Faculty Profile, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan

Faculty Profiles

Oscar K. Lee, MD, MSc (Orth), Ph.D

Joint-appointed Assistant Investigator and Attending Physician
Institute of Cellular and Systems Medicine


  • PhD, University College London, United Kingdom, 2002
  • MSc, University College London, United Kingdom, 1999
  • MD, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, 1986


  • Director, Stem Cell Research Center, National Yang-Ming University (2007-present)
  • Associate Professor, Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University (2007-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University (2007)
  • Attending Physician, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital (2005-2007)
  • Chairman, Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery, Taitung Veterans Hospital (2003-2005)
  • Attending Physician, Dept of Orthpaedic. Surgery, Taitung Veterans Hospital (2002)
  • Clinical Fellow in Orhtopaedic Oncology, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei (2001-2002)
  • Clinical Visiting Fellow, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, London, UK (1998-2001)
  • Chief Resident, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei (1998)
  • Resident, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei (1993-1998)


    The major research theme of Dr. Lee's laboratory is plasticity and application of mesenchymal stem cells. Being an orthopaedic surgeon as well as a stem cell scientist, Dr Lee is particularly interested in developing new application of mesenchymal stem cells to treat orthopaedic problems. The research interests also include osteoporosis, bone cell biology, and biophysical effects on bone cells and stem cells, and bone tumor biology..


    In Lees Researches, he has successfully isolated and culture-expanded MSCs from human bone marrow and umbilical cord blood using negative immuno-selection and limiting dilution methods. Surface phenotype of these cells was performed using flowcytometry and surface marker phenotype was characteristic of MSCs. These MSCs were able to differentiate into progenies originated from all three germ layers including osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, neuroglial cells and hepatocytes. In vitro functionality of these differentiated progenies was also demonstrated.


  • International Whos Who, 2006-2007
  • Wu Ta-Yu Memorial Award, National Science Council, 2006
  • Best Research Award, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, 2005
  • New Investigator Recognition Award, 50th Annual Meeting of Orthopedic Research Society, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2004
  • Best Paper Award, Annual Meeting of Taiwan Orthopaedic Association, 2003
  • Best Paper Award, Annual Meeting of Taiwan Orthopaedic Association, 2002
  • Overseas Research Student Award,Community of Vice Chancellors and Principals, UK, 1999-2001
  • Government Scholarship for Studying Abroad, Department of Education, Taiwan, 1999-2001


    1.Chen CT, Shih YRV, Kuo TK, Lee OK and Wei YH. Coordinated Changes of Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Antioxidant Enzymes during Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells. (in press)
    2.Lien CY, Lee OK* and Su Y. Cbfb enhances the osteogenic differentiation of both human and mouse mesenchymal stem cells induced by Cbfa-1 via reducing its ubiquitination-mediated degradation. Stem Cells, 25: 1462-1468, 2007 (corresponding author)
    3.Ho JH, Chuang CH, Ho CY, Shih YV, Lee OK* and Su Y. Internalization is essential for the anti-apoptotic effects of exogenous thymosin beta-4 on human corneal epithelial cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Res, 48: 27-33, 2007 (corresponding author)
    4.Shih YV, Chen CN, Tsai SW, Wang YJ and Lee OK. Growth of mesenchymal stem cells on electrospun type I collagen nanofibers. Stem Cells, 24: 2391-2397, 2006 (corresponding author) (Cover feature)
    5.Chou SH, Kuo TK, Liu M and Lee OK*. In utero transplantation of human bone marrow-derived multipotent mesenchymal stem cells in mice. J Orthop Res, 24: 301-312, 2006 (corresponding author)
    6.Lee OK, Coathup MJ, Goodship AE, Blunn GW. Use of mesenchymal stem cells to facilitate bone regeneration in normal and chemotherapy-treated rats. Tissue Eng, 11: 1727-1735, 2005
    7.Lee OK, Kuo TK, Chen WM, Lee KD, Hsieh SL and Chen TH. Isolation of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord blood. Blood, 103: 1669-1675, 2004. (Corresponding author) (Cover feature)
    8.Lee KD, Kuo TK, Chung YF, Lin CT, Chen JR, Chen YP and Lee OK*: In vitro hepatic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Hepatology, 40: 1275-1284, 2004 (Corresponding author)
    9.Lee OK, Ko YC, Kuo TK, Chou SH, Lee HJ, Chen WM, Chen TH and Su Y. Fluvastatin and lovastatin but not pravastatin induce neuroglial differentiation in human mesenchymal stem cells. J Cell Biochem, 93: 917-928, 2004.