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Daniel W. Lee, M.D.

Portait Photo of Daniel Lee
Pediatric Oncology Branch
Assistant Clinical Investigator
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10 - Hatfield CRC, Room 1-3750
Bethesda, MD 20892-1104


After completing undergraduate studies at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, Dr. Daniel W. 'Trey' Lee received his M.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at Houston in 2003. He then studied as postdoctoral fellow for 2 years in the lab of Seth Corey at MD Anderson Cancer Center. This was followed by his pediatric internship and residency training at UTHSC Houston and Hermann Children's Hospital, which he completed in 2008. He then joined the combined Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship training program at the National Cancer Institute, Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB) and Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Lee is board certified in General Pediatrics (2010) and Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (2013) and currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Investigator in the POB.


Survival rates for childhood malignancies have been stagnant, mostly due to a lack of new therapies with novel mechanisms of action. With recent technology advances, adoptive cellular therapy, a type of immunotherapy, is now poised to improve outcomes for both children and adults with cancer. As a fellow, Dr. Lee determined that small doses of T cells genetically engineered to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting the pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) antigen, CD19, could reproducibly cure mice engrafted with ALL. He led efforts to generate GMP-grade anti-CD19 CAR T cells, the first of their kind, produced in the Cell Processing Section, Department of Transfusion Medicine at the NIH. He now serves as the Principal Investigator on a Phase I clinical trial of these CAR T cells for the treatment of children and young adults with B-cell malignancies (NCT01593696).

His laboratory efforts are directed at using the experience gained in the clinical trial to inform the next generation of CAR T cells. Through a better understanding of how CARs work in various subsets of T cells, Dr. Lee aims to improve the anti-tumor potential and persistence of these cells after infusion to the patient. For example, T stem cell memory cells (Tscm) are naturally occurring cells possessing a unique collection of properties that, if redirected to tumor antigen via a CAR, may lead to improved outcomes.

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