ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Sihyun Ham, born on November 29, 1969, and passed away on January 16, 2021. We would appreciate it very much if you could leave a message or share a story which you had with Sihyun.

You first have to "Sign In" to leave a message or story. This is to avoid SPAM, and we appreciate your understanding. You can use your nickname if you want.

You can share your story with Sihyun in "STORIES". You can add a picture there. When you upload it, you can choose whether to add your picture also to "GALLERY".

Sihyun's CV, her achievements (researches and publications), and more photos can be found at Ham Lab's website: http://ham.sookmyung.ac.kr
Posted by Jaehyun jung on April 8, 2021
존경하는 교수님께,

돌아보니 교수님께 제대로된 감사인사를 드리지 못한 것이 계속 마음에 남습니다.
계속 연구를 하다보면 언젠가 다시 교수님을 뵙고 인사드릴 수 있는 날이 올 것이라 막연하게 생각하고있었지만, 교수님의 소식을 듣고 진작 할 것을 하며 후회했습니다.
비록 짧은 기간이었지만 교수님께 배울 수 있어 감사했습니다.
열정적인 함시현 교수님 밑에서 연구자로써의 첫걸음을 뗄 수 있어 영광으로 생각합니다.
항상 교수님께 배운 연구자의 자세를 기억하겠습니다.
정말 감사했습니다.
Posted by Shigeori Takenaka on March 31, 2021
Dear Sihyun,
I hear about the sad news of Sihyun's passing from Prof. I-Ming Hsing. I think that Sihyun was so young energetic, a beautiful person and an outstanding scientist. I can’t believe that she was passed away so early. I will really miss her. I hope that her soul may rest in peace.
Shige
Posted by I-Ming Hsing on March 30, 2021
Sihyun Ham was my best friend in Korea. It had been a devastating news to me and my family to learn about our dear friend’s passing in January 2021. Her passing was a tremendous loss to us and the scientific community at large. We were deeply saddened by Sihyun’s sudden departure.
Sihyun and I met for the first time in 2012 in the 5th Japan-Korea Joint Symposium on Bio-microsensing Technology (5th-JKBT) in Kitakyushu Japan organized by Prof. Shigeori Takenaka from Kyutech, a very kind-hearted scholar and a good friend of Sihyun’s and mine in Japan. Both of us were among the invited speakers. Thanks to Shigeori sensei’s great hospitality, we had great time in both social gathering as well as research exchange. Through that meeting, I was deeply impressed by Sihyun’s passion about scientific research, her elegant demeanor, and her beautiful style for scientific presentation. She was the first-rate scholar, had very high standard for scientific research and had immense passion and love to her students. In a side note, I also remembered Sihyun’s karaoke singing skills and her “capacity” for alcoholic drinks. Since 2012, Sihyun and I had maintained very regular interactions. She visited HKUST many times during the period 2013-2015 and left many wonderful presentations, research ideas and good memories to our students and our faculty colleagues.
Sihyun enjoyed Hong Kong and HKUST very much. In spring 2014, she spent a sabbatical semester at HKUST, hosted by our colleague Prof. Xuhui Huang at the Chemistry Department. To our pleasant surprise, her gracious mother accompanied her for this semester-long visit. In addition to our scientific meetings, I had vivid recollections of many meal conversations my family and I had with Sihyun and her mother. My family even had the privilege of enjoying delicious home-made Korean food prepared by Sihyun’s mother.
Right close to the end of Sihyun’s sabbatical visit in 2014, we learned that Sihyun’s research achievement was duly recognized by Samsung and that she would be receiving a huge collaborative grant from Samsung. Throughout the years, she had invited me several times to visit her and her University. I felt tremendous regret for not taking the time to visit her in Seoul while she had been healthy and proactive.
The last communication I had with Sihyun was in early December 2019 when I visited Seoul to participate in the biomedical engineering conference organized by SNU Medical School. That was the first and last time I learned from Sihyun that she had been fighting for cancer. I wanted to pay her a visit, but regretfully we didn’t get a chance to meet then.
I believe all in all Sihyun wanted me to always remember her beauty, her smile, her generosity, and her passion to science.

