Plant natural products have potential value for a variety of nutritional and pharmaceutical applications, so the bioactive compounds in a wide range of plants have been actively identified and studied. The growing availability of plant genome sequences supports the discovery of the genes and proteins in the biosynthetic pathways of valuable natural products, which are generally present at low concentrations in plants. The research goal of Lee's laboratory is to understand and engineer the production of natural products in marine and terrestrial plants, thus increasing the nutritional and pharmaceutical values of plants for human health. The approaches for engineering the metabolic pathways of plant natural products will provide insights into the potential applications for studying natural products in marine organisms.   

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The main goal of my research is to understand the molecular basis of how enzymes, regulatory proteins, and key signaling molecules function in a variety of metabolic pathways and regulatory networks using biochemical research tools, especially protein X-ray crystallography.   

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Washington University in St. Louis

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Dissertation Title

- The Phosphobase Methylation Pathway in Plants,Nematodes, & the Protozoan Plasmodium falciparum

Sogang University

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Summa Cum Laude


Arthur Neish Young Investigator Award (Phytochemical Society of North America)

ASBMB Early Career Faculty Travel Award

The Charles L. Cahill Research AwardETEAL Pedagogy Initiatives Award
Plant Metabolic Engineering Gordon Research Seminar Travel Grant 

Wold Travel Award and Protein Science Young Investigator Travel Grant 
Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Biomedical Fellows Award

Travel Grant for US-Korea Conference (UKC) on Science, Technology, and Entrepreneurship
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Grad Student Travel Award

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Travel Award for Banff Conference on Plant Metabolism

Sogang Honors Scholarship, Summa Cum Laude

POSTECH BK21 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship