Justine C. Lee, MD, PhD

Justine C. Lee, MD, PhD

Plastic Surgery
Primary Location
Plastic Surgery
200 Medical Plaza
460
Los Angeles, California 90095
Phone
Fax
310-825-5510

About

Justine C. Lee, MD, PhD, FACS - Bernard G. Sarnat Endowed Chair in Craniofacial Biology

Justine C. Lee, MD, PhD, FACS is the Bernard G. Sarnat Endowed Chair in Craniofacial Biology in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Lee is a craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgeon who specializes in the reconstruction of complex congenital, post-traumatic, and post-oncologic deformities of the head and neck region. Her practice focuses on patients with microtia, prominent ear, traumatic ear deformities, cleft lip/cleft palate, craniosynostosis, rare craniofacial syndromes, craniofacial microsomia, Parry-Romberg disease, facial nerve palsy, malocclusion, and vascular malformations. Her primary philosophy in treating patients is to combine aesthetics with reconstruction. She believes the goal of surgery is to help patients function normally as well as look and feel their best.

Dr. Lee was born and raised in Los Angeles. She was valedictorian of her high school class and awarded multiple scholarships including the University of California Regent's Scholarship, the UCLA Alumni Scholarship, and the National Merit Scholarship to attend UCLA. She graduated from UCLA summa cum laude with highest honors from the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology with a bachelor of science degree (1999). In addition to her interest in clinical medicine, her scientific work resulted in multiple research fellowships, publications, and admission to the prestigious National Institutes of Health Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Her graduate work at the University of Chicago was additionally supported by a full academic fellowship from the Frank Family Foundation. She received both an MD and a PhD from the University of Chicago (2006) and went on to complete a combined residency in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Her work during residency culminated in an Outstanding Paper award at the American Society for Plastic Surgeons meeting, the Best Microsurgery Paper at the American Society for Plastic Surgeons Senior Resident Conference, and First Prize at the Illinois Society for Plastic Surgery Chief Resident Competition. She completed her training at UCLA as the 34th Henry Kawamoto craniofacial fellow.

Dr. Lee joined the UCLA faculty following her fellowship. She is active in multiple professional societies including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, the Plastic Surgery Research Council, the American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association, and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. In the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, she serves on the Women Plastic Surgeons Steering Committee, the Research Development Committee, and the Annual Meeting Program Committee. She is currently on the editorial board of three professional journals and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for 11 professional journals. Her research in clinical outcomes of craniofacial surgery and bone regeneration has been featured in over 65 international and national meetings and well recognized within each respective field. Since 2013, she has served as the curriculum director for the plastic surgery residency and received the 2016 Plastic Surgery Faculty Teaching Award. For her clinical, research, and teaching achievements, Dr. Lee was named the Bernard G. Sarnat Endowed Chair in Craniofacial Biology in 2016.

Clinical Interests:

  • Congenital Ear Anomalies
  • Microtia
  • Craniofacial Microsomia and Goldenhar Syndrome
  • Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Cleft Rhinoplasty
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Apert, Crouzon, Pfeiffer, Saethre-Chotzen and other Syndromic Craniosynostoses
  • Facial Clefts
  • Treacher Collins Syndrome
  • Facial Trauma
  • Facial Aesthetics: Facelift, Blepharoplasty, Rhinoplasty, Fat Graft, Liposuction, Injectables

Research Interests:

  • Bone Regeneration
  • Biomimetic Materials
  • Clinical Outcomes for Craniofacial Surgery
  • Technological Advances in Craniofacial Surgery

Education

Medical Board Certification

Plastic Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery, 2014

Fellowship

UCLA School of Medicine, 2013

Residency

University of Chicago Hospitals, 2012

Internship

University of Chicago Hospitals, 2007

Degree

University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, MD, PhD, 2006

Locations

West Los Angeles

Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery| Breast Surgery| Craniofacial Plastic Surgery +2 more

Hospital Affiliations

Videos

Facial Feminization Surgery for Gender Affirmation
Pierre Robin Sequence
Treating Congenital Ear Anomalies
Craniosynostosis: Treatment Options & Future Development in Children
Cleft Care 101: What to expect when your child has a cleft lip or palate

Research

Interests

  • Materials-Based Tissue Engineering for Skull Regeneration 
  • Outcomes in Congenital Craniofacial Anomalies 
  • Outcomes in Facial Reconstruction for Gender Confirmation 
  • Autologous Total Ear Reconstruction
  • Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Rare Craniofacial Syndromes
  • Tissue Engineering