Sihyun will forever be in our heart and I will pray for Sihyun's mother for good health and longevity.

I-Ming Hsing at HKUST, March 30, 2021
Posted by Judy Avedi on March 29, 2021
It breaks my heart to learn this sad news...
You were such a great mentor & a friend ~a political scientist yet part of your lab group. Your love for foreign students & desire/ commitment to see them excel, happy & have a comfortable stay at Sookdae was amazing...

Posted by SW Hong on March 22, 2021
보고싶은 함시현 교수님께,

아직도 같이 과학관 5층에서 만나면 "hey bro~~" 하시면서 격려해주시고 좋은 이야기 많이 들려주시던 모습이 선합니다. 아직 세상에 남아있음에 그리움과 아쉬움이 많지만, "교수님 항상 건강하시고요~"라는 말을 더 이상 전할 수 없지만, 이제는 더 좋은 곳으로 가서 평안하실거라 믿습니다.

다시 만날 날을 기대하며 교수님을 기억하고 열심히 연구하겠습니다.

홍승우 드림
Posted by Xuhui Huang on March 20, 2021
Dear Sihyun,

I find it hard to believe that you are no longer with us!  

I still remembered the first time we met 13 years ago in a Gordon conference in California.  A few years later, you did a mini-sabbatical leave in my school, and you brought your mother together with your trip to Hong Kong.  You are so proud of your mother as an excellent chef.   We have exchanged visits a few times between our universities in addition to numerous interactions in conferences.  Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the conference you organised in 2017 and missed the chance to see you again. I was always impressed by your passion for science, and am deeply grateful for your hospitality.  

We will miss you! Rest in peace

Xuhui
Posted by Haeri Im on March 19, 2021
사랑하고 존경하는 교수님,

처음 교수님을 뵈었던 일반화학 수업을 시작하는 날이 아직 눈에 선합니다. 신입생이었던 저희보다 더 호기심 가득시고 밝은 에너지와 열정을 보여주셨던 교수님의 모습이 너무 멋있었습니다.

교수님의 그러한 열정과 에너지를 배우고 싶어 교수님의 연구실에 들어갔고, 연구실에서 교수님과 함께 지냈던 그 시간 동안 교수님으로부터 많은 것들을 배웠는데...이제는 교수님과 함께 했던 그 시간들이 다시 돌아오지 않는다고 생각하니 아직 꿈같고 현실같지 않은 기분입니다.

에너지와 열정이 가득했던 교수님의 모습을 기억하고, 교수님으로부터 배웠던 모든 것들과, 교수님과 함께 지냈던 시간들을 마음에 간직하도록 하겠습니다. 감사합니다.

이제는 그곳에서 편히 쉬시길 바랍니다.


임해리 올림.
Posted by Fumio Hirata on March 17, 2021
It was in the ATCC meeting held at Shanghai in 2009 that I met you first time. A lady with a beautiful smile like cherry blossom came to me asking “You are professor Hirata, aren’t you?”, That lady was you, Sihyun. Since then, we got together so many times in meetings held somewhere in the world. You were always a stand-out figure as a speaker and an audience, that fascinated Japanese scientists including myself.
  You visited me in Okazaki for a year in 2010 to carry out our collaborative research concerning the ATP hydrolysis. My intention was to kill two birds with one stone. One is to help you study the RISM/3D-RISM-SCF theory, and the other is to put an end to the famous controversy concerning the origin of energy in living bodies. You made an amazing effort to complete the both, and we could have published a paper that brought a new perspective in the field of science.
  In 2011, you invited me to Harvard University where I gave a seminar talk in front of the audience of chemistry department, including profs. M. Karplus and G. Whitesides. The reception dinner you invited me to a fancy restaurant in Boston was unforgettable to me, because you asked me quite seriously if I can be your father in science. I said “off course, with pleasure”. So, we became “daughter and father” since then.
  You should not have passed away before I do, because it is a climb in Japan to die before your parents do. But, I am sure you are working hard at your lab in the heaven, and will welcome me with a big hug just as you did each time when we met together.
  I say “good by” for now, but I will see you soon.
Posted by Tony Cho on March 15, 2021
Dear Professor Ham,

