Find A Physician

Return to Dr. Francis Y. Lee Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant Overview

More on Dr. Francis Y. Lee Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant

Newsroom

Return to Dr. Francis Y. Lee Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant Overview

More on Dr. Francis Y. Lee Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant


Research and Clinical Trials

Return to Dr. Francis Y. Lee Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant Overview

More on Dr. Francis Y. Lee Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant

Clinical Services

Return to Dr. Francis Y. Lee Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant Overview

More on Dr. Francis Y. Lee Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant

Dr. Francis Y. Lee Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant

New York, NY (Sep 25, 2009)

Dr. Francis Y. Lee
Dr. Francis Y. Lee

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Francis Y. Lee, MD, PhD, his second R01 research grant. Dr. Lee, Chief of Tumor and Bone Disease, Department of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, is one of only a few orthopaedic surgeons to have received funding for an R01 grant, which provides support for health-related research and development.

The R01 grant, given to Dr. Lee by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the NIH, is awarded for medical and clinical importance and allows an investigator to define the scientific focus or objective of his or her research based on a particular area of interest and competence. Dr. Lee's four-year $1.8 million grant project will focus on the specific targeting of biomolecular pathways that induce inflammatory bone loss in response to biomaterials. It is hoped that Dr. Lee's research will lead to the development of effective and safe treatments for inflammatory bone loss due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and orthopaedic and periodontal implants. Additional research projects currently underway include investigating the molecular mechanisms behind sarcoma bone destruction and chemoresistance.

"This R01 research grant is a rare opportunity for an orthopaedic surgeon – there are less than 2,000 orthopaedic surgeons in the United States receiving NIH grant funding," notes Dr. Lee, who is also Vice Chairman of Research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. "My research is translational or transformative which bridges patient care and basic science. My focus is on the role of inflammatory pathways in bone destruction and bone tumors. Inflammation is a common channel for bone loss and also the development of cancer. I believe that by understanding the inflammatory pathways involved in orthopaedic conditions like joint replacement or bone tumors, we can enhance the quality of the bone and prevent pathological fractures or osteoporosis.

"The long range goal is to prevent bone loss by targeting these molecular pathways," continues Dr. Lee. "As a matter of fact, those pathways turn out to be very important in bone cancers as well. Somehow these pathways are also activated in cancers. By conducting research in this field, I can apply this new knowledge to prevent bone loss and also to treat cancers."

Role of a Clinician-Scientist

According to Dr. Lee, a clinician-scientist must pursue three avenues in his or her medical career. "Number one is to maintain an active clinical practice," says Dr. Lee, who specializes in pediatric orthopedic surgery, including spine deformity and complex developmental orthopaedic disorders, musculoskeletal tumors and bone disease.

In addition, he believes it is imperative to identify important clinical and research issues to support. Long an advocate for medical research, Dr. Lee recently joined nearly 70 orthopaedic surgeons, researchers, and patients at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2009 annual Research Capitol Hill Days in Washington, D.C. The Research Capitol Hill Days event works to raise awareness of the chronic, debilitating, and costly musculoskeletal diseases and disorders afflicting our nation and to request continued support for musculoskeletal research. "During the Research Capitol Hill Days, I had the opportunity to visit with representatives from New York and New Jersey to help educate them about the impact of musculoskeletal conditions and the need for greater research," says Dr. Lee.

"And lastly, a clinician-scientist must also continue to conduct research projects that are funded by peer-reviewed grant funding agencies," he adds. "The NIH is the gold standard and the most prestigious research funding organization."

About Dr. Lee

Dr. Lee received his medical degree at Seoul National University College of Medicine, followed by an internship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where he also completed a residency in Orthopaedic Surgery. After completing a Musculoskeletal Tumor Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital, and a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, he joined the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. In addition to his role as Chief of Tumor and Bone Disease, Department of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, he is Director of the Center for Orthopaedic Research, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. This month Dr. Lee was appointed to tenure track in recognition of his prior research funding from two NIH grants, orthopedic research, education foundation grants, and research grants.

In addition to his work on biomolecular pathways, he is also studying bone regeneration, tissue engineering, and mechanical loading on bone cells.

Dr. Lee is the recipient of numerous honors including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons/Orthopaedic Research Education and Foundation Clinician Scientist Traveling Fellowship Award. He is a member of the Research Development Committee of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and is a member of the Program Committee for the Orthopedic Research Society. He serves as both a researcher and mentor to postdoctoral fellows, residents and students, and has authored or co-authored more than 45 peer-reviewed publications.

Contributing faculty for this article:

Francis Y. Lee, MD, PhD, Chief of Tumor and Bone Disease, Department of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital; Director of the Center for Orthopaedic Research and Vice Chairman of Research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center; and Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

  • Bookmark
  • Print

    Find a Doctor

Click the button above or call
1 877 NYP WELL


eNewsletters


Newsroom


Top of page