Graduate Studies Faculty

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Soo-Kyung Lee, Ph.D.

Professor, Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute
Admin Unit: Pediatrics-Doernbecher
Phone: 503-418-1648
Fax: 503-494-1933
Office: BRB 311
Mail Code: L481
Cell & Developmental Biology
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences
Research Interests:
neurodevelopment, spinal cord, motor neuron, neurogenesis, cell fate specification, gene regulation, transcription, microRNA, epigenetics, histone modifiers, molecular mechanism » Click here for more about Dr. Lee's research » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Lee has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Lee has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.



Soo-Kyung Lee completed her B.S. degree in Pharmacy at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, Korea. She remained at Chonnam National University where she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. In 2001, she moved to the Salk Institute in San Diego for postdoctoral studies. In 2004, she was appointed assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine. Soo-Kyung came to Oregon Health & Science University in 2010 as an associate professor in the Pediatrics department and was promoted to professor in 2014. She holds a joint appointment in the Vollum Institute.


Summary of Current Research

The central nervous system (CNS) consists of myriads of cell-types with diverse morphology and functionality. Our long-term research goals are to understand the gene regulatory mechanisms that govern generation of diverse neural cell-types with specialized function and connection pattern during CNS development and to understand how disruption of these processes leads to various neurodevelopmental disorders in humans. To achieve these goals, we are employing multifaceted experimental tools and genetically engineered chick and mouse models. In particular, we are investigating the roles of transcription factor complexes, microRNAs and chromatin remodeling factors in the developing spinal cord, forebrain and hypothalamus. Our study will eventually contribute to the design of rational strategies to repair damaged neurons and to treat neurodevelopmental disorders.


Selected Publications

Asprer JS, Lee B, Wu CS, Vadakkan T, Dickinson ME, Lu HC and Lee S-K. (2011) LMO4 functions as a co-activator of neurogenin 2 in the developing cortex. Development 138:2823-2832. PMID: 21652654.

Lee S and Lee S-K (2010) Crucial roles of histone-modifying enzymes in mediating neural cell-type specification. Current Opinion Neurobiology 20:29-36. PMID: 20137907.

Lee S, Lee B, Lee JW and Lee S-K (2009) Retinoid signaling and neurogenin2 function are coupled for the specification of spinal motor neurons through a chromatin modifier CBP. Neuron 62:641-654. PMID: 19524524.

Joshi K, Lee S, Lee B, Lee JW and Lee S-K (2009) LMO4 controls the balance between excitatory and inhibitory spinal V2 nterneurons. Neuron 61:839-851. PMID: 19323994.

Lee S, Lee B, Joshi K, Pfaff S, Lee JW and Lee S-K (2008) A regulatory network to segregate the identity of neuronal subtypes. Developmental Cell 14:877-889. PMID: 18539116.

Visvanathan J, Lee S, Lee B, Lee JW and Lee S-K (2007) The microRNA miR-124 antagonizes the anti-neural REST/SCP1 pathway during embryonic CNS development. Genes and Development 21:744-749. PMID: 17403776.