Yi-Fen Lee, Ph.D.

Yi-Fen Lee, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 656
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-9702
Lab: (585) 275-9703

Research Bio

My research focuses on elucidating two nuclear receptors (NRs), vitamin D receptor (VDR) and Testicular receptor 4 (TR4) and their ligand-induced signals for their impacts on the prostate, bladder cancer, and other hormone-related diseases by utilizing biochemical/molecular approaches and genetically engineered animal models.
In the vitamin D projects, we focus on two areas. (1) The first is the chemotherapy and chemopreventive effects of vitamin D on urologically-related cancers, including prostate cancer and bladder cancer. We applied molecular approaches and cell and mice carcinogenesis models to study the underlying molecular mechanisms by which vitamin D/VDR inhibits prostate and bladder carcinogenesis. (

2) The second is investigating the impacts of the vitamin D/VDR signal to the response of non-muscle invading bladder cancer to intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) immunotherapy in experimental models. In order to dissect VDR in different cellular compartments to mediate anti-tumor activity as well as immune response, tissue-specific VDR knockout mice are being established in my laboratory.
TR4 belongs to the NR superfamily that controls a broad range of biologic programs. Via knockout mice studies, we discover TR4 roles in anti-aging and anti-prostate cancer which reinforce the strong correlation between aging and prostate cancer for which peak incidence and mortality rates occur in the older population. Dysfunction of TR4, including gene mutations and abnormal nucleocytoplasmic translocation found in human prostate cancer compromises TR4 protective effects, thereby promoting cancer. Many directions, such as identifying the upstream modulators, dissecting the TR4-mediated signaling pathways, and analyzing TR4 gene/protein profile from cancer patients are ongoing. Our ultimate goal is to design preventive and/or therapeutic approaches that exploit the responsible factors or pathways to stop or slow down prostate cancer progression, as well as to retard other aging-related diseases.

Awards & Honors (Local)

New York Academy of Medicine Edwin Beer Fellowship Award 2003-2005
Third Prize, Cap CURE Award 2002 AUA

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 51 available »

2014 Aug
Beckham CJ, Olsen J, Yin PN, Wu CH, Ting HJ, Hagen FK, Scosyrev E, Messing EM, Lee YF. "Bladder cancer exosomes contain EDIL-3/Del1 and facilitate cancer progression." The Journal of urology.. 2014 Aug; 192(2):583-92. Epub 2014 Feb 14.
2013 Jan 4
Ting HJ, Messing J, Yasmin-Karin S, Lee YF. "Identification of microRNA-98 as a therapeutic target inhibiting prostate cancer growth and a biomarker induced by vitamin D." The Journal of biological chemistry.. 2013 Jan 4; 288(1):1-9. Epub 2012 Nov 27.
2012 Jun
Yan SJ, Lee YF, Ting HJ, Liu NC, Liu S, Lin SJ, Yeh SD, Li G, Chang C. "Deficiency in TR4 nuclear receptor abrogates Gadd45a expression and increases cytotoxicity induced by ionizing radiation." Cellular & molecular biology letters. 2012 Jun; 17(2):309-22. Epub 2012 Mar 07.
2012 Feb 15
Ting HJ, Yasmin-Karim S, Yan SJ, Hsu JW, Lin TH, Zeng W, Messing J, Sheu TJ, Bao BY, Li W, Messing E, Lee YF. "A positive feedback signaling loop between ATM and the vitamin D receptor is critical for cancer chemoprevention by vitamin D." Cancer research.. 2012 Feb 15; 72(4):958-68. Epub 2011 Dec 29.
2012
Lin SJ, Ho HC, Lee YF, Liu NC, Liu S, Li G, Shyr CR, Chang C. "Reduced osteoblast activity in the mice lacking TR4 nuclear receptor leads to osteoporosis." Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E.. 2012 10:43. Epub 2012 Jun 07.

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Urology (SMD) - Primary
Associate Professor - Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (SMD)

Education

PhD | Endocrinology/Molecular Oncology | Univ Wisconsin-Madison1997
MS | Biology | Tung-Hai University1988
BS | Biology | Tung-Hai University1986

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Pathology 2001
Lab Manager, Department of Pathology 2002