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Sommer Scholars

Hyo Lee, PhD

  • Country of Origin: South Korea
  • PhD '14, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

As a teenager in the United States, Hyo Lee volunteered to help fellow Korean immigrants secure basic services from health care to immigration counseling, even as she slogged through the same challenges herself.

But it wasn’t enough for Lee to guide overwhelmed families through the rocky terrain of the American public health system. She discovered a way to help, creating a database that bridges the gap between immigrants and health service providers, allowing families quick access to expert help.

This same drive to perfect a system has been a re-occurring theme throughout her research. Whether engineering biomedical devices, exploring the aging process, or examining cellular molecular basis of reproductive health, she strives for innovation.

At the Bloomberg School, Lee is studying cell mechanics by measuring egg tension and looking for innovative ways to distinguish good eggs from bad ones in the ongoing quest to improve reproductive odds.

“My experience aiding geriatric patients and conducting research relevant to the aging population has not only amplified my interest in public health, but also led me to discover my fascination with the formation of early human life,” she says.

For Lee, venturing into the uncharted research territory of reproductive biology resonates with the same impulse that moved her to help fellow immigrants--compassion. “The interdisciplinary culture of the School,” she says, “has taught me the power of collaboration and its synergistic effect in translating scientific results into the solutions of public health problems.”

Current Position

Clinical Embryologist, Shady Grove Fertility