Publications

  1. Martins DB, Farias-Eisner G, Mandelbaum RS, Hoang H, Bradley JP, Lee JC. (2016) Intraoperative Indocyanine Green Laser Angiography in Pediatric Autologous Ear Reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg Global Open. In press.
  2. Solem RC, Reese P, Kawamoto HK, Lee JC. (2016) Multidisciplinary Treatment of Antley-Bixler Syndrome: A Longterm Case Report. Cleft Palate Craniofacial Journal. In press.
  3. Ren X, Weisgerber DW, Bischoff D, Lewis MS, Reid RR, He TC, Yamaguchi DT, Miller TA, Harley BA, Lee JC.(2016) Nanoparticulate mineralized collagen scaffolds and BMP-9 induce a long term bone cartilage construct in human mesenchymal stem cells. Adv Healthcare Mat. In press
  4. Ren X, Bischoff D, Weisgerber DW, Lewis MS, Tu V, Yamaguchi DT, Miller TA, Harley A, Lee JC. (2016) Nanoparticulate Mineralized Collagen Scaffolds Induce In Vivo Bone Regeneration Independent of Progenitor Cell Loading or Exogenous Growth Factor Stimulation. Biomaterials. 89:67-78
  5. Chang JB, Lee JC. (2016) Cell-based regenerative technologies: a realistic strategy in bone regeneration? Int J Stem Cell Res Ther. 3:026.
  6. Rough J, Hindin DI, Lee JC, Bradley JP. (2016) Correction of Unilateral Congenital Zygomatico-Mandibular Fusion. J Craniofac Surg. 27:e109-111.
  7. Yoshikane F, Lai LH, Hui BK, Martins DB, Farias-Eisner G, Mandelbaum RS, Hoang H, Bradley JP, Wilson L, Lee JC. (2016) Orthognathic consequences of sphincter pharyngoplasty in cleft patients: a two institutional study. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 4:e676.
  8. Gassman AA, Kao KK, Bradley JP, Lee JC. (2016) Quantification of adipose transfer viability using a novel, bioluminescent murine model. J Plastic Reconstr Aesth Surg. 69:959-965.
  9. Gassman AA, Lewis MS, Lee JC. (2016) Remote Ischemic Preconditioning Recipient tissues Improves the Viability of Murine Fat Transfer. Plast Reconstr Surg. 138:55e-63e.
  10. Gassman AA, Lee JC, Bradley JP. (2016) Discussion: Improvement of Fat Graft Survival with Autologous Bone Marrow Aspirate and Bone Marrow Concentrate: A One-Step Method. Plast Reconstr Surg. 137:687e-689e.
  11. Lee JC, Pereira CT, Ren X, Huang W, Yamaguchi DT, Harley BA, and Miller TA. (2015) Optimizing collagen scaffolds for bone engineering: Effects of crosslinking and nanoparticulate mineralization on structural contraction and osteogenesis. J Craniofac Surg. 26:1992-1996.
  12. Yuan N, Rezzadeh KS, Lee JC. (2015) Biomimetic scaffolds for osteogenesis. Receptors Clin Investig. 2:898.
  13. Lee JC, Andrews BT, Abdollahi H, Lambi AG, Pereira CT, and Bradley JP. (2015) CT image guidance for more accurate repair of anterior table frontal sinus fractures. J Craniofac Surg. 26:e64-67.
  14. Nguyen TQ, Franczyk M, Lee JC, Greives MR, O’Connor A, Gottlieb LJ. (2015) Prospective randomized controlled trial comparing two methods of securing skin grafts using negative pressure wound therapy: VAC and GSUC. J Burn Care Res. 36:324-328.
  15. Ren X, Bischoff D, Weisgerber DW, Lewis MS, Tu V, Yamaguchi DT, Miller TA, Harley BAC, Lee JC. (2015) Nanoparticulate Mineral Content in Collagen Scaffolds Increases Osteogenesis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells via Autogenous Activation of the Canonical BMP Receptor Signaling Pathway. Biomaterials. 50:107-114.
  16. Lai LH, Hui BK, Nguyen PD, Yee KS, Martz MG, Bradley JP, Lee JC. (2015) Lateral Incisor Agenesis Predicts Maxillary Hypoplasia and Le Fort I Advancement Surgery in Cleft Patients. Plast Reconstr Surg. 135:142e-148e.
