Ji-Young Lee, Ph.D., FAHA, FACN

Department Head and ProfessorProfessor Lee

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

For more information on Dr. Lee’s research, please visit the NP-OILD Lab

 

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 energy metabolism, inflammation, and fibrosis via the modulation of histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) and HDAC9.

Areas of Research Interest: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Alcoholic hepatitis, Immunometabolism, Histone deacetylases, Nutrigenomics

PUBLICATIONS (last 5 years)

    1. Kang, Y. Lee, M-.B. Kim, S. Hu, H. Jang, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Sex-dependent inflammatory responses exist in diet-induced obesity mice with macrophage-specific deletion of histone deacetylase 4. Metabolism 2121; (In review).
    2. Kang, Y-.K. Park. J-.Y. Lee. Nicotinamide riboside, an NAD+ precursor, attenuates inflammation and oxidative stress by activating sirtuin 1 in alcohol-stimulated macrophages. Lab Invest 2021; (In review).
    3. M-.B. Kim, Y. Lee, M. Bae, H. Kang, S. Hu, T. X. Pham, J-.Y. Lee, Y-.K. Park. Sugar kelp (Saccharina latissimi) inhibits hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in a mouse model of diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. J Nutr Biochem 2021; (In review).
    4. T. Le, H. N. Dong, S. Y. Park, Y. K. Cho, H. Baek, D-.H. Choi, W. S. Park, S. Lee, Y. Lee, J-.Y. Lee, E-.H. Cho. Succinate induces liver fibrosis in a mouse model and GPR91 acts as an early marker of hepatic fibrosis. Biochem Biophy Res Comm 2021; (In review).
    5. M-.B. Kim, H. Kang, Y. Li, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Fucoxanthin inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation and oxidative stress by activating nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway in macrophages. Eur J Nutr 2021; (2nd round review).
    6. C. Donepudi, Y. Lee, J-.Y. Lee, J. D. Schuetz, J. E. Manautou. Multidrug resistance-associated protein 4 (Mrp4) is a novel genetic factor in the pathogenesis of obesity and diabetes. FASEB J 2021; (In press).
    7. Caceres, M-.B. Kim, M. Bae, T. X. Pham, Y. Lee, S. Hu, E. O’Neill, B. Kim, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. The effect of cranberry consumption on lipid metabolism and inflammation in human apolipoprotein A-I transgenic mice fed a high fat and high cholesterol diet. Br J Nutr 2021; (In press).
    8. S-.Y. Yu, M-.B. Kim, Y-.K. Park, M. Bar, H. Kang, S. Hu, T. X. Pham, R. Carpenter, J. Lee, O-.H. Lee, J-.Y. Lee, Y-.C. Kim. Anthocyanin-rich aronia berry extract mitigates high-fat and high-sucrose diet-induced adipose tissue inflammation by inhibiting NF-kB activation in macrophages. J Med Food 2021; (In press).
    9. Kang, Y-.K. Park. J-.Y. Lee. Inhibition of alcohol-induced inflammation and oxidative stress by astaxanthin is mediated by its opposite actions in the regulation of sirtuin 1 and histone deacetylase 4 in macrophages. BBA Mol Cell Biol of Lipids 2021; (In press). epub ahead of print on October 13, 2020.
    10. Kang, Y. Lee, M. Bae, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Astaxanthin inhibits alcohol-induced inflammation and oxidative stress in macrophages in a sirtuin 1-dependent manner. J Nutr Biochem 2020; 85:108477. epub ahead of print on August 12, 2020.
    11. M-.B. Kim, Y. Lee, M. Bae, H. Kang, T.X. Pham, S. Hu, J-.Y. Lee, Y-.K Park. Comprehensive characterization of metabolic, inflammatory and fibrotic changes in a mouse model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. J Nutr Biochem 2020; 85:108463. epub ahead of print on July 10, 2020.
    12. Hu, M. Bae, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. n-3 PUFA inhibit TGFb1-induced pro-fibrogenic gene expression by ameliorating the repression of PPARg in hepatic stellate cells. J Nutr Biochem 2020; 85;108478. epub ahead of print on June 15, 2020.
    13. Bae, Y. Lee, T. X. Pham, Y-.K. Park, S. Hu, J-.Y. Lee. Astaxanthin inhibits the reduction of glycolysis during the activation of hepatic stellate cells. Life Sci 2020; 256: 117926. epub ahead of print on June 12, 2020.
    14. C. Donepudi, G. J. Smith, O. Aladeloku, Y. Lee, S. J. Toro, M. Phof, A. L. Slitt, J-.Y. Lee, J. D. Schuetz, L. Wang, J. E. Manautou. Lack of multidrug-resistance associated protein 4 worsens partial hepatectomy-induced hepatic steatosis. Toxicol Sci 2020; 175:301-311. epub ahead of print on March 6, 2020.
    15. L. Miller, C. Jiang, G. H. Norris, C. Carcia, S. Seibel, L. Anto, J-.Y. Lee, C. N. Blesso. Cow’s milk polar lipids reduce atherogenic lipoprotein cholesterol, modulate gut microbiota, and attenuate atherosclerosis development in LDL-receptor knockout mice fed a Western-type diet. J Nutr Biochem 2020; 79: 108351. epub ahead of print on Jan 23, 2020.
