University of Calgary
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Ki-Young Lee


Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy;  AHFMR Senior Scholar; Director, U of C Peptide Synthesis Laboratories 

(403) 220-8723

Rm 359 HMRB, University of Calgary
3330 Hospital Dr. NW
Calgary, AB  T2N 4N1, Canada


Research Interests & Projects

My research program aims to understand how protein kinases regulate cell function. My focus is on cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks), particulary Cdk5. As one of the pioneers in Cdk5 research, we have demonstrated that Cdk5 is an exceptional kinase that plays critical roles in various cellular processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Indeed, Cdk5-/- mouse embryos exhibit perinatal lethality. My ultimate goal is to provide the basis for targeting Cdk5 and its regulators in the development of therapies for diseases that are highly linked to aberrant Cdk5 activity. These diseases include neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, but new studies implicate the significance of Cdk5 in diabetes and cilia-related polycystic kidney disease. Our recent studies point to the potential involvement of Cdk5 in male infertility and uncontrolled cell growth in tumors. These disorders have devastating social and economic impact, and thus, discovery of novel and innovative therapeutic approaches is crucial.


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Research Activities: 

Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in sperm flagella formation and function

Other Area(s) of Research:

Regulation and function of Cdk5 in the context of cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis

  • Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)