I am deeply honored and blessed to have known such a great professor.
I find it an incredible destiny that you recruited and helped me in the best possible way when I had a truly difficult time as a student.
Your passion for research kindled my ambition to be a good researcher.
Your teaching and thoughtful care full of love will forever stay within me.
I received so much from you that I regret I can’t repay debts of gratitude to you.
You will be forever remembered.

With the utmost respect and gratitude,
Tony Cho
Posted by S M on March 15, 2021
突然の訃報に驚いています。以前、Ham さんの素晴らしいご講演を日本で聴きました。ご冥福をお祈りいたします。
Posted by Minwoo Kim on March 15, 2021
사랑하고 존경하는 교수님, 갑작스럽게 돌아가셔서 안타까움만 남습니다.

연구실에 있으면서 그동안 교수님께서 해주신 많은 지원과 응원, 그리고 가르침 덕분에 연구자로서 한발짝 더 발전할 수 있는 계기가 되어서 정말 감사드립니다.

교수님께 배울 수 있었던 시간이 많지 않아 아쉽지만, 교수님과 함께 했던 즐겁고 뿌듯했고 보람찬 기억과 추억은 제게 있어서 영원토록 남을 연구자로서의 뿌리가 될 것입니다.

김민우 올림
Posted by Jihyeon Lee on March 15, 2021
교수님, 그동안 수고 많으셨습니다.
덕분에 좋은 환경에서 값진 경험을 할 수 있었고 학부생으로서 이루기 어려웠을지 모를 것들도 해낼 수 있었습니다. 연구원이라는 꿈을 향한 첫 걸음이 계속해서 나아갈 수 있게 해주셔서 감사합니다.
존경했던 교수님의 모습과 저에게 해주신 응원의 말들을 항상 기억하겠습니다.

이지현 올림.
Posted by s choe on March 14, 2021
Sihyun, i am so saddened by your sudden passing. My heart is so broken.

I dearly miss your inquisitive and caring stares. Be the light to those around you wherever you are now just the way you used to be while with us.

Missing you forever.. my heart is with you. Please rest in peace and in love.
Posted by Song-Ho Chong on March 14, 2021
Dear Sihyun,

It is my great honor and pleasure to have spent more than 10 years of time together with you. You are the brightest scientist I have ever met. I will not forget what you taught me, and they will be delivered to students, which will then be delivered to their students ... this way, you will stay with us eternally.

Song-Ho Chong

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Jaehyun jung on April 8, 2021
존경하는 교수님께,