    16. Bae, M-.B. Kim, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Health benefits of fucoxanthin in the prevention of chronic disease. BBA Mol Cell Biol of Lipids 2020; 1865:158618. epub ahead of print on January 10, 2020.
    17. Hu, E-.H. Cho, J-.Y. Lee. Histone deacetylase 9: Its role in the pathogenesis of diabetes and other chronic diseases. Diabetes Metab J 2020; 44: 234-244. epub ahead of print on March 24, 2020
    18. Hu, S. Hu, E. Fleming, J-.Y. Lee, Y. Luo. Chitosan-Caseinate-Dextran Ternary Complex Nanoparticles for Potential Oral Delivery of Astaxanthin with Significantly Improved Bioactivity. Int J. Biol Macromole 2020; 151: 747-756.
    19. Hu, J-.Y. Lee, Y. Luo. Nanoparticles targeting hepatic stellate cells for the treatment of liver fibrosis. Engeneered Sci 2019; 6:12-21.
    20. Lee, C. Y. Han, M. Bae, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Egg phospholipids exert inhibitory effect on intestinal cholesterol absorption in mice. Nutr Res Pract 2019; 13:295-301. epub ahead of print on June 20, 2019.
    21. Li, C. Rodia, Z. Johnson, M. Bae, A. Muter, A. Heussinger, N. Tambini, A. Longo, H. Dong, J-.Y. Lee, A. B. Kohan. Intestinal basolateral lipid substrate transport (BLST) is linked to chylomicron secretion and is regulated by apoC-III. J Lipid Res 2019; 60:1503-1515.
    22. Bae, Y. Lee, Y-.K. Park, D. Shin, P. Joshi, S. Hong, N. Alder, Sung I. Koo, J-.Y. Lee. Astaxanthin attenuates the increase in mitochondrial respiration during the activation of hepatic stellate cells. J Nutr Biochem 2019; 71:82-89. epub ahead of print on June 20, 2019.
    23. X. Pham, M. Bae, M-.B. Kim, Y. Lee, S. Hu, H. Kang, Y-.K. Park. J-.Y. Lee. Nicotinamide riboside, an NAD+ precursor, attenuates the development of liver fibrosis in a diet-induced mouse model of liver fibrosis. BBA Molecular Basis of Disease 2019; 1865:2451-2463. epub ahead of print on June 11, 2019.
    24. Lee, S. Hu, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Protective actions of carotenoids against non-alcoholic fatty acids disease. Prev Nutr Food Sci 2019; 24:103-113.
    25. Bae, M-.B. Kim, H. Kang, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Comparison of carotenoids for their anti-fibrogenic effects in hepatic stellate cells. Lipids 2019; 54:401-410. epub ahead of print on May 29, 2019.
    26. M-.B. Kim, M. Bae, S. Hu, H. Kang, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Fucoxanthin exerts anti-fibrogenic effects in hepatic stellate cells. Biochem Biophy Res Comm 2019; 513 (3): 657-662. epub ahead of print on April 11, 2019.
    27. Lee, J-.Y. Lee. Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) Extract Exerts an Anti-inflammatory Action by Modulating Macrophage Phenotypes. Nutrients 2019; 11(5);975.
    28. M. White, J-.Y. Lee. The impact of turmeric or its curcumin extract on liver health: A systemic review of clinical trials. Pharm Pract 2019; 17(1):1350.
    29. X. Pham, Y. Lee, M. Bae, S. Hu, H. Kang, M-.B. Kim, Y-.K. Park, J-.Y. Lee. Spirulina supplementation in a mouse model of liver fibrosis reduced the pro-inflammatory response of splenocytes. Br J Nutr 2019; 121:748-755. epub ahead of print on February 26, 2019
    30. 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.
    31. 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.
    32. Hu, M. Bae, E. Fleming, J-.Y. Lee, Y. Luo. Biocompatible polymeric nanoparticles with exceptional gastrointestinal stability as oral delivery vehicles for lipophilic bioactives. Food Hydrocolloids 2018; 89:386-395.
    33. 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.
    34. 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.
    35. 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.
    36. 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.
    37. 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)
    38. 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)
    39. 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)
    40. X. Pham, J-.Y. Lee. Epigenetic regulation of adipokines. Int J Mol Sci 2017; 18:1740; doi:10.3390/ijms18081740.
    41. 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).
    42. 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)
    43. 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)
    44. 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).
    45. 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)
    46. 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).
    47. 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).
    48. 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)
    49. 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)
    50. 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)
    51. 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)
    52. 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)
    53. 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)
    54. 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.