Jungwoo Lee

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering

B.E. Chemical Engineering Korea University, Seoul, Korea (Summa cum laude)
M.S. Biomedical Engineering University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI USA
Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI USA

 

Research Interests

Translational Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
A significant challenge in medicine and drug development is to build realistic, pre-clinical models
in order to accurately predict physiological responses of drug compounds in the human body. In
response to this grand challenge, my research group aims to fill the gap between pre-clinical
and clinical testing by engineering standardized and functional human tissue models that can
enhance the predictive power of pre-clinical studies. Our research places particular emphasis
on the bone marrow, a vital organ that is limited in study because of its anatomical
inaccessibility, tissue complexity, and lack of relevant model systems with good experimental
throughput.
With core expertise in biomaterials, micro-fabrication, cellular engineering, and biomedical
imaging, we study underlying roles of bone marrow extracellular matrices and stromal cells in
forming and sustaining highly regenerative microenvironments as well as their transformation in
pathological and aging processes. We also have keen interest in delivering enabling and
translational platform technologies that can quantitatively capture complex, dynamic biological
processes. Specifically our current research focuses on elucidating essential molecular and
cellular components of bone marrow microenvironment in metastatic tumor development
utilizing tissue-engineered preclinical bone marrow models. Our long-term objective is to
develop therapeutic targets within the bone marrow niche, which can prevent metastasis.
The science and technology under the study are expected to contribute to broad areas of
research including regenerative medicine, cell transplantation, stem cell niche targeting
therapeutics, tumor metastasis, immunotherapy and aging. Our research will gradually expand
to create other lymphoid tissue analogues (e.g. lymph nodes, thymus, spleen) while pursuing
extensive collaboration to drive adoption of these models by basic, clinical and industrial
researchers in stem cell and cancer biology.