Dr. Amy Lee is the Associate Director for Basic Research and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California. Dr. Lee obtained her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California. Dr. Lee is currently holder of the Judy and Larry Freeman Cosmetics Chair in Basic Science in Cancer Research at USC.
Dr. Lee’s research focuses on the mammalian stress response and molecular chaperones. Her laboratory is the first to clone the genes coding for a set of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-inducible glucose regulated proteins (GRPs) and has made numerous discoveries in understanding how these genes are regulated and their role in development and human diseases. Dr. Lee’s laboratory established that GRP78 is a major contributor for tumorigenesis, metastatic growth and drug resistance. Through creation of conditional knockout mouse models of GRP78, her laboratory provides direct proof that GRP78 is required for breast, prostate and leukemia tumorigenesis and that a partial reduction of GRP78, while having no effect on normal organ function, is sufficient to halt the progression of these cancers in vivo. GRP78 is now recognized as a novel cancer therapeutic target with dual function in tumor progression as well as tumor angiogenesis and a novel prognostic marker for tumor virulence and disease recurrence. For her research achievements, Dr. Lee received the MERIT Award from the National Cancer Institute, USA in 1988. In recognition of her pioneering work on ER stress and its impact on cell and cancer biology, she was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) in 2006.
Abstracts this author is presenting: