Sing Lee is discovering important insights into how different toxicants and drugs are metabolized and what they do in the body. He is a postdoctoral researcher and assistant project scientist at the University of California (UC) Davis under the guidance of Superfund Research Program (SRP) project leader and Center Director Bruce Hammock, Ph.D. He recently won a coveted NIH Pathway to Independence K99 Award, which will enable him to shift rapidly into a stable independent research position. The prestigious award is a transition grant that ensures trainees the resources and mentoring needed to become successful independent researchers. After the training phase (K99), grantees who secure tenure-track positions can transition into R00 funding to kick-start their independent careers.
Lee joined the Hammock lab in March of 2010 as an SRP post-doctoral trainee. His research includes a focus on human soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) inhibitors for treatment of neuropathic pain. Lee has made important discoveries and published in a number of journals. For example, he has optimized sEH inhibitors that could be an attractive alternative to treat diabetic neuropathy in humans. He has also developed an assay to evaluate the potency of sEH inhibitors. From both studies, he shows that a dissociation rate constant of the enzyme-inhibitor complex, koff, is an important in vitro parameter to predict inhibitor in vivo efficacy that has often been ignored. He also spends time in the lab mentoring two graduate students and six undergraduate students.
With his K99, Lee is focusing on epoxy-eicosatrienoic acids (EETs) which are important signaling molecules in the body and are anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, analgesic, and angiogenic. He hopes to identify the first receptor for EETs and study how environmental toxicants affect human health through altering the level of EET in vivo.
When Lee isn't in the lab, he enjoys playing sports, particularly soccer, where he can interact with different people and stay active. He also enjoys running and hiking, and loves the adventure and scenic view from the top of a mountain.