Jeannie Lee, MD, PhD

Molecular Biologist,
Massachusetts General Hospital

Professor of Genetics and Pathology,
Harvard Medical School




Dr. Lee was most recently recognized by her election in 2015 to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of leadership in the field of X chromosome inactivation, and being a pioneer in discovering roles for long non-coding RNAs.

She is the recipient of the 2010 Molecular Biology Prize from the National Academy of Sciences, USA, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Lee has also been named a Distinguished Graduate Award of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and served on the Board of Directors of the Genetics Society of America. She received her AB in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University and obtained MD, PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  Dr. Lee began her work on epigenetic regulation at the Whitehead Institute/MIT with Rudolf Jaenisch and served as Chief Resident of Clinical Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. As a young investigator, she received the Basil O’Connor Scholar Award from the March of Dimes and the Pew Scholars Award.

Dr. Lee is a co-founder and scientific advisor of RaNA Therapeutics. Dr. Lee is applying her knowledge and expertise to the discovery and development of potential treatments for patients with diseases like Fragile X and Rett Syndrome.

Clinical Interests

  • Molecular biology
  • Pathology


Dr. Jeannie Lee specializes in studying the role of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) in epigenetic regulation and uses X chromosome inactivation as a model system. She is particularly interested in how lncRNAs interact with chromatin complexes to change gene expression. The Lee Research Laboratory, part of the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, formulates paradigms in RNA biology and develops methodologies to probe interactions at the RNA-protein interface, with the long-term goal of translating knowledge of basic mechanisms to new therapeutic strategies. The lab has made several contributions towards understanding how RNA directs chromatin and gene expression change. She is also Co-Director of the Harvard Epigenetics Initiative, a collaborative group in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School.

  • To understand how noncoding RNAs (Tsix, Xist) regulate X-chromosome silencing
  • To establish a paradigm for antisense regulation (Tsix)
  • To identify factors controlling X-chromosome counting and choice
  • To delineate the evolutionary relationship between imprinted and random X-inactivation


View all PubMed publications

  1. Flagellin is a strong vaginal adjuvant of a therapeutic vaccine for genital cancer.Lee SE, Hong SH, Verma V, Lee YS, Duong TN, Jeong K, Uthaman S, Sung YC, Lee JT, Park IK, Min JJ, Rhee JH.Oncoimmunology. 2015 Aug 24;5(2):e1081328. eCollection 2016 Feb.


  2. [18F]CFA as a clinically translatable probe for PET imaging of deoxycytidine kinase activity. Kim W, Le TM, Wei L, Poddar S, Bazzy J, Wang X, Uong NT, Abt ER, Capri JR, Austin WR, Van Valkenburgh JS, Steele D, Gipson RM, Slavik R, Cabebe AE, Taechariyakul T, Yaghoubi SS, Lee JT, Sadeghi S, Lavie A, Faull KF, Witte ON, Donahue TR, Phelps ME, Herschman HR, Herrmann K, Czernin J, Radu CG.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 28. pii: 201524212. [Epub ahead of print]


  3. High-content screening identifies a role for Na(+) channels in insulin production. Szabat M, Modi H, Ramracheya R, Girbinger V, Chan F, Lee JT, Piske M, Kamal S, Carol Yang YH, Welling A, Rorsman P, Johnson JD.R Soc Open Sci. 2015 Dec 2;2(12):150306. doi: 10.1098/rsos.150306. eCollection 2015 Dec.


Jeannie Lee, Md, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Simches Building
185 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-5943
Fax: 617-726-6893

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