Soo-Kyung Lee, Ph.D.

Soo-Kyung Lee, Ph.D.

Professor, Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute
Joint Appointment, Vollum Institute

Phone: 503-418-1648
Office: LBRB 311

Soo Lee Lab

View research papers in Elsevier Pure


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

Clovis YM, Seo SY, Kwon JS, Rhee JC, Yeo S, Lee JW, Lee S, Lee SK. (2016) Chx10 consolidates V2a interneuron identity through two distinct gene repression modes. Cell Reports 16:1642-1652. PMID: 27477290.

Lee B, Lee S, Agulnick AD, Lee JW, Lee SK. (2016) Single-stranded DNA binding proteins are required for LIM complexes to induce transcriptionally active chromatin and specify spinal neuronal identities. Development 143:1721-1731. PMID: 26965372.

Thiebes KP, Nam H, Cambronne XA, Shen R, Glasgow SM, Cho HH, Kwon JS, Goodman RH, Lee JW, Lee S, Lee SK. (2015) miR-218 is essential to establish motor neuron fate as a downstream effector of Isl1-Lhx3. Nature Communications 6:7718. PMID: 26212498.

Cho HH, Cargnin F, Kim Y, Lee B, Kwon RJ, Nam H, Shen R, Barnes AP, Lee JW, Lee S, Lee SK. (2014) Isl1 directly controls a cholinergic neuronal identity in the developing forebrain and spinal cord by forming cell type-specific complexes. PLoS Genetics 10:e1004280. PMID: 24763339.

Lee S, Shen R, Cho HH, Kwon RJ, Seo SY, Lee JW, Lee SK. (2013) STAT3 promotes motor neuron differentiation by collaborating with motor neuron-specific LIM complex. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110:11445-11450. PMID: 23798382.

Lee S, Cuvillier JM, Lee B, Shen R, Lee JW, Lee SK. (2012) Fusion protein Isl1-Lhx3 specifies motor neuron fate by inducing motor neuron genes and concomitantly suppressing the interneuron programs. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109:3383-3388. PMID: 22343290.

Lee S, Lee JW, Lee SK. (2012) UTX, a histone H3-lysine 27 demethylase, acts as a critical switch to activate the cardiac developmental program. Developmental Cell 22:25-37. PMID: 22192413.

Asprer JS, Lee B, Wu CS, Vadakkan T, Dickinson ME, Lu HC, Lee SK. (2011) LMO4 functions as a co-activator of neurogenin 2 in the developing cortex. Development 138:2823-2832. PMID: 21652654. (This article was selected as an important article by Faculty of 1000)