June-Yong Lee, PhD

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Fellow

PhD Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics, University of Minnesota, 2014

For my predoctoral studies, I studied mechanisms of immune homeostasis and effector functions of peripheral T cells. Particularly, I investigated the foreign antigen-specific, functional properties of “homeostatic” memory (HM) CD8+ T cells and found that this type of cell arises during normal mammalian immune system development without any foreign antigen experience, yet still they still exhibit several phenotypic and functional features of memory cells. In addition, I also studied the transcriptional regulation of KLF2 and its roles in cell fate determination for effector and memory T cells.

In the Littman lab, the goal of my studies has been to identify novel molecular regulatory mechanisms that control Th17 pathogenicity in the context of chronic inflammation and tumorigenesis. My hope is that this knowledge can lead to improved drug design and less invasive interventional strategies to treat autoimmune diseases and certain forms of cancer.



1.  June-Yong Lee, Cara N. Skon, You Jeong Lee, Soohwan Oh, Justin J. Taylor, Deepali Malhotra, Marc K. Jenkins, M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, Kristin A. Hogquist and Stephen C. Jameson. KLF2 restrains follicular helper CD4+ T cell differentiation. Immunity. 2015 Feb 17;42(2):252-64..

2.  Cara N. Skon, June-Yong Lee, Kristin G. Anderson, David Masopust, Kristin A. Hogquist and Stephen C. Jameson. Transcriptional downregulation of S1PR1 is required for establishment of resident memory CD8+ T cells. Nat Immunol. 2013 Dec;14(12):1285-93.

3.  June-Yong Lee, Sara E. Hamilton, Adovi D. Akue, Kristin A. Hogquist and Stephen C. Jameson. Virtual memory CD8 T cells display unique functional properties. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 13;110 (33):13498-503.

4.  June-Yong Lee and Stephen C. Jameson. Remembering to be tolerant. Science. Feb 10;335(6069):667-8. 2012. (Review)

5.  Adovi D. Akue, June-Yong Lee and Stephen C. Jameson. Derivation and maintenance of virtual memory CD8 T cells. J Immunol. Mar 15;188(6):2516-23. 2012.

6.  Sun Hwa Lee, Zsolt Toth, Lai-Yee Wong, Kevin Brulois, Jim Nguyen, June-Yong Lee, Ebrahim Zandi and Jae U. Jung. Novel Phosphorylations of IKKγ/NEMO. MBio. Nov 6;3(6):e00411-12. 2012.

7.  Zhen Zhao, Soohwan Oh, Dapeng Li, Duojiao Ni, Sara Dolatshahi Pirooz, Joo-Hyung Lee, Shunhua Yang, June-Yong Lee, Irene Ghozalli, Vincenzo Costanzo, Jeremy M. Stark and Chengyu Liang. A Dual Role for UVRAG in Maintaining Chromosomal Stability Independent of Autophagy. Dev Cell. May 15;22(5):1001-16. 2012.

8.  Chul-Su Yang, Jong-Soo Lee, Chan-Ki Min, June-Yong Lee, Hee Jin Kim, Kwanghoon Lee, Byungha Oh, Chul-Joong Kim, Ebrahim Zandi, Zhenyu Yue, Joseph H. Jeong, Chengyu Liang and Jae U Jung. Autophagy protein Rubicon mediates phagocytic NADPH oxidase activation in response to microbial infection or TLR stimulation. Cell Host Microbe. Mar 15;11(3):264-76. 2012. 

9.  Chul-Su Yang, Chan-Ki Min, Mary Rodgers, Jong-Soo Lee, Lara Kingeter, June-Yong Lee, Ambrose Jong, Xin Lin and Jae U Jung. The autophagy regulator Rubicon is a feedback inhibitor of CARD9-mediated host innate immunity. Cell Host Microbe. Mar 15;11(3):277-89. 2012.

10.  Soohwan Oh, Xiaofei E, Duojiao Ni, Sara Dolatshahi Pirooz, June-Yong Lee, Dongwook Lee, Zhen Zhao, Stacy Lee, HyeraLee, Bonsu Ku, Timothy Kowalik, Sue E.Martin, Byung-Ha Oh, Jae U Jung and Chengyu Liang. Downregulation of Autophagy by Bcl-2 Promotes MCF7 Breast Cancer Cell Growth Independent of Its Inhibition of Apoptosis. Cell Death & Differentiation. Mar;18(3):452-64. 2011.

11.  Jaehyuk Yoo, Jinjoo Kang, Ha Neul Lee, Berenice Aguilar, Darren Kafka, Sunju Lee, Inho Choi, Juneyong Lee, Swapnika Ramu, Juergen Haas, Chester J. Koh, Young-Kwon Hong. Kaposin-B enhances the PROX1 mRNA stability during lymphatic reprogramming of vascular endothelial cells by Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus. PLoS Pathog. Aug 12;6(8). 2010.

12.  Jong-Soo Lee, Qinglin Li, June-Yong Lee, Sun-Hwa Lee, Joseph H. Jeong, Hye-Ra Lee, Heesoon Chang, Fu-Chun Zhou, Shou-Jiang Gao, Chengyu Liang and Jae U. Jung. FLIP-mediated autophagy regulation in cell death control. Nature Cell Biol. 11(11):1355-62. 2009.

13.  Sunju Lee, Jinjoo Kang, Jaehyuk Yoo, Sathish K. Ganesan, Sarah C. Cook, Berenice Aguilar, Swapnika Ramu, Juneyong Lee and Young-Kwon Hong.  Prox1 physically and functionally interacts with COUP-TFII to specify lymphatic endothelial cell fate. Blood. 113 (8): 1856-1859. 2009.

14.  Seung-Ki Kwok*, June-Yong Lee*, Se-Ho Park, Mi-La Cho, So-Youn Min, Sung-Hwan Park, Ho-Youn Kim and Young-Gyu Cho. Dysfunctional interferon-alpha production by peripheral plasmacytoid dendritic cells upon Toll-like receptor-9 stimulation in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Res Ther.  10(2):R29. 2008. (*co-first author) 

15.  June-Yong Lee, Yu-Mi Lim, Min-Jung Park, So-Youn Min, Mi-La Cho, Young-Chul Sung, Se-Ho Park, Ho-Youn Kim and Young-Gyu Cho. Murine thymic stromal lymphopoietin promotes the differentiation of regulatory T cells from thymic CD4(+)CD8(-)CD25(-) naïve cells in a dendritic cell-independent manner. Immunol Cell Biol. 86(2):206