Research

Lee Laboratory at College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University is focusing on the development of novel strategies, targeted-modulating gut microbiome, apoptosis, and/or immune systems for effective management of inflammation-related diseases (especially for inflammatory bowel diseases) and/or cancer. Our translational biomedical research utilizes tools of pharmaceutics, nanotechnology, biomaterials, drug delivery, and biomacromolecules and tissue engineering to achieve our goals.

1) Modulating apoptosis with nano/biomedicine: Apoptosis is a physiological mechanism that eliminates excessive, damaged, or unwanted cells, is a highly regulated pathway important for maintaining homeostasis in multicellular organisms. The pathogenesis of several diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, autoimmune disorders, heart diseases, infectious diseases including AIDS is closely related to aberrant apoptosis. To enhance apoptotic processes for cancer treatment or suppress the processes for anti-inflammation therapy, our lab focuses on the development of nano/biomedicine which can modulate apoptosis effectively.

2) Improving immunity with nano/biomedicine: Our immune system can detect and eliminate foreign pathogens by generating systemic immune responses. If we develop a novel strategy which can harness this great potential of our immune system and sense and eradicate tumors, the new strategy will bring innovative changes to cancer therapy. Our lab is developing novel anti-cancer immunotherapy strategies based on nanomedicine/biomedicine which can manipulate the immune system and tumor cells very effectively, in order to eliminate primary and metastatic tumors through the educated immune system. On the other hand, dysregulated immune responses are highly associated with various immune diseases. Thus, another goal of our research is to develop novel anti-inflammation immunotherapy strategies based on nanomedicine/biomedicine for effective management of immune system disorders.

3) Manipulating microbiome with nano/biomedicine: The advance of genome sequencing technology and big data analysis and bioinformatics have enabled us to extract meaning from microbiome data. This has revealed that the gut microbiome has an important role in immune tolerance and systemic immune responses as well as in the induction, development, severity, and treatment of various systemic diseases. Thus, we seek to develop a novel strategy to harness this tremendous potential of the gut microbiome, leading to the improvement of the efficacy of the drugs and/or direct management of disease treatment.