Educational & Professional Experience
- B.A. in Biological Chemistry (summa cum laude with Honors), Wellesley College, 1998
- Research Assistant in Cancer Biology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, 1998-2001
- Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 2008
- Postdoctoral Fellow in Molecular Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder and University of California, San Diego, 2008-2014
Selected Awards & Honors
- Barry M Goldwater Scholar in Math, Science and Engineering (1997-1998)
- Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellow (2001-2006)
- Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Teaching Award (2003)
- Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (2009-2012)
- WWU Teaching-Learning Academy Award for Equity and Inclusivity (2016)
It has become clear that far more of a given eukaryotic genome is expressed than previously expected, producing a variety of RNAs that may or may not be functional. This has important consequences for how we think about normal and disease-associated gene expression and control. Research in the Lee Lab is focused specifically on RNA processing and metabolism, with the broad goal of elucidating the underlying molecular mechanisms that contribute to proper gene expression. Key questions that fascinate us include: How are the fates of messenger RNAs, non-coding RNAs, and non-functional RNAs determined? What roles do RNA binding proteins and RNA-directed enzymes play in RNA metabolism? How are the proteins that act on RNA themselves controlled? To address these and other questions, we employ the tools of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, microscopy, and reverse genetics, using the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila as our model organism.
Students interested in pursuing research with us are encouraged to contact me for more information about ongoing projects!
Lee SR, Pratt G, Martinez F, Yeo GW and Lykke-Andersen J. Target discrimination in nonsense-mediated decay requires Upf1 ATPase activity. (2015) Molecular Cell. 59(3):413-25.
Lee SR and Lykke-Andersen J. Emerging roles for ribonucleoprotein modification and remodeling in controlling RNA fate. (2013) Trends in Cell Biology. 23(10):504-10.
Clement S, Joshi S, Otto S, Merkhofer E, Vicente-Crespo M, and Lee SR. (2011) “Development and Implementation of a TA Training Workshop on Diversity in the Classroom,” In Teaching Diversity: Conference Proceedings. Ed. J Lin and C Wastal. San Diego: University Readers.
Couvillion MT, Lee SR, Hogstad B, Malone CD, Tonkin LA, Sachidanandam R, Hannon GJ, and Collins K. Sequence, Biogenesis, and Function of Diverse Small RNA Classes Bound to the Piwi-family Proteins of Tetrahymena thermophila. (2009) Genes and Development. 23(17):2016-32.
Lee SR, Benjamin-Talsky K., Collins K. Distinct sRNA biogenesis pathways are linked through the associated proteins of a single RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. (2009) RNA. 15(7):1363-74.
Lee SR, Collins K. Physical and functional coupling of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and Dicer in the biogenesis of endogenous siRNAs. (2007) Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. 14(7):604-10.
Lee SR, Collins K. Two classes of endogenous small RNAs in Tetrahymena thermophila. (2006) Genes and Development. 20(1):28-33.
Lee SR, Collins K. Starvation-induced cleavage of the tRNA anticodon loop in Tetrahymena thermophila. (2005) Journal of Biological Chemistry. 280(52):42744-9.