Juliet Lee

Associate Professor

Molecular and Cell Biology / Cell and Developmental Biology

Education: Ph.D. 1986, University of London

Research Interests: Cell movement is a highly complex phenomenon which is itself composed of several other “motile processes”, such as protrusion, adhesion, contraction and detachment. The overall aim of my work is to understand how molecular mechanisms and biomechanical properties are integrated at the cellular level to produce movement. This requires learning how the dynamic behavior of the actin cytoskeleton and cell – substratum adhesion formation is regulated both spatially and temporally. I am particularly interested in the mechano – chemical regulation of cell movement as this is important for understanding the interrelationship between molecular processes, force production, cell morphology and movement.

So far my studies have focused primarily on fish epithelial keratocytes because their rapid, relatively simple mode of movement is best suited for discerning the basic principles which relate molecular events to whole cell movement. I use a combination of techniques including fluorescence video microscopy, calcium imaging, photoactivation, and force detection assays to observe molecular, cellular and biophysical aspects of cell movement.

Selected Publications:

Lee, J. (2018). Insights into cell motility provided by the iterative use of mathematical modeling and experimentation. AIMS Biophysics, 5: 97-124.

Doshi, B., Hightower, L. E., J. Lee (2015). Heat shock alters keratocyte movement and morphology: exploring a role for HSP27 (HSPB1): In “The Big Book on Small Heat Shock Proteins”, p. 457-469. Heat Shock Proteins 8, R.M. Tanguay, and L.E. Hightower (eds.).Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.

Morin, T. R. Jr., Ghassem-Zadeh, S. A. and J. Lee (2014). Traction force microscopy in rapidly moving cells reveals separate roles for ROCK and MLCK in the mechanics of retraction. Experimental Cell Research 326: 280-292.

Doshi, B. M., Hightower, L. E. and  J. Lee  (2010). HSPB1, actin filament dynamics, and aging cells. Annals of the New York Academy of Science.

Doshi, B. M., Hightower, L. E. and  J. Lee (2009). The role of Hsp27 and actin in the regulation of movement in human cancer cells responding to heat shock. Cell Stress Chaperones. 2009 September; 14(5): 445–457.

Lombardi, M. L., Knecht, D. A. and J. Lee (2008). Mechano-chemical signaling maintains the rapid movement of Dictyostelium cells. Experimental Cell Research 314: 1850-1859.

Frey, M., Engler, A., Lee, J., Wang, Y.-L., Discher, D. (2007). Microscopic Methods for Measuring the  Elasticity for Gel Substrates for Cell Culture: Microspheres, Microindenters and, Atomic Force Microscopy. Methods Cell Biol. 83: 47-65.

Lee, J. (2007). The use of gelatin substrates for traction force microscopy in rapidly moving cells. Methods Cell Biol. 83: 295-312.

Lombardi, M. L., Knecht, D. A. and J. Lee (2007). Traction force microscopy in Dictyostelium reveals distinct roles for myosin II motor and actin crosslinking activity in maintaining cell polarity. Journal of Cell Science 120: 1624-1634.

Jurado, C., Haserick, J. R. and J. Lee (2005). Slipping or Gripping?  Fluorescent speckle microscopy in fish keratocytes reveals two different mechanisms for generating a retrograde flow of actin. Molecular Biology of the Cell 16: 507-518.

Doyle, A. and J. Lee (2005).Cyclic changes in keratocyte speed and traction stress arise from Ca2+-dependent regulation of cell adhesiveness. Journal of Cell Science 118: 369-379.

Doyle, A., Marganski, B. and J. Lee (2004). Calcium transients induce spatially coordinated increases in traction force during the movement of fish keratocytes. Journal of Cell Science 117: 2193-2202.

Choi, Y.S., Lee, J. and R. Lui (2004). Traveling wave solutions for a one-dimensional crawling nematode sperm cell model. J. Math. Biol., 49: 310-328.

Doyle, A and J. Lee (2002). Simultaneous, real-time imaging of intracellular calcium and cellular traction force production. Biotechniques, 33 (2) 358.

Lee, J., Ishihara, A., Oxford, G., Johnson, B. and K. Jacobson (1999). Regulation of cell movement is mediated by stretch-activated calcium channels. Nature, 400: 382-386.

Juliet Lee
Contact Information
Fax860- 486-4331
Mailing Address91 North Eagleville Road, Unit 3125, Storrs, CT 06269-3125
Office LocationBiology/Physics Building 306