized American citizen in 1890. He is also the first Korean American physician in 1892 graduating from George Washington University. He practiced pathology and microbiology as a medical doctor but he so much more being was an activist in promoting Korean civil rights, modernization and independence when Korea was ruled by an emperor and then was annexed by Japan. He returned to Korea in 1894 and founded a Korean newspaper aptly named Independent News using Korean instead of Chinese allowing more widespread readership. On returning to the US he published Korean Review journal and convened the Korean Independence League to promote Korean affairs. Not only was he first in many ways but he fought and sustained efforts on Korea’s behalf from both Korea and America and there is appropriately a statue of him at the Korean Embassy in DC. He did so much in difficult times for Korea in the late 19th century entering the 20th century but was able to return as an advisor and see Korea’s independence.

The entrepreneur interview is Dr. B.G. Rhee President of Green Cross Holdings, a Korean biotechnology company with a growing global outreach. Green Cross has large portfolio of broad range of products for many medical conditions. The portfolio includes many cutting edge therapeutics, including important vaccines like hepatitis B and plasma derived products which are high end therapeutics including cell therapy, recombinant products and stem cell. The expansion to many global markets doesn’t happen without great planning and vision which Dr. Rhee has, and wish the company much success in bringing affordable therapeutics to the world.

As 2015 is well underway we look forward to a productive year starting with the WKMO regional forum in London in March and the annual WKMO Convention in Los Angeles in July. Hope you can make one or both meetings as WKMO is reaching out and network the modern international Korean medical community.

David Y. Ko, MD

Editor in Chief

Board Director of WKMO

Keck School of Medicine of USC

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