돌아보니 교수님께 제대로된 감사인사를 드리지 못한 것이 계속 마음에 남습니다.
계속 연구를 하다보면 언젠가 다시 교수님을 뵙고 인사드릴 수 있는 날이 올 것이라 막연하게 생각하고있었지만, 교수님의 소식을 듣고 진작 할 것을 하며 후회했습니다.
비록 짧은 기간이었지만 교수님께 배울 수 있어 감사했습니다.
열정적인 함시현 교수님 밑에서 연구자로써의 첫걸음을 뗄 수 있어 영광으로 생각합니다.
항상 교수님께 배운 연구자의 자세를 기억하겠습니다.
정말 감사했습니다.
Posted by Shigeori Takenaka on March 31, 2021
Dear Sihyun,
I hear about the sad news of Sihyun's passing from Prof. I-Ming Hsing. I think that Sihyun was so young energetic, a beautiful person and an outstanding scientist. I can’t believe that she was passed away so early. I will really miss her. I hope that her soul may rest in peace.
Shige
Posted by I-Ming Hsing on March 30, 2021
Sihyun Ham was my best friend in Korea. It had been a devastating news to me and my family to learn about our dear friend’s passing in January 2021. Her passing was a tremendous loss to us and the scientific community at large. We were deeply saddened by Sihyun’s sudden departure.
Sihyun and I met for the first time in 2012 in the 5th Japan-Korea Joint Symposium on Bio-microsensing Technology (5th-JKBT) in Kitakyushu Japan organized by Prof. Shigeori Takenaka from Kyutech, a very kind-hearted scholar and a good friend of Sihyun’s and mine in Japan. Both of us were among the invited speakers. Thanks to Shigeori sensei’s great hospitality, we had great time in both social gathering as well as research exchange. Through that meeting, I was deeply impressed by Sihyun’s passion about scientific research, her elegant demeanor, and her beautiful style for scientific presentation. She was the first-rate scholar, had very high standard for scientific research and had immense passion and love to her students. In a side note, I also remembered Sihyun’s karaoke singing skills and her “capacity” for alcoholic drinks. Since 2012, Sihyun and I had maintained very regular interactions. She visited HKUST many times during the period 2013-2015 and left many wonderful presentations, research ideas and good memories to our students and our faculty colleagues.
Sihyun enjoyed Hong Kong and HKUST very much. In spring 2014, she spent a sabbatical semester at HKUST, hosted by our colleague Prof. Xuhui Huang at the Chemistry Department. To our pleasant surprise, her gracious mother accompanied her for this semester-long visit. In addition to our scientific meetings, I had vivid recollections of many meal conversations my family and I had with Sihyun and her mother. My family even had the privilege of enjoying delicious home-made Korean food prepared by Sihyun’s mother.
Right close to the end of Sihyun’s sabbatical visit in 2014, we learned that Sihyun’s research achievement was duly recognized by Samsung and that she would be receiving a huge collaborative grant from Samsung. Throughout the years, she had invited me several times to visit her and her University. I felt tremendous regret for not taking the time to visit her in Seoul while she had been healthy and proactive.
The last communication I had with Sihyun was in early December 2019 when I visited Seoul to participate in the biomedical engineering conference organized by SNU Medical School. That was the first and last time I learned from Sihyun that she had been fighting for cancer. I wanted to pay her a visit, but regretfully we didn’t get a chance to meet then.
I believe all in all Sihyun wanted me to always remember her beauty, her smile, her generosity, and her passion to science.

Sihyun will forever be in our heart and I will pray for Sihyun's mother for good health and longevity.

