KiBum Lee is an associate professor professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University, where he has been a faculty since 2008. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University (with Chad. A. Mirkin; 2004) and completed his postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute (with Peter G. Schultz; 2007). The primary research interest of Dr. Lee’s group is to develop and integrate nanotechnologies and chemical functional genomics to modulate signaling pathways in mammalian cells towards specific cell lineages or behaviors. In particular, his group is exploring critical problems in cancer biology and stem cell biology pertaining to the cell-microenvironmental interactions, and how to control these interactions at the subcellular and single cell level using chemical biology and nanotechnology. One of the critical barriers to harnessing the full therapeutic potential of stem cells is the development of an easy, effective, and non-toxic methodology to control differentiation into specific cell lineages. In this regard, Dr. Lee’s group has recently focused on developing a variety of technologies to selectively control the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) towards a neuronal cell fate. One approach involved the synthesis and application of a multifunctional vehicle comprised of cyclodextrin-modified dendritic polyamine construct (termed DexAM) to facilitate the simultaneous delivery of siRNA molecules and hydrophobic small molecules (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013). Another approach consisted of using self-assembled nanoparticle films coated with ECM proteins and siRNA (termed NanoRU) to facilitate the substrate-mediated delivery of siRNA (Scientific Reports, 2013). Multi-modal magnetic core-shell nanoparticles have also been used to effective deliver genetic material into NSCs using a magnetic-filed-facilitated delivery method and to monitor the delivery through dark-field imaging (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2013). Substrates containing arrays of graphene-nanoparticle hybrids were also generated and seen to be a remarkable platform for NSC differentiation in neurons and the subsequent alignment of axons (Advanced Materials, 2013). With the goal of achieving an enhanced stem cell-based therapy for CNS-related injuries and diseases, his group is currently designing nanomaterial-based 3D scaffolds to enhance cellular viability and to spatiotemporally modulate NSC differentiation (Advanced Materials, 2014). In recognition of his outstanding scientific achievement at Rutgers, Dr. Lee has received several awards including NIH Director’s New Innovator Awards (2009), Board of Trustees Research Award for Scholarly Excellence (2013), Busch Biomedical Grant Award (2013), New Jersey Spinal Cord Exploratory Research Award (2013), Johnson and Johnson Proof-of-Concept Award (2011), Faculty Research Grant Award (2012), New Jersey Spinal Cord Research Award (2009), and Grant Proposal Development Award (2008). He is the first author, co-author, and corresponding author of approximately 40 articles published in high-profile journals including Science, Cell Stem Cell, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem, Int. Ed., Nano Letters, ACS Nano, Advanced Materials, Biomaterials, Scientific Reports, Lab Chip, Small, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., Nanomedicne, and Cancer Research, which are highly cited (>3000).
- "Combinatorial analysis of multiple signals regulating human pluripotent stem cell neurogenesis" NIH (1DP2OD006462-01) KiBum Lee Principal Investigator
- "Novel magnetic core/shell nanoparticle-based stem cell therapy to direct neural stem/progenitor cell differentiation" NIH (1R21NS085569-01) KiBum Lee Principal Investigator
- "Consumer Exposure to Airborne Nanoparticles Released from Nanotechnology-enabled Clothing" NSF (CBET-1236508) Mainelis Co-Principal Investigator
- "Risk Assessment for Manufactured Nanoparticles Used in Consumer Products (RAMNUC)" EPA (RD-83469302-0) Zhang Co-Principal Investigator
- "Enhanced stem cell-based gene therapy for spinal cord injury using MCNPs" New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research (CSCR13ERG005 ) KiBum Lee Principal Investigator