  17. Kao KK, Lai LH, Hui BK, Nguyen PD, Yee KS, Martz MG, Bradley JP, Lee JC. (2014) Lateral Incisor Agenesis Predicts Maxillary Hypoplasia and Le Fort I Advancement Surgery in Cleft Patients. Plast Reconstr Surg. 134(4S1):8-9.
  18. Nguyen TQ, Franczyk M, Lee JC, Greives MR, OÆConnor A, Gottlieb LJ. (2014) Prospective randomized controlled trial comparing two methods of securing skin grafts using negative pressure wound therapy: VAC and GSUC. J Burn Care Res. In press.
  19. Bradley JP and Lee JC. (2014) The effects of whole-vault cranioplasty versus strip craniectomy on long-term psychological outcomes in sagittal craniosynostosis: Discussion. Plast Reconstr Surg. 134:502-503
  20. Lee JC and Bradley JP. (2014) Le Fort III Distraction Using Rotation Advancement of the Midface in Patients with Cleft Lip and Palate: Letter. Plast Reconstr Surg. 134:165e-166e
  21. Lee JC and Bradley JP. (2014) Surgical considerations in Pierre Robin Sequence. Clin Plast Surg. 41:211-217.
  22. Lee JC, Slack GC, Walker, R, Graves L, Yen S, Woo J, Ambaram R, Martz MG, Kawamoto HK, Bradley JP. (2014) Maxillary hypoplasia in the cleft patient: contribution of orthodontic dental space closure to orthognathic surgery. Plast Reconstr Surg. 133:355-361.
  23. Lee JC, Kleiber G, Pelletier AT, Reid RR, Gottlieb LJ. (2013) Autologous immediate cranioplasty for high risk composite cranial defects. Plast Reconstr Surg. 132:967-975.
  24. Lee JC, Olaitan OK, Lopez-Soler R. Renz JF, Millis JM, Gottlieb LJ. (2013) Expanding the envelope: The PoRSh-Liver vascular composite allotransplant. Plast Reconstr Surg. 131:209e-218e.
  25. Gottlieb LJ, Reid RR, Lee JC. (2013) Pediatric chest and trunk defects. In Neligan (Ed.) and Lossee (Volume Ed.): Plastic Surgery. Volume 3, Chapter 41, pp. 855-876.
  26. Lee JC, Spiguel L, Shenaq D, Zhong M, Wietholt C, He T-C, Reid RR. (2011) The role of RANK/RANKL/OPG axis in cranial suture homeostasis. J Craniofac Surg. 22: 699-705.
  27. Lee JC, Raman J, Song DH. (2010) Primary sternal closure with titanium plate fixation: plastic surgery effecting a paradigm shift. Plast Reconstr Surg. 125:1720-4.
  28. Lee JC, Wang GX, Schickling O, Peter ME. (2005) Fusing DEDD with ubiquitin changes its intracellular localization and apoptotic potential. Apoptosis. 10:1483-95.
  29. Ward S, Belogrudov G, Lee JC, Lee P, Strahan J, Shepherd J, Clarke CF. (2004) Yeast Coq5 C-methyltransferase is required for stability of other polypeptides involved in coenzyme Q biosynthesis. J Biol Chem. 279:10052-9
  30. Lee JC, Peter ME. (2003) Regulation of apoptosis by ubiquitination. Immunol Rev. 193:39-47.
  31. Dinsdale D*, Lee JC*, Dawson G, Cohen GM, Peter ME. (2003) Intermediate filaments control the intracellular distribution of caspases during apoptosis. Am J Path. 164:395-407. *contributed equally.
  32. Barnhart BC, Lee JC, Alappat EC, Peter ME. (2003) The death effector domain protein family. Oncogene. 22:8634-44.
  33. Liu N, Raja SM, Zazzeroni F, Metkar SS, Shah R, Zhang M, Wang Y, Bromme D, Russin WA, Lee JC, Peter ME, Froelich CJ, Franzoso G, Ashton-Rickardt PG. (2003) NF-kappaB protects from the lysosomal pathway of cell death. EMBO J. 22:5313-22.
  34. Lee JC, Schickling O, Stegh AH, Oshima, RG, Dinsdale D, Cohen GM, Peter ME. (2002) DEDD regulates degradation of intermediate filaments during apoptosis. J Cell Biol. 158:1051-66.
  35. Huang CJ, Nazarian R, Lee J, Zhao PM, Espinosa-Jeffrey A, de Vellis J. (2002) Tumor necrosis factor modulates transcription of myelin basic protein gene through nuclear factor kappa B in a human oligodendroglioma cell line. Int J Dev Neuroscience. 20:289-96.

