Ji-Young Lee, Ph.D., FAHA

Department Head and Professor
 

Office:     R.E. Jones Building (JONS) Room 211
Phone:    (860) 486-1827
E-mail:   ji-young.lee@uconn.edu


For full Curriculum Vitae, click here.
 

EDUCATION

  • Ph.D. Nutrition, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • M.S. Nutritional Science and Dietetics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • M.S. Food Chemistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea
  • B.S. Foods and Nutrition, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Department Head (January 2019 - ) Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • Professor (August 2017 - ) Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • Associate Professor (July 2010 – July 2017) Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • Member (October 2014 – Present)  Institute for Systems Genomics, University of Connecticut & The Jackson Laboratory
  • Assistant Professor (July 2005 – June 2010) Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
  • Postdoctoral Fellow (June 2002 – June 2005) Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC

RESEARCH INTEREST

Dysregulation of energy metabolism, chronic inflammation and dyslipidemia are major contributors to the development of obesity-associated diseases such as insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. My research focuses on the identification of molecular mediators that are involved in lipid metabolism and inflammatory signaling pathways, and on the elucidation of molecular mechanisms by which dietary factors, such as blue-green algae, berries, phospholipids, and astaxanthin, play regulatory roles in the integration of lipid metabolism and inflammation. The primary foci of my research program elegantly address a new concept of “immunometabolism” to link inflammatory signaling pathways to energy metabolism using state of the art molecular techniques and cell bioenergetics tools in various cells and animal models. In addition, another research focus lies on the identification of molecular targets that critically impact on the process of liver fibrosis with attempts to develop preventive and therapeutic strategies for liver fibrosis. In particular, how dietary factors regulate histone deacetylases as an epigenetic mode of action for the regulation of gene transcription in metabolic, inflammatory, and fibrogenic pathways are actively underway in my laboratory.  

For more information on Dr. Lee's research, please visit here.  

PUBLICATIONS (last 5 years)

