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KyeongEun Lee, Ph.D.

Portait Photo of KyeongEun Lee
HIV DRP Retroviral Replication Laboratory
Model Development Section
Staff Scientist
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 535, Room 123
P.O. Box B
Frederick, MD 21702-1201


Dr. KyeongEun Lee finished her M.S. in Molecular Biology at San Diego State University and obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Her Ph.D. studies focused on the mechanism underlying the depletion of resting CD4+ T cells during HIV-1 infection. Dr. Lee joined the Model Development Section, HIV Drug Resistance Program, NCI as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2004. After her postdoctoral training, she was promoted to a Research Fellow in 2009. Dr. Lee was promoted to a Staff Scientist in 2013.


My research goal is to further our understanding of HIV-1 biology, especially the molecular mechanisms of replication, interaction with the cell, and evasion of host immunity. My specific interests include the host factor requirements for HIV-1 replication, which will help in the development of new antiviral therapies targeting HIV-1 and also will help to improve developing animal models to study HIV-1 biology. Recently, I have focused on early steps of HIV-1 infection, especially the nuclear entry process. Despite efforts by numerous research groups, the molecular mechanisms underlying HIV-1 uncoating and nuclear import remain unclear. In the course of my studies, I discovered that HIV-1 can utilize distinct nuclear entry pathways and HIV-1 capsid (CA) is a crucial viral determinant regulating nuclear entry. I am currently investigating host proteins that may have roles in uncoating and nuclear entry during HIV-1 replication. This effort to understand the early steps of HIV-1 infection will provide a more complete understanding of HIV pathogenesis and further aid in the development of new therapeutic drugs.

This page was last updated on 3/31/2014.