Dr. Lee's research centers on the use of cell culture models derived from non-mammalian species, specifically fish and economically important invertebrates such as bees, shrimp, and lobsters.
Specifically, Dr. Lee's interest revolves around developing continuous cell lines that can be readily available and used for evaluating effects of nutrients, hormones, drugs, contaminants, toxicants, for applications in animal health, animal husbandry, biotechnology, environmental monitoring, etc.
Current projects funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) include the development of fish cell lines and their use in the study of intracellular parasites like the microsporidia that have become emerging pathogens of concern.
Dr. Lee’s team members have used classical cell-culture methodologies along with proteomics and immunotechniques to understand interactions of host cells with model intracellular and extracellular aquatic pathogens. Recent interests have expanded to cover areas of concern in agriculture such as the study of microsporidians affecting bees, climate change and pesticide effects in non-target species, and evaluation of nutraceuticals, specifically, evaluating blueberry components for fish diets using fish intestinal cells (the latter funded by an NSERC Strategic).
Dr. Lee has adjunct faculty appointments at the University of British Columbia, Zoology Department; the University of Waterloo, Department of Biology; Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Biology; as well as graduate appointments at the University of Guelph, Biomedical Sciences; and as such has supervised or co-supervised many graduate students.
At UFV, Dr. Lee has supervised several undergraduate and post-graduate students in various research projects and these include:
- Eric Sung-Jae Cho (Fall 2019) volunteer assistant, general cell culture, quantitative methods
- Heather Michelle Kelly (Fall 2019) volunteer assistant, general cell culture, quantitative methods
- Eryn Braley (Summer 2019) Evaluation of common pesticides on fish cell lines (S’19 NSERC USRA)
- Michael Mong (Summer 2019) Characterizing fish muscle cell lines (co-op UBC)
- Brenna Hay (Sep’18-Aug’19) Genotoxic effects of neonicotinoids in fish cells (W’19 NSERC-USRA)
- Arianne Qanberry (Sep’18-May’19) Effect of temperature fluctuations in vitro on fish mitochondria
- Petra Lee (Sep’18–Oct’19) Fish and shrimp cell culture (part-time technician)
- Anthony Miyagi (Summers 2018, 2019) Initiation and culture of invertebrate cells: bees and shrimp
- Taylor Boyd (Winter and Summer 2018) Culture of trout olfactory cells (W’18 NSERC-USRA)
- Tessa Webb (Summer, Fall 2017) Fish mesenchymal cell culture maintenance and quality control
- Veronica Kobes (Summer 2017/18) Histology of rainbow trout tissues (S’18 NSERC-USRA)
- Sergio Navarro (Summer 2017) Primary cell cultures of rainbow trout, routine fish cell line growth
- Rachael Hyun Bae (summer 2016) Cell culture maintenance, mycoplasma testing
- Harshraj Sidhu (Winters 2016, 2017) In vitro toxicology (W’16 NSERC USRA), and, Co-cultures of gastrointestinal and immune cells (W’17 NSERC USRA)
- Kamal Moghrabi (Summer 2015 to 2016) Neonicotinoid effects in fish cells (W’15 NSERC-USRA)
- Gagandeep Rai (Summer 2015 and 2016) Fish feed evaluation (S’15 & S’16 NSERC-USRA)
- Gaganjeet Mahil (Winter 2016) Evaluation of blueberry extracts w fish cells (W’16 NSERC-USRA)
- Vishesh Oberoi (2015) Scratch assays, Blueberry extract effects on fish (W’15 NSERC-USRA)
- Alyssa Zucchet (Summer 2015) Cell maintenance, lab upkeep
- Hardeep Saran (Summer 2015) Basic fish cell culture
- Manjot Birk (Winter 2015) routine fish cell line maintenance
- Kevin Kobes (2014) Evaluating physicochemical factors on the growth of fish and invertebrate cells
- Mandeep Kaur Saran (2014) Characterizing cod cells (S’14 NSERC USRA)
- John Andrew Alexander (2013-14) Quality control of fish and insect cells (S’13,14 NSERC USRA)
- Fabiola Rojas (2013, 2014) Assistance with cell culture lab maintenance and organization
- Marcus Cardoso Trento (2013) Genotoxic evaluation of agricultural contaminants
2013-2019 (Underlined names are those of my trainees)
- Pumputis PG, Dayeh VR, Lee LEJ, Hamilton ME,Viththiyapaskaran S, Bols NC. 2019. Beneficial and detrimental effects of the phytochemical naringenin on rainbow trout intestinal cells. Journal of Functional Foods (accepted Oct 27, 2019, JFF-D-19-02152R1).
- Schirmer K, Stadnicka J, Belanger S, Blaha L, Bols N, Dyer S, Embry M, Fischer M, Halder M, Hermens J, Hultman M, Kramer N, Laue H, Lee L, Lillicrap A, Natsch A, Segner H, Tanneberger K, Tollefsen K, Werner I, Witters H, Zupanic A. 2019. Cell-based data to predict the toxicity of chemicals to fish. Commentary on the manuscript by Rodrigues et al., 2019. Environmental Pollution 252:476-482.
- Pham PH, Sokeechand BSH, Hamilton ME, Misk E, Jones G, Lee LEJ, Lumsden JS, Bols NC. 2019. VER-155008 induced Hsp70 proteins expression in fish cell cultures while impeding replication of two RNA viruses. Antiviral Research 162: 151-162.
