RNA Featured Researcher – Jun Hee Lee, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Jun Hee Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Medical School

Lee Lab

Scientific interest video

We study the relationship between stress, aging and metabolism, focusing on the following projects: (1) Stress-inducible Sestrins and their role in age- and obesity-associated metabolic pathologies, (2) Biochemical mechanisms underlying physiological functions of Sestrins, (3) Pathogenetic mechanisms of how autophagy is abrogated in human diseases including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and movement disorders, (4) Stress-induced protein inclusions and RNA granules, (5) Single cell-level understanding of stress-induced transcriptome changes, and (6) Technology development for single-cell and subcellular studies of spatial transcriptome and proteome.

  • What is the role of RNA in your research?
    We describe a new technology named Seq-Scope, which can examine RNA sequences in histological slide with a microscopic spatial resolution.
  • Is there a layman image to explain your research?
    Current histological techniques can monitor only 2-3 genes at a time. Seq-Scope enables microscopic examination of gene expression for all genes in the genome.
  • How did you become interested in this topic?
    We study gastrointestinal tissues (such as liver and colon) and their responses to stresses. The resolution of previous methods was not enough to approach the microscopic histopathological features important in these organs. To overcome the limitation, we worked on developing a completely new method.
  • What brought you to the University of Michigan?
    I liked the collegial and supportive environment, in addition to the outstanding group of researchers.
  • What advice would you give to students who’d like to get more involved in research?
    COVID-19 crisis and rapid vaccine development highlighted the importance of biomedical research. I strongly encourage you to dive into this field and make critical contributions.
  • What profession other than your own would you enjoy, or what is your favorite hobby?
    I very much like my own profession. In the extra time, I enjoy playing with my son.

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