Ka Yee C. Lee, Professor in Chemistry, the James Franck Institute, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics and the College, is the Senior Associate Vice President for Research. She currently serves as the Chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong.
Ka Yee leads efforts in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and National Laboratories to support research program development across campus, incorporating the combined research strengths of Argonne, Fermilab and the Marine Biological Laboratory. She provides leadership for University efforts to increase large-scale research funding and to help build awareness within key research audiences of the University’s distinctive science enterprise. Her portfolio includes Arete, which supports the creation of complex, multidisciplinary research initiatives through programs such as the Big Ideas Generator.
Ka Yee’s research interests lie in the area of membrane biophysics. Her laboratory carries out fundamental studies on the interactions between lipids and proteins to gain insights into the functions of lung surfactant, the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides, the membrane sealing effects of polymers, as well as lipid recognition in immune regulatory receptors. She is an elected member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a fellow of the American Physical Society. She was a Searle Scholar, a David and Lucile Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering and a Sloan Research Fellow. She was the recipient of the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the inaugural recipient of the Arthur L. Kelly Prize for Exceptional Faculty Service in the Physical Sciences Division.
Ka Yee obtained her Sc.B. degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University, her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Physics from Harvard University, and did her postdoctoral training at Stanford and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is author or co-author of over 100 scholarly publications.