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

Appointment: (585) 276-3000

Patient Care Bio

My laboratory has been focused on two nuclear receptors, vitamin D receptor (VDR) and testicular orphan receptor 4 (TR4) because their functions seem to be connected to aging and prostate cancer. When a mouse is born without these genes, it ages prematurely and its lifespan is greatly reduced. The proper function of these genes is important to keep the prostate from damages that would eventually lead to cancer, therefore, the behavior of these genes could be used as biomarkers for prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis. We aim to elucidate the mechanisms by which the genes regulate the cell's response to stress that causes damage to DNA, as well as how the gene promotes the DNA repair that protect cells from more harm.

Our goal is to reveal the roles of VDR and TR4 in aging and the etiology of prostate cancer and provide therapeutic approaches that would have significant effects on retarding aging and preventing prostate cancer.
In addition, my laboratory also develops pre-clinical trials to investigate the vitamin D based combination therapies that aim to improve the current therapy for prostate cancer as well as bladder cancer. The outcomes from these studies not only provide a mechanistic-based chemoprevention strategy that utilizes vitamin D for improving therapy and/or protecting people from long-term effects of cancer formation, but also adds the appreciation of the multifaceted protective actions of vitamin D that have recently entered a new era.

Awards & Honors (Local)

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

Current Appointments

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


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