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Whasil Lee, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 276-4631

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments



The Lee Lab studies the mechanically activated ion channels expressed in knee joint cells to gain fundamental insights into mechanotransduction-related tissue development, maintenance, and degeneration. We investigate the mechanotransduction mechanisms of chondrocytes, synoviocytes, ligament cells, joint-innervating neurons and chondrogenic stem cells in both physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions. Our overarching goal is to deconstruct the function of key mechanotransducing ion channels of musculoskeletal cells and to and apply this knowledge to find rational therapeutic drugs which can stop the progression of osteoarthritis, stop the arthritis associated pain and/or regenerate healthy cartilage.


Journal Articles

Fraser D, Nguyen T, Kotelsky A, Lee W, Buckley M, Benoit DSW. "Hydrogel Swelling-Mediated Strain Induces Cell Alignment at Dentin Interfaces." ACS biomaterials science & engineering.. 2022 Jul 6; Epub 2022 Jul 06.

Gao W, Hasan H, Anderson DE, Lee W. "The Role of Mechanically-Activated Ion Channels Piezo1, Piezo2, and TRPV4 in Chondrocyte Mechanotransduction and Mechano-Therapeutics for Osteoarthritis." Frontiers in cell and developmental biology.. 2022 10:885224. Epub 2022 May 04.

Lee W, Nims RJ, Savadipour A, Zhang Q, Leddy HA, Liu F, McNulty AL, Chen Y, Guilak F, Liedtke WB. "Inflammatory signaling sensitizes Piezo1 mechanotransduction in articular chondrocytes as a pathogenic feed-forward mechanism in osteoarthritis." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.. 2021 Mar 30; 118(13)