Youngsook Lee, PhD

Position title: Professor, Cell and Regenerative Biology


Phone: 608-262-6352

4431 WIMR
1111 Highland Avenue

Youngsook Lee

Research Interests

The long-term goal of our laboratory team is to determine the molecular mechanisms that control cardiovascular development.

Malformations of the heart account for the largest number of human birth defects, about 1% of live births. Despite this high frequency of occurrence, the molecular mechanisms that lead to congenital heart defects remain poorly understood. Therefore, identifying and characterizing the factors that control cardiac development are important steps toward understanding the genesis of congenital heart defects and important clinical disorders such as cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.

Specifically, we perform genome-based approaches to identify novel factors critical for normal cardiac development. Several genes necessary for cardiac development were identified, and we are currently investigating the molecular/developmental roles of these genes. We combine interdisciplinary sciences to address the fundamental questions of the cardiovascular organogenesis and cardiac disease at the molecular, cellular and developmental levels.

Embryonic stem cells provide a useful tool to study the molecular mechanisms of cardiomyogenesis. One goal of stem cell research is the development of specialized cells such as heart muscle cells. The directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells is vital to the ultimate use of such cells in the development of new therapies.

Selected Publications

(Find recent publications on PubMed)

  • Cho, E.J., Kang, H.J., Kang, D.-K., and Lee, Y. Myocardial-specific ablation of Jarid2 leads to dilated cardiomyopathy in mice. J of Biological Chemistry. 294:4981-4996. 2019. PMCID: PMC6442036.
  • Cho, E.J., Mysliwiec, M.R., Carlson, C.D., Ansari, A., Schwartz, R., and Lee, Y. Cardiac-specific developmental and epigenetic functions of Jarid2 during embryonic development. J of Biological Chemistry, 293(30): 11659-11673. 2018. PMCID: PMC6066322.
  • Brody, M.J., Feng, L., Grimes, A.C., Hacker T.A., Olson, T.M., Kamp, T.J., Balijepalli, R.C., and Lee, Y. LRRC10 is required to maintain cardiac function in response to pressure overload. American J of Physiology, 310:H269-278, 2016. PMCID: PMC4971440.
  • Pereira, R.M., Martinez, G.J., Engel, I., Cruz-Guilloty, F., Barboza, B.A., Tsagaratou, A., Lio, C.W., Berg, L.J., Lee, Y., Kronenberg, M., Bandukwala, H.S., and Rao, A. Jarid2 is induced by TCR signaling and controls iNKT cell maturation. Nature Communications, 5:4540-4553. 2014. PMCID: PMC4314221.
  • Brody, M.J., Cho, E.J., Mysliwiec, M.R., Kim T.-G., Carlson C.D., Lee, K.-H., and Lee, Y. Lrrc10 is a novel cardiac-specific target gene of Nkx2.5 and GATA4. J. Mol Cell Cardiology 62:237-246, 2013. PMCID: PMC3940241.
  • Mysliwiec, M.R., Carlson C.D., Tietjen, J., Hung, H., Ansari A.Z., and Lee, Y. Jarid2 (JUMONJI, AT rich interactive domain 2) regulates Notch1 expression via histone modification in the developing heart. J. Biol. Chem. 287:1235-1241, 2012. PMCID: PMC3244653.
  • Brody, M.J., Hacker T., Patel, J.R., Li, F., Sadoshima, J., Tevosian, S.G., Balijepalli, R.C., Moss, R.L., and Lee, Y. Ablation of the cardiac-specific gene Leuicine-Rich repeat Containing 10 (Lrrc10) results in dilated cardiomyopathy. PLoS One7 (12) e51621, 2012. PMCID: PMC3517560.