Lab members

Current lab members 


JLee headshot



Jiyoung Lee, PhD

Jiyoung received her BA and MS from Korea University, South Korea in 2000 and 2004 and PhD degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011.  After postdoctoral training on cancer signaling at the University of Chicago Ben May Institute for Cancer Research, she joined George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences as Assistant professor in 2019. Her research interest is metabolic adaptation of cancer cells and its molecular mechanisms using breast and head and neck cancer models, with an ultimate goal of providing biological insights of metabolic network of tumor for novel therapeutics. 



Yea-In Park, PhD
Postdoctoral scholar,

Yea-In earned her PhD from Yonsei University in 2023. As of January 2024, she has joined the Lee Lab to further delve into her passion for understanding the intricacies of cancer metastasis and regulation, with a specific focus on breast cancer and head and neck cancer. Outside of her research pursuits, Yea-In finds solace in the simple pleasures of life. She is an avid coffee enthusiast who enjoys exploring cozy cafes to savor the perfect cup of coffee. Her love for the beverage extends to her creative side, as she takes delight in crafting various desserts that pair exquisitely with different coffee blends.


K. Davis Brock

K. Davis Brock, PhD candidate,

Davis is a PhD student in the Cancer Biology program in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences (IBS) from 2021. Davis completed his BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Wake Forest University in 2018.  Following that, he spent a couple of years working in the Radiation Oncology department at Duke University, examining the development of radiation-induced thymic lymphomas.  He then completed his MS in Tumor Biology at Georgetown University in 2021 working on the interaction of metabolic pathways and immunotherapy.  Outside of lab, Davis is a big fan of trivia nights, live music, and college football (Go Deacs!), as well as an avid runner.

Joselyn Padilla

Joselyn Padilla Martinez, PhD candidate,

Joselyn is a PhD student in the IBS Cancer Biology program from 2021 and a T32 training grant awardee from 2022. Joselyn graduated from University of Maryland, College Park in 2020 with a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences. She then went on to be a Research Assistant for Dr. Jiyoung Lee before going to Grad School from 2020-2021. Outside of the lab she likes to explore the DMV and look for good places to eat. Joselyn also likes going on hikes and working out when she can and when the weather allows it. 


Hengtian Liu, MS candidate,

Hengtian graduated from ShanghaiTech University in China with a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2022 and joined the Lee lab in early 2023 to investigate the effect of nutrients on cancer cell metastasis using breast cancer and head & neck cancer models. Outside of the lab his hobby is cooking. Hengtian received his Master's degree in May, 2024 and working for the lab as a research technician. 


Alex Yoon, Lab service supervisor,

Alex graduated Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea with a Bachelor's degree in tourism. After dozens of career experience in industry, he  joined our lab to support lab business in 2024.   




Previous lab members

  • Avani Bansal, GW BS-MD (2023-2024): Avani is in the BS-MD program at GWU and joined the Lab to delve into the intricacies of basic cancer research in 2023. Avani's research training is focused on protein analysis of breast or head and neck cancer cells, exploring its potential applications in cancer therapeutics. Beyond the lab, she likes to take a picture of the essence of both scientific discovery and the vibrant culture of Washington, D.C. When she's not in the lab, you'll likely find Avani exploring the city's museums or sampling its diverse culinary scene. Avani starts her MD in the fall 2024. 


  • Seoyun Choi, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2022-2023): Seoyun received her PhD from the University of Ulsan, South Korea, working on the characterization of RecQ helicases of C. elegans utilizing single molecule FRET. Later, she became a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Bohr’s group at the National Institute on Aging, USA during 2019-2022. At NIA, the research project she carried out was focused on the understanding how mitophagy is regulated after DNA damage and its association with DNA repair in the mitophagy deficient worm. Seoyun was a postdoctoral fellow in Lee lab studying DNA damage/repair pathway in breast cancer cell.


  • Bok-Soon Lee, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2021-2023): Boksoon graduated from the Kangwon National University, South Korea with a BS in Biochemistry in 2003 and received her doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Ajou University School of Medicine in South Korea in 2009. The main areas of her research comprised the molecular-targeted cancer therapy and the mechanism study in cancer biology. She investigated the role of dehydrocholesterol reductase and their underlying mechanisms in head and neck cancer. Currently, with an interest in treatment of cancer, Bok-soon is a Research Professor at Ajou University School of Medicine.


  • Alejandro Ruiz-Justiz, University of Puerto Rico at Ponce, GW SPARC program (2023)
  • Declan McGrath, GW undergrad (2021-2022)
  • Seyedeh Yasaman Arefpour, GW undergrad (2022)
  • Ellie Flory, GWU Neuroscience (2021-2022)
  • Eva Alshannikova, GWU Pre-dental (2021-2022)
  • Kristine Nguyen, Highschool (2021-2022)
  • Karen Zhai, UC Davis (2021)



Prospective members 


Postdoctoral researcher

The Lee lab seeks for postdoctoral researchers with expertise in molecular and cellular biology, cancer biology, or bioinformatics who would like to study cancer metabolism and signaling with us. Please send your CV, research statement, and 3 references to PI (


Graduate students

The Lee lab is taking rotation students from GWU Institute for Biomedical Sciences. Students interested in the PhD program must apply to GWU Institute for Biomedical Sciences. Students in the IBS program who want to do lab rotation should contact PI (  


Undergraduate students

The Lee lab is taking undergraduate students who wants training on cancer research. Undergraduates are expected to commit minimum 10-12 hours of lab work per week and two semesters. Students should contact PI regarding the research opportunity (