About Dr. Lee
I joined the College of Public Health's Division of Environmental Health Sciences in September 2008. I was recruited as part of the research initiative on Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases and I have a joint appointment with the Department of Food Science and Technology. My laboratory seeks to understand waterborne and food-borne pathogens using molecular technology and to investigate their contamination sources, transport and health risks.
My primary research areas are key issues in environmental microbiology with public health significance focusing on understanding the pathways of pathogen transmission from the contamination sources to human exposure in the environments, including water and farm to fork food chain. For this, I use molecular and genomic tools to investigate the microbial community structure, statistical tools to understand the relationship between environmental factors and microbial populations, and often develops rapid methods for the detection of target microorganisms. My recent study sites include Sugar Creek, inland lakes in Ohio and Lake Erie beaches.
I am particularly interested in the impact of climate change on the transmission, fate and virulence of enteric infectious agents (water and fresh produce) and cyanobacteria (beach water and drinking water). The knowledge and research outcome would be crucial to pinpointing the critical risk and contamination factors and to directing new way of management and policy making. I also study health risks due to water contamination with epidemiological approach and environmental friendly and sustainable intervention strategies. I recently expanded my research interest into renewable energy and its public health impact.