  1. Y. Lee, T. X. Pham, M. Bae, S. Hu, E. O’Neill, O. K. Chun, M. J. Han, S. I. Koo, Y-.K. Park. J-.Y. Lee. Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) prevents obesity-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in mice. Obesity 2019; 27:112-120.
  2. C. L. Miller, G. H. Norris, C. Jiang, J. Kry, A. Vitols, C. Carcia, Y-.K. Park. J-.Y. Lee, C. N. Blesso. Long-term supplementation of black elderberry improves HDL function, but promote hyperlipidemia with no effect on atherosclerosis development in apolipoprotein E-knockout mice. Mol Nutr Food Res 2018; 62: 1800404. Epub ahead of print on September 29, 2018.
  3. Q. Hu, M. Bae, E. Fleming, J-.Y. Lee, Y. Luo. Biocompatible polymeric nanoparitcles with exceptional gastrointestinal stability as oral delivery vehicles for lipophilic bioactives. Food Hydrocolloids 2018; 89:386-395.
  4. T. Wang, Q. Hu, J-.Y. Lee, Y. Luo. Solid lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles by in-situ conjugation for oral delivery of astaxanthin. J Agr Food Chem 2018; 66:9473-9480. Epub ahead of print on August 21, 2018.
  5. C. Farruggia, M-.B. Kim, M. Bae, Y. Lee, T. X. Pham, Y. Yang, M. J. Han, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Astaxanthin exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in macrophages in NRF2-dependent and independent manners. J Nutr Biochem 2018; 62:202-209. Epub ahead of print on September 19, 2018.
  6. J. Wu, Y-.K. Park, M. Lin, J-.Y. Lee, L. Wang. Loss of PDK4 switches the hepatic NF-kB/TNF pathway from pro-survival to pro-apoptosis. Hepatology 2018; 68:1111-1124. Epub ahead of print on March 30, 2018.
  7. T. Wang, M. Bae, J-.Y. Lee, Y. Luo. Solid lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles prepared with natural biomaterials: A new platform for oral delivery of lipophilic bioactives. Food Hydrocolloids 2018; 84:581-592.
  8. T. X. Pham, M. Bae, Y. Lee, Y-.K. Park. J-.Y. Lee. Transcriptional and post-transcriptional repression of histone deacetylases by docosahexaenoic acid in macrophages. J Nutr Biochem 2018; 57:162-169. Epub ahead of print on March 10, 2018. (PMID: 29734115)
  9. M. Bae, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Food components with antifibrotic activity and implications in prevention of liver disease. J Nutr Biochem 2018; 55:1-11. Epub ahead of print on November 16, 2017. (PMID: 29268106)
  10. B. Kim, M. Bae, Y-.K. Park, H. Ma, T. Yuan, N. Seeram, J-.Y. Lee. Blackcurrant anthocyanins stimulated cholesterol transport via post-transcriptional induction of LDL receptor in Caco-2 cells. Eur J Nutr 2018; 57:405-415. Epub ahead of print on July 17, 2017. (PMID: 28718016)
  11. T.X. Pham, J-.Y. Lee. Epigenetic regulation of adipokines. Int J Mol Sci 2017; 18:1740; doi:10.3390/ijms18081740.
  12. T. X. Pham, Y-.K. Park, M. Bae, J-.Y. Lee. The potential role of an endotoxin-like mechanism for the anti-inflammatory effect of Spirulina platensis in macrophages: Insight into energy phenotype. J Med Food 2017; 20: 201-210. Epub ahead of print on January 25, 2017. (PMID: 28121488).
  13. B. Kim, C. Farruggia, C. S. Ku, T. X. Pham, Y. Yang, M. Bae, Casey J. Wegner, N. J. Farrell, E. Harness, Y-.K. Park, Sung I. Koo, J-.Y. Lee. Astaxanthin inhibited inflammation and fibrosis in the liver and adipose tissue of mouse models of diet-induced obesity and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. J Nutr Biochem 2017; 43:27-35. Epub ahead of print on March 2, 2016. (PMID: 28193580)
  14. L. Xie, T. M. Vance, B. Kim, S. Lee, C. Caceres, Y. Wang, J-.Y. Lee, O. K. Chun, B. W. Bolling. Aronia berry polyphenol consumption reduces plasma total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in former smokers without lowering biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress: a randomized trial. Nutr Res 2017; 37:67-77. (PMID: 28215316)
  15. Y. Yang, M. Bae, Y-.K. Park, Y. Lee, T. X. Pham, S. Rudraiah, J. Manautou, S. I. Koo, J-.Y. Lee. Histone deacetylase 9 plays a role in the anti-fibrogenic effect of astaxanthin in hepatic stellate cells. J Nutr Biochem 2017; 40: 172-177. Epub ahead of print on Nov 12, 2016. (PMID: 27915160).
  16. S. M. Pillai, N. H. Sereda, M. L. Hoffman, E. V. Valley, T. D. Crenshaw, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee, S. A. Zinn, K. E. Govoni. The effect of poor maternal nutrition during gestation on bone development and mesenchymal stem cell activity in offspring. PlosOne 2016; 11:e0168382. (PMID: 27942040)
  17. B. Kim, S. Lee, Y-.K. Park, C. S. Ku, T. X. Pham, C. J. Wegner, Y. Yang, S. I. Koo, O. K. Chun, J-.Y. Lee. Blueberry, blackberry, and blackcurrant differentially affect plasma lipids and pro-inflammatory markers in diet-induced obesity mice. Nutr Res Pract 2016; 10:494-500. (PMID: 27698956). 
  18. T. X. Pham, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Anti-inflammatory effects of Spirulina platensis extract via the modulation of histone deacetylases. Nutrients 2016; 8:E381. Epub ahead of print on June 21, 2016. (PMID: 27338466).
  19. T.X. Pham, J-.Y. Lee. Anti-inflammatory effect of Spirulina platensis in macrophages is beneficial for adipocyte differentiation and maturation by inhibiting Nuclear factor-kB pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. J Med Food 2016; 19:535-542. Epub ahead of print on May 20, 2016. (PMID: 27206252)
