Ryang Hwa Lee, PhD

Ryang Hwa Lee, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Institute for Regenerative Medicine
110 Reynolds Medical Building
College Station, TX   77843-1114

Phone: 979.436.9649
Fax: 979.847.9481

Education and Training

Dr. Ryang Hwa Lee received her BS in microbiology in 1997 and her master's degree in medicine from Pusan National University School of Natural Science in 1999. She earned her PhD in physiology from Pusan National University Medical School in 2003 working with Dr. Jin Sup Jung on the characterization of human adipose and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

In 2003, she joined the Center for Gene Therapy at Tulane University Health Sciences Center, as a Post-doctoral Research Associate working with Dr. Darwin Prockop on MSCs. She came to the Institute for Regenerative Medicine within the Texas A&M University Health Science Center in 2008 as a Research Scientist. Lee joined the faculty of Texas A&M University Health Science Center in 2009.

Research Interests

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have emerged as a promising cellular therapy for several human diseases, because they are readily obtained from patients, expanded in culture and exhibit stem-like properties to differentiate into multiple cellular phenotypes. Furthermore, MSC have shown to suppress inflammation and immune responses in several pre-clinical models and patients. However, the underlying mechanisms of the therapeutic effects of MSCs have not been fully addressed and there is large variations among MSC isolates due to the differences in donors, culture conditions, and tissue sources, which yields controversial outcomes and hinders the development of robust MSC therapy. Therefore, we focus on studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the therapeutic effects of MSCs in several animal models of inflammation/immune-mediated diseases and developing biomarkers and bioassays to assess the therapeutic efficacy of MSCs.