- MacLeod MJ, Vo NTK, Mikhaeil MS, Monaghan SR, Alexander JAN, Saran, MK, Lee LEJ. 2018. Development of a Continuous Cell Line from Larval Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) and its Use in the Study of the Microsporidian, Loma morhua. J Fish Diseases 41(9): 1359-1372.
- Pumputis PG, Dayeh VR, Lee LEJ, Pham PH, Viththiyapaskaran S, Bols NC. 2018. Responses of rainbow trout intestinal epithelial cells to different kinds of nutritional deprivation. Fish Physiol Biochem 44: 1197-1214.
- Kim JJ, Hamilton ME, Pham PH, Lee LEJ, Bols NC. 2018. Effect of selenomethionine on cell viability and heat shock protein 70 levels in rainbow trout intestinal epithelial cells at hypo-, normo-, and hyper-thermic temperatures. J Thermal Biol 76: 107-114.
- Trento MVC, Cesar PHS, Marcussi S, Lee LEJ. 2018. Genotoxic action of naphthenic acids on the fish macrophage cell line, RTS11. Int J Environ Poll 63: 117- 130.
- Bols NC, Pham PH, Dayeh VR, Lee LEJ. 2017. Invitromatics, invitrome and invitroomics: Introduction of three new terms for in vitro biology and illustration of their use with the cell lines from rainbow trout. In Vitro cell dev Bio Anim. (Ms # IVAN-D-16-00404R1, accepted Feb 6, 2017) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/etc.3603/epdf
- Lillicrap A, Belanger S, Burden N, Du Pasquier D, Embry M, Halder M, Lampi M, Lee LEJ, Norbert-King T, Rattner BA, Schirmer K, Thomas P. 2016. Alternative approaches to vertebrate ecotoxicity tests in the 21st century: a reveiw of developments over the last two decades and current status. Env Tox Chem. 35: 2637-2646 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/etc.3603/epdf
- Bloch SR, Vo NTK, Walsh SK, Chen CC, Lee LEJ, Hodson PV, Bols NC. 2016. Development of a cell line from the American eel brain expressing endothelial cell properties. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 52(4): 395-409. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11626-015-9986-8
- Lillicrap A, Belanger S, Burden N, Embry M, Lee LEJ, Leonard M (2016) Is the Fish Embryo Acute Toxicity Test Under Threat? A Perspective from the SETAC Global Animal Alternatives Advisory Group. SETAC Globe 17(8) http://globe.setac.org/2016/august/fet-test.html
- Smith RW, Wang JX, Mothersill C, Lee LEJ, Seymour C. 2015. Proteomic responses in the gills of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas, Rafinesque, 1820) after 6 months and 2 years of continuous exposure to environmentally relevant dietary 226Ra. Int J Radiation Biol. 91(3): 248-256. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09553002.2014.988894?journalCode=irab20
- Vo NTK, Chen C, Lee LEJ, Lumsden JS, Dixon B, Bols NC. 2015. Development and characterization of an endothelial cell line from the bulbus arteriosus of walleye, Sander vitreus. Comparative Biochem Physiol-A 180: 57-67. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1095643314002256
- Vo NTK, Bender AW, Lee LEJ, Lumsden JS, Lorenzen N, Dixon B, Bols NC. 2015. Development of a walleye cell line and use to study the effects of temperature on infection by viral hemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) group IVb. J Fis Dis 38(2): 121-136. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfd.12208/epdf
- Vo NTK, Mikhaeil MS, Lee LEJ, Pham PH, Bols NC. 2015. Senescence-associated β-galactosidase staining in fish cell lines and primary cultures from several tissues and species, including rainbow trout coelomic fluid and milt. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 51(4): 361-371. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11626-014-9837-z
- Gignac SJ, Vo NTK, Mikhaeil MS, Alexander JAN, MacLatchy DL, Schulte PM, Lee LEJ. 2014. Derivation of a continuous myogenic cell culture from an embryo of common killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus. Comparative Biochem Physiol A. 175:15-27.
- Vo NTK, Bufalino MR, Hartlen KD, Kitaev V, Lee LEJ. 2014. Cytotoxicity evaluation of silica nanoparticles using fish cell lines. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol–Anim. 50(5): 427-438.
- Sansom B, Vo NTK, Kavanagh R, Hanner R, MacKinnon M, Dixon DG, Lee LEJ. 2013. Rapid Assessment of the toxicity of oil sands process-affected waters using fish cell lines. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol.-Animal 49(1): 52-65.
- Scholz S, Sela E, Blaha L, Braunbeck T, Galay-Burgos M, García-Franco M, Guinea J, Klüver N, Schirmer K, Tanneberger K, Tobor-Kapłon M, Witters H, Belanger S, Benfenati E, Creton S, Cronin MTD, Eggen RIL, Embry M, Ekman D, Gourmelon A, Halder M, Hardy B, Hartung T, Hubesch B, Jungmann D, Lampi MA, Lee LEJ, Léonard M, Küster E, Lillicrap A, Luckenbach T, Murk AJ, Navas JM, Peijnenburg W, Repetto G, Salinas E, Schüürmann G, Spielmann H, Tollefsen KE, Walter-Rohde S, Whale G, Wheeler JR, Winter MJ. 2013. A European perspective on alternatives to animal testing for environmental hazard identification and risk assessment. Reg Tox Pharmacol 67(3): 506-530.
- Dayeh VR, Bols NC, Tanneberger K, Schirmer K, Lee LEJ. 2013. The use of fish derived cell lines for investigation of environmental contaminants – An Update following OECD’s fish toxicity testing framework n• 171. Current Protocols in Toxicology 56: 1.5.1–1.5.20.