Dr. Jinwon Byun

South Korea Residents Benefiting from Cedarville Pharmacy Graduate

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by Nicole Hackett

Dr. Jinwon ByunDr. Jinwon Byun, a 2017 Cedarville University alumna, is the first graduate from the Cedarville University School of Pharmacy to work internationally. Byun earned her pharmacist’s license in South Korea in February.

Byun is assistant manager in business and product development at G2GBIO, a pharmaceutical company located in Daejeon, South Korea.

Byun attributes her experience working on a research team at Cedarville with Dr. Elisha Injeti, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, as pivotal to obtaining her current position at G2GBIO.

“I learned how to set the study protocol, understood the nonclinical study process and handle data analysis machines,” said Byun. 

“Although I do not work in a research lab or on an analytical research team, I still need to understand those processes and be able to interpret data. Without having that experience at Cedarville, I would have had a hard time learning and understanding those concepts.”

Byun grew up in South Korea but spent 11 years in the U.S., where she completed most of her education. After graduating from Cedarville, Byun wanted to return home to be closer to her family, especially her grandmother.

To be employed as a pharmacist in South Korea, you must take the South Korean pharmacist board exam. The exam, which is given once a year, is a full day of testing and includes four major parts, some of which contain topics not taught in the U.S., like herbal medicine.

“Due to the influence of oriental medicine, Korean pharmacy schools teach detailed herbal medicine,” said Byun. “Many Koreans consume herbal medicines, and Korean pharmaceutical companies make combination products of herbal medicine and western medicine. It was difficult to memorize a long list of herbal medications, but I also found them interesting to learn.”

According to Byun, she is one of the few foreign graduates to pass the Korean board exam on the first attempt. Once she passed, Byun applied for and received her current job at G2GBIO, a venture biotech company. In her role, Byun has been involved in pharmaceutical product development.

“There are many different ways to provide good medications to patients,” explained Byun. “Pharmacists in the hospital and the pharmacy provides medications to patients directly, face-to-face. But someone who works in a pharmaceutical company can provide good medication indirectly through the products they develop.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Doctor of Pharmacy program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about Cedarville University, visit www.cedarville.edu.