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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

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)

Kanju P, Chen Y, Lee W, Yeo M, Lee SH, Romac J, Shahid R, Fan P, Gooden DM, Simon SA, Spasojevic I, Mook RA, Liddle RA, Guilak F, Liedtke WB. "Small molecule dual-inhibitors of TRPV4 and TRPA1 for attenuation of inflammation and pain." Scientific reports.. 2016 Jun 1; 6:26894. Epub 2016 Jun 01.

Chen Y, Kanju P, Fang Q, Lee SH, Parekh PK, Lee W, Moore C, Brenner D, Gereau RW, Wang F, Liedtke W. "TRPV4 is necessary for trigeminal irritant pain and functions as a cellular formalin receptor." Pain.. 2014 Dec 0; 155(12):2662-72. Epub 2014 Oct 02.