Awards

Endowed Chair
  • Bernard G. Sarnat Endowed Chair in Craniofacial Biology
Grants
  • Jean Perkins Foundation. Biomaterials and osteoclast activation in bone tissue engineering (2015)
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Jean Perkins Foundation. Biomaterials and osteoclast activation in bone tissue engineering (2016)
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons/Musculoskeletal Foundation Research Award. Harnessing the Osteogenic Impact of Calcium and Phosphate Minerals on Stem Cells (2018)
  • Role: Faculty Sponsor (Trainee: David Foulad, MD)
  • Jean Perkins Foundation. Biomaterials and osteoclast activation in bone tissue engineering (2017)
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Jean Perkins Foundation. Biomaterials and osteoclast activation in bone tissue engineering (2018)
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • R01 DE028098, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
  • Preclinical Evaluation of Nanoparticulate Mineralized Collagen Glycosaminoglycan Materials in Calvarial Regeneration
  • (2019-2024)
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Jean Perkins Foundation. Biomaterials and osteoclast activation in bone tissue engineering ($600,000, 2012)
  • American Society for Plastic Surgeons/Plastic Surgery Foundation Research Grant (#274376). Remote Ischemic Preconditioning's effect on Fat Graft volume. ($10,000, 2013) Principal Investigator. (Trainee: Andrew Gassman, MD, Plastic Surgery resident)
  • American Society for Plastic Surgeons/Plastic Surgery Foundation Research Grant (#234813). Osteoclast mediated Resorption of Engineered Bone. ($10,000, 2014) Principal Investigator.
  • Jean Perkins Foundation. Biomaterials and osteoclast activation in bone tissue engineering ($280,000, 2014)
  • IK2 BX002442-01A2 Career Development Award-2, Veteran’s Administration. Human Bone Engineering and Resorption in a Novel Mineralized Collagen Scaffold ($1,500,000, 2015-2020)
Research Awards
  • Clinical Research Award (2017)
  • American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association
  • Age Related Differences in Psychosocial Function of Children with Craniofacial Anomalies
  • Mentee: Elizabeth Volpicelli
  • Clinical Research Award (2019)
  • American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association
  • Long-Term Psychosocial Effects of Number of Childhood Surgeries in Teenagers with Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Mentee: Fransia De Leon
  • Illinois Society for Plastic Surgery Chief Resident Paper Competition, First Prize (2012)
  • American Society for Plastic Surgery Senior Resident Conference, Tampa: Best Microsurgery Paper (2012)
  • American Society for Plastic Surgery, Toronto: Outstanding Paper Presentation (2010)
  • Doolittle-Harrison Fellowship (2004)
  • Frank Fellowship (2002-2006)
  • Committee on Immunology Graduate Student Poster Award (2002)
  • Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Undergraduate Research Award (1999)
  • Howard Hughes Honors Undergraduate Fellowship 1998 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Fellowship (1998-1999)
  • University of California President’s Undergraduate Fellowship (1997-1998)
  • Howard Hughes Honors Undergraduate Fellowship (1997)
Academic Honors and Awards
  • Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2021
  • Steward Rood Section Editor of the Year, 2019
  • The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
  • American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association
  • Plastic Surgery Foundation Visiting Professor, 2019-2020
  • Bernard G. Sarnat Endowed Chair in Craniofacial Biology, 2016
  • AOA Eligible Group, 2005
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1999
  • Summa cum laude, University of California, Los Angeles, 1999
  • Graduated with highest honors, University of California, Los Angeles, 1999
  • University of California Regent’s Scholar, 1995-1999
  • National Merit Scholar, 1995-1999
  • University of California Alumni Scholar, 1995-1999
  • California Masonic Foundation Scholar, 1995-1999
  • Kiwanis Foundation, 1995-1999
Scholar Teaching Awards
  • UCLA Plastic Surgery Faculty Teaching Award, 2016
  • Wayne C. Booth Graduate Student Teaching Prize, 2002
  • Biological Sciences Division Teaching Award, 2001
  • Biological Sciences Division Teaching Award – Honorable Mention, 2000