  20. S. Patel, A. Akalkotkar, J. J. Bivona III, J-.Y. Lee, Y-.K. Park, M. Yu, S. Colpitts, M. Vajdy. Vitamin A or E and a catechin synergize as vaccine adjuvant to enhance immune responses in mice through induction of early interleukin-15 but not interleukin-1b responses. Immunology 2016; 148:352-362. Epub ahead of print on May 2, 2016. (PMID: 27135790)
  21. M. Surendran-Nair, A. Kollanoor-Johny, S. Ananda-Baskaran, C. Norris, J-.Y. Lee, K. Venkitanarayanan. Selenium reduces enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 verotoxin production and globotriaosylceramide receptor expression on host cells. Future Microbiol 2016; 11:745-756. Epub ahead of print on May 18, 2016. (PMID: 27191971)
  22. L. Xie, S. Lee, T. M. Vance, Y. Wang, B. Kim, J-.Y. Lee, O. K. Chun, B. W. Bolling. Bioavailability of anthocyanins and colonic polyphenol metabolites following consumption of aronia berry extract. Food Chem 2016; 211:860-868. (PMID: 27283706)    
  23. Y. Yang, M. Bae, B. Kim, Y-.K. Park, S. I. Koo, J-.Y. Lee. Astaxanthin prevents and reverses the activation of mouse primary hepatic stellate cells. J Nutr Biochem 2016; 29:21-26. Epub ahead of print on Nov 24, 2015. (PMID: 26895661)
  24. C. E. Dugan, D. Aguilar, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee, M-L. Fernandez. Dietary consumption lowers systemic inflammation and liver enzymes in typically low-dairy consumers with clinical characteristics of metabolic syndrome. J Am Coll Nutr 2016; 35:255-261. Epub ahead of print on Nov 23, 2015. (PMID: 26595359)
  25. G. Karim., K. Menzies, D. Ryu, C. J. Wegner, X. Wang, E. R. Ropelle, N. Moullan, H. Zhang, A. Perino, V. Lemos, B. Kim, Y-.K. Park, P. Alessandra, T. X. Pham, Y. Yang, C. S. Ku, S. I. Koo, A. Fomitchova, C. Canto, K. Schoonjans, A. A. Sauve, J-.Y. Lee*, J. Auwerx. Eliciting the mitochondrial unfolded protein response via NAD+ repletion prevents fatty liver disease. Hepatology 2016; 63:1190-1204. Epub ahead of print on Sept 25, 2015. (PMID: 26404765) * Shared corresponding authorship.
  26. S. Lee, B. Kim, S. D. Y, T. Vance, J.S Lee, J-.Y. Lee, S. I. Koo, D.O. Kim, M. H. Drissi, O. K. Chun. Relationship between oxidative stress and bone mass in obesity and effects of berry supplementation on bone remodeling in obese male mice: an exploratory study.  J Med Foods 2015; 18:476-482. Epub ahead of print on Sept 8, 2014. (PMID: 25198411)
  27. C. S. Ku, B. Kim, T. X. Pham, Y. Yang, Y-.K. Park, C. L. Weller, T. Carr, J-.Y. Lee. Hypolipidemic effect of a blue-green alga (Nostoc commune) is attributed to its nonlipid fraction by decreasing intestinal cholesterol absorption in C57BL/6J mice. J Med Food 2015; 18:1214-1222. Epub ahead of print on July 10, 2015. (PMID: 26161942)
  28. C. S. Ku, B. Kim, T. X. Pham, Y. Yang, C. J. Wegner, Y-.K. Park, M. Balunas, J-.Y. Lee. Blue-green algae inhibit the development of atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein E knockout mice. J Med Food 2015; 18:1299-1306. Epub ahead of print on Nov 13, 2015. (PMID: 26566121)
  29. M-Y. Chung, E. Mah, C. Masterjohn, S. K. Noh, H. J. Park, R. M, Clark, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee, R. S. Bruno. Green tea lowers hepatic COX-2 and prostaglandin E2 in rats with dietary fat-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. J Med Food 2015; 18:648-655. Epub ahead of print on Dec 2, 2014. (PMID: 25453513)  
  30. T. Benn, B. Kim, Y-.K. Park, Y. Yang, T. X. Pham, C.S. Ku, C. Farruggia, E. Harness J. A. Smyth, J-.Y. Lee. Polyphenol-rich blackcurrant extract exerts hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic effects in mice fed a diet containing high fat and cholesterol. Br J Nutr 2015: 113:1697-1703. (PMID: 25899149)
  31. Y. Yang, B. Kim, Y-.K. Park, S. I. Koo, J-.Y. Lee. Astaxanthin prevents transforming growth factor b1-induced pro-fibrogenic gene expression by inhibiting Smad3 activation in hepatic stellate cells. Biochimica Biophysica Acta 2015; 1850:178-185. (PMID: 25450180) 
  32. Y. Yang, T. X. Pham, C. J. Wegner, B. Kim, C. S. Ku, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Astaxanthin lowered plasma triglyceride and increased hepatic antioxidant gene expression in diet-induced obesity mice. Br J Nutr 2014; 112:1797-1804. (PMID: 25328157)
  33. T. Benn, B. Kim, Y-.K. Park, C. J. Wegner, E. Harness, T-G. Nam, D-O. Kim, J. S. Lee, J-.Y. Lee. Polyphenol-rich blackcurrant extract prevents inflammation in diet-induced obesity mice. J Nutr Biochem 2014; 25:1019-1025. (PMID: 25034502)
  34. W. Sittiwong, D. K. Zinnel, R. J. Fenton, D. Marshall, C. F. Story, B. Kim, J-.Y. Lee, R. Powers, R. G. Barletta, P. H. Dussault. Development of cyclobutene- and cyclobutane-functionalized fatty acids with inhibitory activity against Mycobacterium tuberoculosis. ChemMedChem 2014; 9:1838-1849. (PMID: 24902951)
  35. C. J. Andersen, J-.Y. Lee, C. N. Blesso, T. P. Carr, M-L. Fernandez. Egg intake during carbohydrate restriction alters peripheral blood mononuclear cell inflammation and cholesterol homeostasis in metabolic syndrome. Nutrients 2014; 6:2650-2667. (PMID: 25045936)
  36. Y. Yang, Y-.K. Park, B. Kim, J-.Y. Lee. Effects of long-term supplementation of blue-green algae on lipid metabolism in C57BL/6J mice. J Nutr Health and Food Sci 2014; 2:1-6. (PMID: 25614902)
  37. S. Lee, B. Kim, Y. Yang, T. X. Pham, Y-.K. Park, J. Manatou, S. I. Koo, O. K. Chun, J-.Y. Lee. Berry anthocyanins suppress the expression and secretin of pro-inflammatory mediators in macrophages by inhibiting nuclear translocation of NF-kB independent of NRF2-mediated mechanism. J Nutr Biochem 2014; 25:404-411. (PMID: 24565673)

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