Dr. Kuk-Wha Lee

University of California Los Angeles

Mattel Children’s Hospital

Grant Amount: $250,000

Kuk-Wha Lee, M.D. PhD. is a graduate of the Medical Scientist Training program at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, obtaining her PhD and MD. Her clinical training is in pediatrics and she was fellowship trained in Pediatric Endocrinology at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. In training she was the recipient of the prestigious Giannini Foundation Fellowship, Stein-Oppenheimer Award, and the LWPES Clinical Scholar Award for her research. In addition, she is the recipient of the UCLA Prostate Cancer SPORE Career Development Award for her research in cellular and animal models of human prostate cancer. Her laboratory studies the biological functions of Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and its binding partners in cancer biology, specifically prostate cancer. Specifically, she studies the molecular mechanisms by which this molecule enters cells; targets specific areas within cancer cells (e.g. the nucleus and mitochondria); and initiates the programmed cell death cascade. Unique assays in their laboratory have been developed to study serum levels of these molecules and also have developed unique transgenic and knockout mouse models of human disease. Based on preliminary work published from their laboratory the plan is to initiate a Phase I trial of IGFBP-3 in men with prostate cancer in the near future.