Won Hee Lee

Assistant Professor - Phoenix



Postdoctoral: Cardiovascular Medicine & Radiology, Stanford University, 2011-2015.
PhD: Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2007-2010.

Research Interests

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), cardiovascular disease modeling, environmental toxicology (e-cigarettes and radiation)

Research Summary

The Lee lab focuses on the use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study the interplay between environmental exposure and the development of cardiovascular diseases. We seek to achieve this understanding by various cellular, genetic and biochemical approaches coupled with patients’ data. A recent focus of our research is to develop a cellular model of human origin to assess potential cardiovascular susceptibility associated with radiation and e-cigarette/cigarette use.


Lee WH, Ong SG, Zhou Y, Tian L, Bae HR, Baker N, Whiplash A, Mohjammadi L, Guo H, Nadeau KC, Springer ML, Shick SF, Bhatngar A, Wu JC (2019). Modeling cardiovascular risks of e-cigarettes with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 73(21):2722-37. PMID: 31146818. (*Accompanied Editorial).
Guo H, Tian L, Zhang JZ, Kitani T, Paik DT, Lee WH, Wu JC (2019). Single-cell RNA-sequencing of human embryonic stem cell differentiation delineates adverse effects of nicotine on embryonic development. Stem Cell Reports, 12(4):772-786. PMID: 30827876. 
Ong SB*, Lee WH*, Shao N, Ismail NI, Katwadi K, Lim M, Kwek X, Michel NA, Li J, Newson J, Tahmasebi S, Rehman J, Kodo K, Jang HR, Ong SG (2019). Calpain inhibition restores autophagy and prevents mitochondrial fragmentation in a human iPSC model of diabetic endotheliopathy. Stem Cell Reports, 12(3):597-610. PMID: 30799273.
Ong SG, Lee WH, Zhou Y, Wu JC (2018). Mining exosomal microRNAs from human-induced pluripotent stem cells-derived cardiomyocytes for cardiac regeneration. Methods in Molecular Biology, 1733:127-136. PMID: 29435928.
Lee WH, Chen W, Shao N, Xiao D, Qin X, Baker N, Bae H, Shukla P, Wu H, Kodo K, Ong SG, Wu JC. (2017). Comparison of non-coding RNAs in exosomes and functional efficacy of human embryonic stem cell-versus induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Stem Cells, 35(10):2138-2149. PMID: 28710827.

*Denotes co-first authors. For a complete listing of Dr. Lee’s publications, search PubMed.

Research Interests: 
Cardiology and Cardiovascular Science
Drug discovery
Molecular medicine
Precision medicine