Siu Sylvia Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. She received a B.A. in Biochemistry from Rice University in 1995 and a Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 1999. She received her postdoctoral training at the Department of Molecular Biology of Massachusetts General Hospital & the Department of Genetics of Harvard Medical School, where she was awarded a Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. She joined the faculty at Cornell in 2003, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2010. She is in the graduate fields of Genetics & Development, Biochemistry, Molecular, & Cell Biology, Comparative Biological Science, and Nutrition. Her research is supported by the National Institute of Aging and the Ellison Medical Foundation.
Our lab is interested in elucidating the conserved molecular pathways that modulate longevity. Emerging research has revealed longevity determinants capable of regulating aging from yeast, to invertebrates, to mammals, highlighting the high degree of conservation in the molecular mechanisms that govern longevity. Our research focuses on using the powerful genetic model round worm Caenorhabditis elegans to identify and functionally characterize the evolutionarily conserved genetic determinants important for longevity. We then test whether our findings in C. elegans also hold true in other diverse organisms, including fruit flies and mice. A better understanding of the mechanistic basis of aging will have important implications for the prevention and treatment of many crippling age-dependent diseases, such as cancer, late onset diabetes, and neurodegeneration.