Salk Institute
Scientists and Research

Soon Lee

Staff Scientist
Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology

Soon Lee, staff scientist in the Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology, is studying the interaction between alcohol and hypothalamic CRF that plays a major role in the neuroendocrine responses that involve the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Our research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which acute or long-term exposure to alcohol activates the HPA axis. In vivo studies are aimed at elucidating the effect of alcohol on the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) neurocircuitries and CRF synthesis/release, and in vitro studies pertain to the molecular mechanisms through which alcohol alters CRF signal transduction and translation. In addition, we have shown that adult rats exposed to alcohol in utero release more corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) and glucocorticoids than control offspring. We are currently investigating the role of CRF in the fetal alcohol syndrome.

Education

  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • MS, MIT
  • BA, University of California, San Diego

Awards and Honors

  • University of California Regents Scholar and Scholarship
  • National Research Service Award
  • Graduate Fellowship, MIT
  • Sigma Xi

Selected Publications

  • Lee, S., Rivier, C. 2005 Role played by hypothalamic nuclear factor-kB in alcohol-mediated activation of the rat hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Endocrinology 146:2006-2014.
  • Li, Z., Kang, S.S., Lee, S., Rivier, C. 2005 Effect of ethanol on the regulation of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) gene expression. Mol. Cell. Neurosci., in press.
  • Selvage, D.J., Lee, S.Y., Parsons, L.H., Seo, D.O., Rivier, C.L. 2004 A hypothalamic-testicular neural pathway is influenced by brain catecholamines, but not testicular blood flow. Endocrinology 145:1750-1759.
  • Seo, D.O., Lee, S., Rivier, C.L. 2004 Comparison between the influence of shocks and endotoxemia on the activation of brain cells that contain nitric oxide. Brain Res. 998:1-12.
  • Lee, S., Selvage, D., Rivier, C. 2004 Site of action of acute alcohol administration in stimulating the rat hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: Comparison between the effect of systemic and intracerebroventricular injection of this drug on pituitary and hypothalamic responses. Endocrinology 145:4470-4479.
  • Lee, S., Blanton, C.A., Rivier, C. 2003 Prenatal ethanol exposure alters responsiveness of the rat hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to nitric oxide. Alcoholism: Clin. Exper. Res. 27:962-969.
  • Lee, S., Rivier, C. 2003 Long-term influence of an initial exposure to alcohol on the rat hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Alcoholism: Clin. Exper. Res. 27:1463-1470.
  • Lee, S., Miselis, R., Rivier, C. 2002 Anatomical and functional evidence for a neural hypothalamic-testicular pathway that is independent of the pituitary. Endocrinology 143:4447-4454.
  • Seo, D., Lee, S., Rivier, C. 2002 Comparison between the influence of the intravenous and intracerebroventricular injection of a nitric oxide donor on ACTH release and hypothalamic neuronal activity. J. Neuroendocrinol. 14:568-573.

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