Christopher Lee

Professor, Department of Computer Science; Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, UCLA

Prof. Lee has been a Faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry since 1998. His training provided an unusual combination of experimental cell biology, biophysics, and algorithm development, which he has applied at UCLA to bioinformatics analysis of genome evolution. He has led efforts to establish a bioinformatics Ph.D. program at UCLA. He has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors, NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information, and serves on the editorial board of Biology Direct . His current research focuses on alternative splicing and its role in genome evolution.

Research Interest: Bioinformatics

  • alternative splicing and genome evolution: genome-wide analysis of the types and functions of alternative splicing, and its apparent role in evolution of mammalian genomes. Alternative splicing appears to have greatly accelerated major evolutionary events such as exon creation, and now is an exciting new area of research in genome evolution
  • protein evolutionary pathways. Using a massive dataset of clinical HIV sequences, we have developed new methods to decode the evolutionary pathways by which HIV evolves drug resistance. We have just shown that our methods can measure the detailed "fitness landscape" describing how HIV proteins can evolve, as a kinetic network showing the actual rate of evolution along every possible evolutionary pathway
  • graph databases for bioinformatics and genomics. We have developed a general framework for working with genomic data as an abstract graph database, for fundamental problems such as multiple genome alignment query and protein interaction network analysis