Craig Lee, Pharm.D, Ph.D. is a professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics (DPET). A key aspect of DPET’s mission is to optimize drug therapy through translating experimental and clinical pharmacology discoveries into precision medicine and accelerating application of these discoveries to improve patient care.
Dr. Lee is trained as a clinical/translational pharmaceutical scientist with expertise in cytochrome P450 metabolism, cardiovascular experimental therapeutics, and precision medicine/pharmacogenomics. He is an active member of the UNC McAllister Heart Institute and UNC Program for Precision Medicine in Healthcare, and has an adjunct faculty appointment in the UNC School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology.
The overall objective of Dr. Lee’s research program is to improve the understanding of the central mechanisms underlying inter-individual variability in drug response as a means to develop novel therapeutic strategies that will improve public health. A major scientific focus of the Lee laboratory is the metabolism of drugs and eicosanoids by the cytochromes P450 enzyme system. The major therapeutic area of application of their research is cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
The Lee laboratory seeks to identify and elucidate the key factors that exacerbate inter-individual variability in the metabolism of and response to drugs currently on the market, and determine whether implementation of genomic and biomarker-guided drug selection and dosing strategies can reduce this variability in metabolism and response and improve patient outcomes. The Lee laboratory also seeks to develop a thorough understanding of how cytochrome P450-derived eicosanoids (bioactive lipid mediators of arachidonic acid) regulate hepatic and extra-hepatic inflammatory responses, and determine whether modulation of this pathway will serve as an effective anti-inflammatory and end-organ protective therapeutic strategy for cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Using genomics and biomarkers, the lab seeks to translate their preclinical discoveries into humans and determine which subsets of the population may be most likely to respond to the therapeutic strategies under evaluation in the laboratory.
The Lee laboratory is a highly collaborative and translational research program that integrates mechanistically-driven rodent and cell-based preclinical models with observational and interventional clinical studies. They have received funding from the National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association, authored over 100 manuscripts and over 100 abstracts in the areas of cytochromes P450, eicosanoid and drug metabolism, pharmacogenomics, and experimental therapeutics. Dr. Lee has served as the major research advisor for over 40 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and professional students.