Myeongwoo Lee, PhD

Myeongwoo Lee, PhD
Associate Professor
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Associate Professor of Biology


BS, Sung Kyun Kwan University, Korea
MS, Illinois State University
Ph.D., Illinois State University

Area of Research

Developmental Genetics

Courses Taught


I teach Cell and Developmental biology. In the course, we study the molecular aspect of cell and development such as how a single cell divides and polarizes, what drives cells to become different from each other, how cells move around in the body, and what regulates cell movement. These cell biology questions lead us to understand how a fertilized egg divides and develops into a fully grown body.

I also study development of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. I am particularly interested in the formation of the gonad in C. elegans. During development, a group of cells divides and forms a symmetric U-shaped gonad. To form this highly ordered structure, cells at the tip of the gonad (gonad leader cells) must communicate with the cell environment and navigate to the proper directions. My goal is to understand how these tiny cells interact with the cell environment and find their proper paths. My previous study has shown that a protein molecule, called integrin, on the surface of gonad leader cells plays an important role in pathfinding. The goal of my research is to understand the molecular and cell biology of integrin in the pathfinding of gonad leader cells.

I will be happy to discuss my research with students who are interested in my work.


Lee, M., and Cram, E. 2009. Quantitative analysis of distal tip cell migration in C. elegans. Dale Hereld and Tian Jin, eds., Methods in Molecular Biology: Chemotaxis, Vol. 571; 125-136, Humana Press, New York, NY.

Xu, X., Guo, H., Wycuff, D., and Lee, M. 2007. Role of phosphatidylinositol-r-phosphate 51 kinase (ppk-1) in ovulation of Caenorhabditis elegans. Exp. Cell Res., Vol. 313: 2465-2475.

Xu, X., Rongali, S.C., Miles, J.P., Lee, K.D., and Lee, M. 2006. pat-4/ILK and unc-112/hMig-2 are required for gonad function of Caenorhabditis elegans. Exp. Cell. Res., Vol 312: 1475-1483.

Lee, M., Shen, B., Schwarzbauer, J.E., Ahn, J., and Kwon, J. 2005. Connections between integrins and Rac GTPase pathways control gonad formation and function in C. elegans. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, Vol. 1723: 248-255.

Xu, X., Lee, D., Shih, H.Y., Seo, S., Ahn, J., and Lee, M. 2005. Linking integrin to IP3 signaling is important for ovulation in Caenorhabditis elegans. FEBS letters, Vol. 579: 549-553.

Lee, M., Cram, E.J., Shen, B., and Schwarzbauer, J.E. 2001. Roles for bpat-3 integrins in development and function of Caenorhabditis elegans muscles and gonads. J. Biol. Chem. Vol. 276: 36404-36410.

Lee, M., Christopherson, I., Lehman, J.M., Bennett, C.J., and Cheung, H.T. 1999. Comparison of Bone Marrow Extracellular Matrices. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, Vol. 1428: 300-304.

Lee, M. and Cheung, H.T. 1996. Isolation and Characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Extracellular Matrix. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. Vol. 221: 503-509.

Department of Biology

B.207 Baylor Science Building
One Bear Place #97388
Waco, TX 76798-7388

(254) 710-2911