Kwon comes from the small island of Jeju in Korea where he spent of peaceful childhood fishing. Before arriving at Stanford, Kwon stopped by at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, Indiana State University, and University of Cincinnati where he did his Ph.D. with Jeff Whitsett. There, Kwon learned everything there is to learn about lung biology and American sports. He is, however, still a football/soccer fan, and his second favorite team after the South Korean team is, strangely, the French team ("Les Bleus").

Kwon is currently pursuing his interests in the mechanisms of tumorigenesis in the lung.