Real life CSI investigator takes charge
Chung Hee-sun, a woman who originally planned to quit work after three years of marriage, became the first female head of the National Institute of Scientific Investigation recently at the age of 53.
“I love my job and the institute more than anything else,” said Chung upon receiving her letter of appointment from the Ministry of Public Administration and Security on July 10.
The former forensic science chief of NISI, set her sights on the national institute after attending a lecture by Oh Su-chang, a former head of the institute, while studying pharmaceuticals at Sookmyung Women’s University.
Since working for NISI, Chung has also worked as the chief of the narcotic analysis and poisonous toxicology departments. She was responsible for the much publicized cases of the 1987 Odaeyang cult mass murder of 33 people and the mysterious death of singer Kim Sung-jae in 1995.
Chung, who completed her Ph.D. degree while working for NISI, also broke ground in techniques to detect drug components in urine or hair samples. Her masters thesis on ways to detect fake sesame seed oil according to sterol analysis is currently being used domestically as a means of detecting faulty sesame oil and her doctoral thesis about the process of drug addicts developing schizophrenia appealed widely to the academic world.
In the past five years, Chung has focused on presenting research papers and submitting proposals for further studies. Last year, she was awarded the Female Science Technician Award from the Ministry of Science and Technology and currently holds positions at The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists and Korean Society of Forensic Science.
Chung expressed her vision of NISI’s future during her three-year term with just two words, trust and standardization.
“I would like to raise the level of confidence Koreans have in the National Institute of Scientific Investigation and spread and standardize our technique across the globe.”
By Park Yu-mi JoongAng Ilbo [firstname.lastname@example.org]