Alumni at a Glance: Yongik Lee ’11

During his junior year at Cornell, Yongik Lee ’11 was selected for a summer research program at the Medical College of Wisconsin and his interest in cancer research began. After graduating from Cornell Lee pursued a Ph.D. program at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Currently, he’s a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University investigating the role epigenetics plays in prostate cancer and developing a drug that targets the epigenetic component.

Yongik Lee '11
Yongik Lee ’11
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Resides in: Evanston, Illinois

Lee has won several awards including a recent prostate cancer challenge award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and has published his research findings multiple times. In addition, Lee is a reviewer for the scientific journal, Oncogene. Lee attributes his professional career successes to Cornell’s “great classes, support, and internship opportunities.”

When asked, Lee said his biggest achievement after Cornell was marrying his wife, Sunny Choi ’11, who is now working as a CPA.

“I really enjoyed One Course At A Time at Cornell. It sometimes was very intense but it significantly increased my ability to learn new things relatively quickly,” Lee said.

Although he felt all of his science courses at Cornell were favorites, he specifically noted Professor of Religion Steven Sacks’ Intro to Religion course as the one that helped him understand differing perspectives.

Lee also has a message for Professor of Biology Craig Tepper now that he lives in Evanston, Illinois: “Go Cubs!” Professor Tepper teased Lee whenever Lee wore his Red Sox hat to class. (Professor Tepper is a Yankees fan.)

“I really enjoyed taking classes with Professor Craig Tepper. He was always fun to talk to and a great professor,” Lee said.

Lee’s advice for students considering Cornell? “I strongly recommend Cornell College because you will never be left out or alone. Cornell is a small private college and you will get personal attention from every professor and they are available for you whenever you need them. Also, you will get ample opportunities for internships anywhere in the world. I made a good choice when deciding to attend Cornell.”