KiBum Lee, an Assistant Professor in the Rutgers Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, was named as a recipient of one of the 2009 NIH Director's New Innovator Awards. Prof. Lee's proposal is titled, "Combinatorial Approaches for Studying Multiple Cues Regulating Human Pluripotent Stem Cell (hPSC) Fate". The funding level for the award is $2.3 M total for the five year period beginning 09/30/2009.
The primary research interest of Prof. K.B. Lee's group at Rutgers is to develop and integrate nanotechnologies and chemical functional genomics to modulate signaling pathways in cells (e.g. stem cells and cancer cells) towards specific cell lineages or behaviors. In particular, the group is interested in studying how microenvironmental cues (e.g. soluble signals, cell-cell interactions, and insoluble/physical signals) functionally affect stem cell fate.
For the NIH funded project, Prof. Lee's research will focus on manipulating human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) using small-interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection tools and microfluidics methods, with a goal of ultimately developing therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.