Recent Publications

  • Hai B, Shigemoto-Kuroda T,  Zhao Q, Lee RH*, and  Liu F*. (2018) Inhibitory Effects of iPSC-MSCs and Their Extracellular Vesicles on the Onset of Sialadenitis in a Mouse Model of Sjögren’s Syndrome. Stem Cells International. In press. * co-corresponding authors
  • Song HB, Park SY, Ko JH, Park JW, Yoon CH, Kim DH, Kim JH, Kim MK, Lee RH, Prockop DJ, Oh JY. (2018) Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Inhibit Inflammatory Lymphangiogenesis in the Cornea by Suppressing Macrophage in a TSG-6-Dependent Manner. Molecular Therapy. 26(1):162-172. 2017 PMID: 29301108
  • Prockop DJ, Oh JY, Lee RH. (2017) Data against a Common Assumption: Xenogeneic Mouse Models Can Be Used to Assay Suppression of Immunity by Human MSCs. Molecular Therapy. 25(8):1748-1756. Review. PMID: 28647464
  • Shigemoto-Kuroda T, Oh JY, Kim DK, Jeong HJ, Park SY, Lee HJ, Park JW, Kim TW, An SY, Prockop DJ, Lee RH. (2017) MSC-derived Extracellular Vesicles Attenuate Immune Responses in Two Autoimmune Murine Models: Type 1 Diabetes and Uveoretinitis. Stem Cell Reports. 8(5):1214-1225. PMID: 28494937
  • Spees JL, Lee RH, Gregory CA. (2016) Mechanisms of mesenchymal stem/stromal cell function. Stem Cell Res Ther. 7(1):125. Review. PMID: 27581859
  • Mohammadipoor A, Lee RH, Prockop DJ, Bartosh TJ. (2016) Stanniocalcin-1 attenuates ischemic cardiac injury and response of differentiating monocytes/macrophages to inflammatory stimuli. Transl Res. 177:127-142. PMID: 27469269
  • Kim DK, Choi H, Nishida H, Oh JY, Gregory C, Lee RH, Yu JM, Watanabe J, An SY, Bartosh TJ, Prockop DJ. (2016) Scalable Production of a Multifunctional Protein (TSG-6) That Aggregates with Itself and the CHO Cells That Synthesize It. PLoS One. PMID: 26793973
  • Yoon N, Park MS, Peltier GC, Lee RH. (2015) Pre-activated human mesenchymal stromal cells in combination with doxorubicin synergistically enhance tumor-suppressive activity in mice. Cytotherapy. 17(10):1332-1341. PMID: 26227206
  • Zhao Q, Gregory CA, Lee RH, Reger RL, Qin L, Hai B, Park MS, Yoon N, Clough B, McNeill E, Prockop DJ, Liu F. (2015) MSCs derived from iPSCs with a modified protocol are tumor-tropic but have much less potential to promote tumors than bone marrow MSCs. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 112(2):530-535. PMID: 25548183
  • Lee RH*, Yu JM, Foskett AM, Peltier G, Reneau JC, Bazhanov N, Oh JY, Prockop DJ*. (2014) TSG-6 as a biomarker to predict efficacy of human mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells (hMSCs) in modulating sterile inflammation in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111(47):16766-16771. PMID: 25385603 *Co-corresponding authors.
  • Kim JA, Ko JH, Ko AY, Lee HJ, Kim MK, Wee WR, Lee RH, Fulcher SF, Oh JY. (2014) TSG-6 protects corneal endothelium from transcorneal cryoinjury in rabbits. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 55(8):4905-4912. PMID: 25034606
  • Kota DJ, Wiggins LL, Yoon N, Lee RH. (2013) TSG-6 produced by hMSCs delays the onset of autoimmune diabetes by suppressing Th1 development and enhancing tolerogenicity. Diabetes. 62(6):2048-2058. PMID: 23349496
  • Oh JY, Lee RH, Yu JM, Ko JH, Lee HJ, Ko AY, Roddy GW, Prockop DJ. (2012) Intravenous mesenchymal stem cells prevented rejection of allogeneic corneal transplants by aborting the early inflammatory response. Molecular Therapy. 20(11):2143-2152. PMID: 22929658
  • Oh JY, Choi H, Lee RH, Roddy GW, Ylöstalo JH, Wawrousek E, Prockop DJ. (2012) Identification of the HSPB4/TLR2/NF-κB axis in macrophage as a therapeutic target for sterile inflammation of the cornea. EMBO Mol Med. 4(5):435-448. PMID: 22359280
  • Lee RH*, Yoon N, Reneau JC and Prockop DJ*. (2012) Human MSCs pre-activated with TNF-α exert tumor suppressive effects on some triple negative breast cancer cells. Cell Stem Cell. 11(6):825-835. *Co-corresponding authors.
  • Lee RH, Oh JY, Choi H, Bazhanov N. (2011) Therapeutic factors secreted by mesenchymal stromal cells and tissue repair. J Cell Biochem. 112(11):3073-3078. Review.
  • Choi H*, Lee RH*, Bazhanov N, Oh JY, Prockop DJ. Anti-inflammatory Protein TSG-6 Secreted by Activated MSCs Attenuates Zymosan-Induced Peritonitis by Decreasing the Zymosan/TLR2 Mediated Stimulation of NF-ĸB Signaling in Resident Macrophages. Blood. 2011. 118(2):330-338. PMID: 21551236. *Authors made equal contributions
  • Lee, R.H., Pulin, A.A. Seo, M.J., Kota, D.J. Ylostalo, J., Larson, B.L., Semprun-Prieto, L., Delafontaine, P., and  Prockop, D. J. Intravenous hMSCs Improve Myocardial Infarction in Mice Because Cells Embolized In Lung Are Activated to Secrete the Anti-Inflammatory Protein TSG-6. Cell Stem Cell. 2009. 5:1-10.
  • Lee, R.H., Seo M.J., Pulin A.A., Gregory C.A., Ylostalo, J., and Prockop, D.J. The CD34-like protein PODXL and α6-integrin (CD49f) identify early progenitor MSCs with increased clonogenicity and migration to infracted heart in mice. Blood. 2009. 113(4):816-826.