Soo-Kyung Lee


Soo-Kyung Lee, PhD.

Soo-Kyung Lee


Soo-Kyung Lee


Empire Innovation Professor
Om P. Bahl Endowed Professor

Research Interests

Development of neurons and glial cells, neurodevelopmental disorders

Research News


  • PhD, Chonnam National University, Korea

Research Summary

We are recruiting postdocs as well as undergraduate and graduate students. 



Soo-Kyung Lee’s long-term goals are to dissect gene regulatory events that lead to the cellular diversity and eventually formation of functional neural circuits in the CNS and to understand genetic and mechanistic basis for neurodevelopmental defects, ultimately contributing to the generation of better treatment strategies for human developmental disorders. 

Over the past decade, Lee has pioneered biochemical and molecular approaches in mouse and chick embryos to unravel the fundamental principles controlling gene expression and cell fate specification in the developing CNS. This led to a series of seminal discoveries into the gene regulatory network required for neuronal fate specification.

More recently, Lee has begun dissecting a human autism disorder FoxG1 syndrome, characterized by severe deficits in cortex development along with other life-threatening symptoms. Soo is devoted to understanding the FoxG1 biology and also engaged in translational research to find a cure for the disorder. 

Selected Publications

  • The histone demethylase Kdm6b regulates subtype diversification of mouse spinal motor neurons during development by Wenxian Wang, Hyeyoung Cho, Jae Lee, and Soo-Kyung Lee, Nature Communications, in press, 2022.
  • Huisman C, Kim YA, Jeon S, Shin B, Choi J, Lim SJ, Youn SM, Park Y, K C M, Kim S, Lee SK, Lee S, Lee JW. The histone H3-lysine 4-methyltransferase Mll4 regulates the development of growth hormone-releasing hormone-producing neurons in the mouse hypothalamus. Nat Commun. 2021 Jan 11;12(1):256. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-20511-7.
  • Wang W, Cho H, Kim D, Park Y, Moon JH, Lim SJ, Yoon SM, McCane M, Aicher SA, Kim S, Emery B, Lee JW, Lee S, Park Y, Lee SK (2020) PRC2 Acts as a Critical Timer That Drives Oligodendrocyte Fate over Astrocyte Identity by Repressing the Notch Pathway. Cell Rep 32:108147. Paper is here.
  • F. Cargnin, J.S.Kwon, S.Katzman, B.Chen, J.W.Lee and S.-K.Lee. FOXG1 orchestartes neocortical organization and cortico-cortical connections. Neuron100, 1083-1096, 2018.
  • Y. Colvis, J.-S.Kwon, S.Y.Seo, J.C.Rhee, S.Yeo, J.W.Lee, S.Lee and S.-K.Lee. Chx10 consolidates V2a interneuron identity through two distinct gene repression modes. Cell Reports16, 1642-52,2016.
  • K.P. Thiebes, H.Nam, X.A.Cambronne, R.Shen, S.M.Glasgow, H.H.Cho, J.Kwon, R.H.Goodman, J.W.Lee, S.Lee*and S.-K.Lee*.(*co-corresponding authors) miR-218 is essential to establish motor neuron fate as a downstream effector of Isl1-Lhx3. Nature Communications6, 7718, 2015.
  • H.H.Cho, R.Shen, A.P.Barnes, J.W.Lee, S.Lee, and S.-K.Lee. Isl1 directly controls a cholinergic neuronal identity by forming cell type-specific complexes in the developing forebrain and spinal cord.PLOS GeneticsDOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen. 1004280, 2014.
  • S. Lee, J.W.Lee, and S.-K.Lee. UTX, a histone H3-lysine 27 demethylase, acts as a critical switch to activate the cardiac developmental program. Developmental Cell, 22, 25-37, 2012. 
  • K. Joshi, S.Lee, B.Lee, J.W.Lee, and S.-K.Lee. LMO4 controls of the balance between excitatory and inhibitory V2-interneurons.Neuron,61, 839-51, 2009.
  • S. Lee, B.Lee, J.W.Lee, and S.-K.Lee. Retinoid signaling and Neurogenin2 function are coupled for the specification of spinal motor neurons through a chromatin modifier CBP. Neuron,62:641-54, 2009. 
  • S. Lee, B. Lee, K. Joshi, S. Pfaff, J.W.Lee, and S.-K.Lee. A regulatory network to segregate spinal neuronal subtypes. Developmental Cell,14: 877-89, 2008.