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Chang-Hun Lee

Associate Professor


Chang-Hun Lee received Ph. D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. With his advisor, Dr. Pierre A. Coulombe, he studied structure-function relationship of keratin intermediate filament proteins and related disorders in skin. He started his professional career as an assistant professor at the school of undergraduate studies in DGIST, and performed research-associated lab education. He have studied structure-based drug design, structure-function relationship of skin proteins, and physiology of human skin.
Tel +82-53-785-6612
E-mail leech@dgist.ac.kr
Lab Biointerface Structure and Skin Lab


Biological systems form many kinds of interface through proteins, cells and tissues. For instance, epithelial tissues like skin become a border between internal environment of human body and exterior environment. It is also the case for many proteins at the cellular membrane or in the cytoskeletal networks in skin epithelia. Studies of proteins or cells at these interfacial borders can lead us to understand interesting biology and evolution of life forms facing varieties of environmental challenges.


In our lab, we pursue to understand structure-function relationship of proteins and cells in the biological interfaces. By studying their structure and physiology, we want to explain mechanism of molecular action, cell behaviors, and tissue function.


On the other hand, studies upon Structure-Function relationship of biology can help us to design a useful biological system. For instance, if we know how our protein of interest can interact with its partner molecules, we can design an inhibitor of our protein not to interact with its binding partner. Also, if we know how our cells or tissues of interest self-assemble into upper level of biological systems, we can design or build an artificial tissue.


In this aspect, we want to understand fundamental principles of biological interfaces using animal skins as model systems. Along with biological researches, we design protein molecules, cells or tissues to confer a function that can be useful for other researches or for human health. Structure-based drug design is one example of our works for the purpose. 

Research Summary

(1) Structure-Function of Biointerfaces and Skin

Our targets are proteins and multi-cellular systems at the environmental borders.

We study their molecular and cellular structures, physiologies, and evolutions.



By understanding protein structures, we want to explain how our proteins of interest work in the biological interface. By understanding sub-cellular structures or cellular structures, we want to explain how cells are organized in a biological interface like skin to function properly even in a harsh condition of given environment.



(2) Design of New Drugs, Proteins, Cells and Tissues

We pursue to design or to rebuild the biological interface systems such as artificial skin, artificial basement membrane or artificial ligament. Also, we pursue to make a useful drug by structure-based drug design.



One of our targets include major structural proteins involved in epidermolysis bullosa or psoriasis. Loss-of-function or gain-of-function mutation can cause structural anomalies of the major proteins, which leads skin diseases. Studying their structural changes can help to understand the pathology of the diseases, and give a clue to find a cure.

Selected Publications

  • Lee CH., Kim, MS, Li, S, Leahy, DJ, Coulombe, PA (2020) Structure–function analyses of a keratin heterotypic complex identify specific keratin regions involved in intermediate filament assembly. Structure, 28:353-362.E4. - Journal Cover
  • Im S, Jeong J, Jin G, Yeom J, Jekal J, Lee SI, Cho JA, Lee S, Lee Y, Kim DH, Bae M, Heo J, Moon C*, Lee CH*. (2019) MAOA variants differ in oscillatory EEG & ECG activities in response to aggression-inducing stimuli. Scientific Reports, 2680
  • Im S, Jeong J, Jin G, Yeom J, Jekal J, Lee SI, Cho JA, Lee S, Lee Y, Kim DH, Bae M, Heo J, Moon C*, Lee CH*. (2019) A novel supportive assessment for comprehensive aggression using EEG and ECG. Neurosci Lett. 694:136-142.
  • Im S, Jeong J, Jin G, Yeom J, Jekal J, Lee SI, Cho JA, Lee S, Lee Y, Kim DH, Bae M, Heo J, Moon C*, Lee CH*. (2018) Gender Differences in Aggression-related Responses on EEG and ECG. Exp Neurobiol. 27: 526–538.
  • Kim, KH, Chung, WS, Kim, KS, Lee, IS, Park, JY, Jeong, HS, Lee, CH*, Jang, HJ* (2015) Transcriptomic analysis reveals Wound healing of Morus alba roots extract by up-regulating keratin filament and CXCL12/CXCL4 signaling. Phytother Res. 29:1251-1258.
  • Kim, JS. Lee, CH, Su, BY, Coulombe, PA (2012) Mathematical modeling of the impact of actin and keratin filaments on keratinocyte cell spreading. Biophys J. 103:1828-1838.
  • Lee, C*, Kim, MS, Chung, BM, Leahy, DJ, Coulombe, PA (2012) Structural basis for heteromeric assembly and perinuclear organization of keratin filaments. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 19:707-715.
  • Coulombe, PA, Lee, CH (2012) Defining Keratin Protein Function in Skin Epithelia: Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex and Its Aftermath. J. Invest. Dermatol. 132:763-765.