Sun Joo Lee, PhD

Assistant Professor of Cell Biology & Physiology

Research Interests

My research interest has been focused on understanding the molecular basis of ion channel function, and in particular on membrane lipid-channel interactions. In order to tackle this difficult problem, I have combined computational modeling, in vitro functional assays of purified proteins reconstituted in synthetic membranes, as well as structure determination through x-ray crystallography and single particle cryo-EM. This multidisciplinary approach will generate a holistic picture of channel functions and bring novel insights for specific regulation of a target ion channel of interest.

Professional Education
  • BA: Handong University (South Korea), 2000, Biology
  • MS: Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea), 2002, Biochemistry
  • PhD: Washington University in St. Louis, 2010, Computational Biophysics
  • Postdoc: Washington University in St. Louis, 2011-2015, Biochemistry and Biophysics

Nichols Lab

BJC Institute of Health

Research in my laboratory is focused on the biology of ion channels. We develop, introduce and use a wide range of molecular biological and biophysical approaches, as well as in vivo gene manipulation to address questions in proteins, cells and animals, and now in humans. These efforts are leading us to detailed understanding of both molecular mechanisms of channel activity, and roles of ion channels in multiple disease processes including diabetes, heart failure, pulmonary disease and epilepsy.