Dean A Lee, MD, PhD

Dean Lee


College of Medicine



Academic Title


Research Program

Leukemia Research

Dr. Lee is a physician scientist with formal training and expertise in pediatric oncology, immunology, and clinical trials. My translational and early-phase clinical research developed after identifying a crucial role for IL-21 and STAT3 signaling in NK cell function and proliferation. This finding enabled a field-leading platform for ex vivo NK cell expansion using genetically-engineered feeder cells. The success of this approach has led to additional work in genetic and non-genetic receptor modification for enhanced function, ex vivo manipulation of the NK receptor repertoire, and combination therapies for synergy with NK cells. I translated this approach to early-phase NK cell trials under FDA IND application in the US and Brazil, including first-in-human trials delivering expanded NK cells to the 4th ventricle for children with brain tumors, and a multi-institutional trial delivering expanded NK cells to patients with neuroblastoma. I have a personal interest in mentoring translational and clinical scientists, evidenced by participation in graduate training programs (past Co-Director of the UT-HSC MD/PhD Program), publications in the area of mentoring and career development, and trainee awards for my students from the American Society of Hematology, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.


  • MD, Loma Linda University

    Loma Linda, CA (USA)

Office Location


700 Children's Drive , Columbus, OH 43205




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