UCLA graduate student awarded fellowship to pursue cutting-edge research

Justin Lee
Justin Lee

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans has named Justin Lee, a graduate student in the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientists Training Program, a member of the 2020 class of Paul & Daisy Soros fellows.

The fellowship comes with a $90,000 award and honors 30 new Americans – immigrants and children of immigrants – who are on track to make a significant contribution in their academic field.

Lee, who was born in Los Angeles, California, to Korean immigrants, was motivated to pursue a career in medicine after his grandparents fell ill and passed away when he was in high school. He is now studying to become a physician-scientist under the mentorship of Linda Liau, MD, PhD, chair of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a neurosurgeon-scientist at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

He has completed preclinical medical training at UCLA and is currently pursuing his doctorate in bioengineering at Caltech. Lee is developing cell-based cancer therapeutic and diagnostic tools through a collaborative effort between Professor Mikhail Shapiro and Dr. Liau and plans to combine neurosurgery with cutting-edge synthetic biology research in the future. His goal is to develop novel cell-based tools that transform the way brain cancer and neuropsychiatric diseases are diagnosed and treated.

Lee is also the founder and copresident of Sling Health at UCLA — a health-technology incubator that seeks to train future physician-innovators by empowering students to develop solutions for relevant clinical problems.