Kwahun Lee (klee5)

Kwahun Lee

Assistant Professor

Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology


  • PhD (2018) Indiana University Bloomington (Chemistry)


The Lee Laboratory focuses on developing (1) novel nanoparticle-based probes for in situ imaging and sensing of biological processes; and (2) a model platform for quantitative imaging of biomolecular phase behaviors. To that end, we use a correlative approach of multiple analytical tools of biochemical assays, spectroscopies, and microscopies to provide multi-faceted evidence to better regulate biological processes. The overarching goal of my lab is to provide fundamental insights into interfacial dynamics in order to facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies in the context of cancer immunotherapy and neurodegenerative diseases.

General Information

Hiring highly motivated graduate students and postdocs. Please contact Dr. Lee directly if you are interested. (Tip for drafting email:

Highlight on Prof. Kwahun Lee (


Assistant Professor (August 2023 – Present), Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Stevens Institute of Technology

American Society for Engineering Education Postdoctoral Fellow (August 2021 – August 2023)
Center of Biomolecular Science & Engineering, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Postdoctoral Fellow (August 2018 – August 2021)
Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University (Advisor: Prof. Teri W. Odom)

Institutional Service

  • 2024 SES Dean's Faculty Advisory Council Member
  • CCB-GEC committee Member

Honors and Awards

2021 American Society for Engineering Education Postdoctoral Fellowship

2020 Northwestern University Chemistry Department Travel Award

2018 Velocity Conference Travel Award

2016 Outstanding Oral Presentation Award, 3rd Material Symposium (two recipients out of 10 presenters)

2015 Nomination: HHMI International Student Research Fellowship, Indiana University Bloomington (the only nominee from the entire university)

2015 Outstanding Poster Award, 2nd Material Symposium (two recipients out of 28 posters)

2015 Mann Fellowship, Indiana University Bloomington

2015 C500 Proposal Award (two recipients out of 54 proposals)

Professional Societies

  • ACS – American Chemical Society Member

Selected Publications

After joining Stevens
Bundit Diloknawarit, Kwahun Lee, Priscilla Choo, and Teri W. Odom* Nanoparticle Anisotropy Increases Targeting Interactions on Live-Cell Membranes, ACS Nano. 2024, ASAP DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.4c02700

Yuhao Leo Wu(=), Kwahun Lee(=), Bundit Diloknawarit, and Teri W. Odom* Ligand Separation on Nanoconstructs Affects Targeting Selectivity to Protein Dimers on Cell Membranes, Nano Lett. 2023, 2024, 24, 519–524

Before joining Stevens (first-author publications only)
Ajmeeta Sangtani(=), Kwahun Lee(=), Okhil Nag(=), Kimihiro Susumu, Joe Weiblen, Mijin Kim, Igor Vurgoftman, Sz-Chian Liou, James B. Delehanty,* and Eunkeu Oh,* Seedless Synthesis of Disulfide-Grafted Gold Nanoflowers with Size- and Shape- Control and Their Photothermal-mediated Cell Perforation, Chem. Mater. 2023, 35, 163-176 (highlighted as Supplementary Cover Art 10.1021/acs.chemmater.2c02979)

Okhil K. Nag(=), Kwahun Lee(=), Michael H. Stewart, Eunkeu Oh, and James B. Delehanty*, Nanoparticle-based delivery of nitric oxide for therapeutic applications, Therapeutic Delivery, 2022, 13, 403-427

Kwahun Lee, Insub Jung, and Teri W. Odom* Delivery Order of Nanoconstructs Affects Intracellular Trafficking by Endosomes, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2022, 144, 12, 5274 –5279

Kwahun Lee, Ziyin N. Huang, Chad A. Mirkin and Teri W. Odom* Endosomal Organization of CpG-constructs Correlates with Enhanced Immune Activation, Nano Letters, 2020, 20, 6170–6175

Kwahun Lee and Yan Yu* Lipid Bilayer Disruption Induced by Amphiphilic Janus Nanoparticles: The Non-Monotonic Effect of Charged Lipids, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 2373–2380

Kwahun Lee and Yan Yu* Lipid Bilayer Disruption by Amphiphilic Janus Nanoparticles: The Role of Janus Balance, Langmuir, 2018, 34, 12387–12393
Kwahun Lee, Liuyang Zhang, Yi Yi, Xianqiao Wang, and Yan Yu* Rupture of Lipid Membranes Induced by Amphiphilic Janus Nanoparticles, ACS Nano, 2018, 12, 3646–3657

Kwahun Lee and Yan Yu* Janus nanoparticles for T cell activation: clustering ligands to enhance stimulation, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, 5, 4410–4415

Kwahun Lee, Yi Yi, and Yan Yu* Remote control of T cell activation using magnetic Janus particles, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2016, 55, 7384–7387

Kwahun Lee, Sungmoon Choi, Chun Yang, Hai-Chen Wu and Junhua Yu* Autofluorescence generation and elimination: a lesson from glutaraldehyde. Chem. Commun., 2013, 49, 3028–3030


CH 301 (Professional Ethics in Scientific Research)
CH 582 (BioPhysical Chemistry)