Regenerative Engineering Laboratory (Lee Lab)
Location and Contact Information
The Lee laboratory focuses on in situ regeneration of musculoskeletal and craniofacial tissues by harnessing endogenous stem cells. Stem cell-based therapies have received tremendous attention in the hope of regenerating defective tissues or organs. The most common stem cell-based regenerative therapies involve isolation of stem cells from a patient’s body part, followed by sorting, culture-expansion in the laboratory, and transplantation back into the body, with or without directed differentiation or other treatments.
Despite being a dominant approach as of now, stem cell transplantation has raised several difficulties in therapeutic translation that include immune rejection, pathogen transmission, potential tumorigenesis, issues associated with packaging, storage, shipping of stem cells, and difficulties in clinical adoption and regulatory approval. Given the challenges with stem cell transplantation therapies, an in situ regeneration approach has recently emerged. This approach involves harnessing the body’s own stem cells, instead of isolating and manipulating stem cells out of the host.
My laboratory has performed pioneering work in this promising field of in situ regeneration. We have published several flagship papers that opened the door to this new field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.