Woo Lee (wlee)

Woo Lee

Professor and Department Chair for Chemistry and Chemical Biology

McLean Hall 511A
(201) 216-8306

Education

  • PhD (1990) Georgia Institute of Technology (Chemical Engineering)
  • MS (1987) Auburn University (Chemical Engineering)
  • BS (1985) University of Maryland (Chemical Engineering)

Research

The current focus of my lab is to develop and use microfluidic-based 3D human tissue models (i.e., “human tissue on chip”) to study inflammatory and infectious diseases and explore novel therapy. Especially, my overarching research goals for the past ten years have been to: (1) reproduce ex vivo the pathophysiological interactions among cancer, stroma, and immune cells in bone marrow by developing "human bone marrow on chip:" (2) bring new insights into poorly understood mechanisms of drug-resistant survival of multiple myeloma and prostate cancer cells that metastasize to bone marrow; and (3) study how tumor cells evade immunity so that immunotherapy can be developed to be more efficacious for these incurable cancers. Recently, inspired by the unprecedented challenge caused by Covid-19 to humanity, we have begun to study the role of “cytokine storm” in the progression of alveolar blood barrier dysfunction and pulmonary edema by developing “human lung on chip.” Our focus for this new endeavor is to develop and evaluate therapeutic strategies aimed at modulating overly reactive immune response in respiratory infectious diseases.

General Information

After my formal training in Chemical Engineering, I began my career by studying new materials for aerospace propulsion and power generation applications while working at United Technologies and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. For my contribution in this field, I was elected to Fellow of the American Ceramic Society. About twenty years ago, I became fascinated about using microfluidic approaches to: (1) assemble nanomaterials such as graphene for energy storage and wearable sensor applications and (2) study bacteria interactions with host tissue cells and biomaterials. These activities led to my current focus on human tissue on chip. In 2020, I assumed my current role as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology to: (1) place more focus on my biomedical research endeavor and (2) provide my interdisciplinary perspective to position the Department as an intellectual nexus at the intersection of science, engineering, and medicine.

Experience

Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2020-present

Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Stevens Institute of Technology, 1997-present

George Meade Bond Chair of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2009-2019

Chair, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2001-2005

Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Stevens Institute of Technology, 1997-2001

Research Staff Member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1992-1997

Research Scientist, United Technologies Research Center, 1990-1992

Institutional Service

  • Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology Chair

Professional Service

  • Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) and Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health Center for Climate Change, Health, and Healthcare; RBHS Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute; Rutgers Climate Institute Symposium 2 - Co-Chair
  • Illinois Institute of Technology External Reviewer

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

My lab is located on the bank of the Hudson River in New Jersey with a spectacular view of Manhattan, New York. At this world-class location, my students and I are actively pursuing collaboration, translation, and entrepreneurship aimed at realizing the transformative use of our ideas. Notably, my lab has produced seven winners of the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame Graduate Student Award over the past decade.

Honors and Awards

Edison Patent Award, New Jersey R&D Council, 2022.
Academic Research Award: Printed Electronics USA Conference, 2011.
Master of Engineering (Honoris Causa): Stevens Institute of Technology, 2008.
Fellow, American Ceramic Society, 2004.

Professional Societies

  • New York Academy of Sciences Member
  • The American Ceramic Society Fellow
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Member

Grants, Contracts and Funds

42 grants and contracts received primarily from ARDEC, DOE, NIH, NSF, and ONR.

Patents and Inventions

22 U.S Patents awarded

Selected Publications

Conference Proceeding

  1. Ezeonu, L.; Li, W.; Baxter, G.; Lee, W. (2022). Knowledge-Building Approach to Address Societal Grand Challenge in Large-Enrollment Introductory Materials Science and Engineering Course. Proceedings of the Annual ASEE National Meeting.

Journal Article

  1. Uhl, C.; Lee, W.; Zilberberg, J.. Natural Killer Cells Activity against Multiple Myeloma Cells Is Modulated by Osteoblasts. Heliyon (vol. 9).
  2. Sui, C.; Zilberberg, J.; Lee, W.. Microfluidic Device Engineered to Study the Trafficking of Multiple Myeloma Cancer Cells through the Sinusoidal Niche of Bone Marrow. Scientific Reports. Hoboken.
  3. Chen, Z.; Zilberberg, J.; Lee, W. (2020). Pumpless Microfluidic Device with Open Top Cell Culture under Oscillatory Shear Stress. Biomedical Microdevices (vol. 22, pp. 1-10). Biomedical Microdevices.
  4. Jin, Y.; Zheng, Y.; Lee, W. (2020). Band Gap of Reduced Graphene Oxide Tuned by Controlling Functional Groups. J. Mater. Chem. C (vol. 8, pp. 4885–4894 ). Journal of Materials Chemistry C.
  5. Jin, Y. (2019). Crosslinking Stabilizes Electrical Resistance of Reduced Graphene Oxide in Humid Environmen. Langmuir (vol. 35, pp. 5427-5434). Langmuir.
  6. Chen, Z.; Zilberberg, J. (2019). Pumpless Platform for High-throughput Dynamic Multicellular Culture and Chemosensitivity Evaluation. Lab on a Chip (vol. 19, pp. 254-261). Lab on a Chip.
  7. Choudary, S.; Zilbeberg, J. M. (2018). Human Ex Vivo 3D Bone Model Recapitulates Osteocyte Response to Metastatic Prostate Cancer. Scientific Reports (vol. 8, pp. 17975 ). Scientific Reports.
  8. Su, Y. F.; Kim, H.; Kovenklioglu, S.; Lee, W. (2007). Microfluidic-based emulsion, mixing and crystallization. Journal of Solid State Chemistry (9 ed., vol. 180, pp. 2625-2629).

Courses

BME342 Transport in Biological Systems
ChE342 Heat and Mass Transfer
ChE345 Reactor Design
E344 Materials Processing
Mt602 Synthesis of Materials