I-Ming Hsing at HKUST, March 30, 2021
her Life

Sihyun as a scientist

Dear Friends of Sihyun,
We are deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of Sihyun Ham, our friend, brilliant scientist, inspirational teacher, entrepreneur and leader in the fields of computational chemistry and biophysics. She passed away in Seoul on January 16, 2021, after a long battle with cancer that she had fought to the very end.  
Sihyun received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the Sookmyung Women's University in 1991, and her PhD degree at Texas Tech University in 1998 under the guidance of David Birney. She went on to be a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle with Valerie Daggett. After another postdoc with Minhaeng Cho at Korea University, she returned to her Alma Mater Sookmyung Women's University as a Professor of Chemistry. In her independent career, she was a true force of nature for her unwavering advocacy of her Alma Mater and education for women, for the Korean Chemical Society and for tirelessly hosting international Computational Chemistry meetings in Korea and abroad.
Sihyun was well known and admired for her unyielding energy, determination and enthusiasm and for her humanitarian outreach for bettering lives by education. Even after her cancer diagnosis, known only to very few of her friends, she enthusiastically accepted a Visiting Professorship at the American University of Beirut between 2018-20 because she saw the impact of her hands-on teaching of computational chemistry to students with sparkling eyes and little access to state of the art research opportunities. Sihyun was also the inaugural organizer of the TSRC Workshop on Water Structure, Dynamics and Thermodynamics in Biology. Unfortunately, by the time this workshop took place in the summer of 2019, she was unable to travel to share her science with her fellow scientists that she had invited. 
Sihyun started her career as a computational chemist using electronic structure calculations to study the mechanisms of chemical reactions. She then moved on to push the boundaries for computational predictions of two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy signals for peptides and small proteins. In another change of research areas, she studied supramolecular host-guest systems using combined molecular dynamics simulations and electronic structure calculations. In her next transition, she entered the field of biomolecular solvation and became a leader at the forefront of combining conformational sampling via classical molecular dynamics with thermodynamic analysis of solvation using integral equation theory. Most recently, she has adapted these techniques to intrinsically disordered proteins and protein folding and introduced the solvent-averaged effective energy as a key parameter for protein conformational ensembles and their thermodynamic properties. 
Frequent transitions between research areas followed a clear plan in Sihyun's career. She purposefully switched gears every 5 years and explored a new research area to avoid becoming "too comfortable" in any of them. She mastered these transitions multiple times during her career and managed to establish herself as a leading expert in record time. The latter is not only a testament to her outstanding intellect and work ethic, but also to her unique ability to collaborate and network with a wide range of people from many distinct backgrounds. 
Sihyun managed to carry out brilliant research with initially very limited resources and always with only a few students, most closely with her long-term postdoctoral researcher and close collaborator Dr. Song-Ho Chong. As she demonstrated her skill and imagination, in 2014, she became one of a handful of scientists to receive a major five-year grant from the Samsung Future Technology Promotion Project to address the causes and solutions for incurable diseases caused by proteins. In the same year, she was named '2014 Female Scientist of the Year', awarded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National Research Foundation of Korea. Her creativity and impact led her to become the only researcher in the field of basic chemical sciences to be renewed for an additional five year Samsung grant in 2019, sadly, soon after she learned of her severe illness. While losing energy, she worked tirelessly on research ideas and papers until the last moments of her life, always hopeful, but knowing that little time was likely left for her to share her ideas and vision with the world. 
Sihyun was full of life, talent and dreams. She could stun her friends and colleagues in Chemistry with her amazing singing voice and captivated audiences with lively research talks that were accessible to the broader audience and educational for experts alike. You may get a small glimpse at Sihyun’s energy and presence in this ProWaVE video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxkqE4L8lL8
We lost our dear friend and cherished colleague too soon and regret that we could not see her scientific and educational dreams come completely to fruition. However, in memory of our special friend and fellow scientist, we encourage you to read her ingenious and original papers: http://ham.sookmyung.ac.kr/publications_all/
Songi Han
Matthias Heyden
Doug Tobias
John Straub
Peter Rossky
Recent stories

At a conference in Seoul (8-Jan-2019)

Shared by Shigeori Takenaka on April 1, 2021
Sihyun organized the The 3rd Korea-Japan Conference on Biomolecular Network and Sensing, held at Sookmyung Women’s University at 2019/1/8. This picture is at awards ceremony for excellent oral presentation of students. We think back to those days she was was so young energetic, a beautiful person and an outstanding scientist.

A pub time after the seminar at Nagoya University (January 26, 2010)

Shared by Yuko Okamoto on March 29, 2021
After the seminar, we went to FURAIBO, a Japanese pub (IZAKAYA), which is well-known for  Nagoya-style chicken wings (and other foods). In the second row from left, Sihyun, me,
in the first row from left, Hiroshi Watanabe, Yoshitake Sakae, Dan Sindhikara.

A lecture at Nagoya University (January 26, 2010)

Shared by Yuko Okamoto on March 29, 2021
This was from one of her first visits to Nagoya University. I learned that the Chinese characters for her name were 咸始賢 and those for her University were 淑明女子大学. When I introduced her to the audience, saying Ham like ham for ham and cheese, she corrected my pronunciation of Ham, and she wrote the corresponding Chinese characters. If we pronounce the characters in Japanese way, it would be KAN, Shiken. Maybe, I should have pronounced as Han instead of Ham..... She gave an excellent talk on amyloid beta peptides.