Judy and Larry Freeman Chair in Basic Science Research
Amy S. Lee, Ph.D., is the Associate Director for Basic Research at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Lee, Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and the Judy and Larry Freeman Cosmetics Chair in Basic Science in Cancer Research, strikes a collaborative chord at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, emphasizing the harmony of interactions between basic scientists and clinicians. Individual scientists working in a vacuum, very narrowly focused on a topic, no longer can keep pace with the fast track of discovery, she says.
Dr. Lee intimately understands the world of basic research. Recruited to USC in 1979 as an Assistant Professor of biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology, she has devoted 25 years to two major areas of research. The first is towards understanding the molecular mechanisms that mammalian cells use to manage physiological and environmental stress - such as the stress of cancer. The other involves investigating how and why cells go through the cell cycle.
Dr. Lee earned her doctorate in Biology and Biophysics in 1975 from Caltech, with a major emphasis on fundamental knowledge of DNA, protein and cells.
She has received an American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Research Award and Faculty Research Award, the USC University Scholar Award, and the National Cancer Institute's MERIT Award.
As Associate Director for Basic Research, Dr. Lee has direct responsibility for the organization and direction of the Molecular Genetics, Epigenetics and Regulation, and Tumor Microenvironment Programs.