Jaden S. Lee

Jaden S. Lee

Entered Dual-Degree program: June 2015

Biography: Jaden graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Chemistry from Butler University.  After graduating he performed a year of research in the prestigious Korean Dental Institute. Jaden is in the 6th year of the DSTP which means he is back in DMD training after completing his research.  His dissertation project involved examining the host response against oral pathogens. Specifically, he examined stressed cells which release high levels of extracellular ATP (eATP) via Pannexin-1 channels. This eATP activates a critical purinergic receptor signaling pathway, NADPH oxidase and reactive oxygen species production. One of his publications looked at the feedback loop between the eATP channel and downstream pathways. Another examined the role of ectonucleotidase CD73 as an immunoregulator of host response during Porphyromonas gingivalis infection in the oral epithelium. CD73 catalyzes the conversion of the pro-inflammatory stimulus extracellular ATP (eATP) into the anti-inflammatory mediator adenosine by directly dephosphorylating AMP. Jaden has shown that adenosine induces intracellular growth of P. gingivalis by enhancing cyclic AMP levels in human gingival epithelial cells. Moreover, inhibition of CD73 significantly increases reactive oxygen species generation mediated by eATP stimulation. Taken together his findings suggest that CD73 signaling contributes to P. gingivalis persistence in the oral epithelium. Understanding CD73 signaling may lead to modalities that control P. gingivalis chronic infections in the oral cavity. In his free time Jaden likes to play tennis, catch up on Netflix, and take walks with his dog Eddie and his wife, Hayoung. 

Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Ozlem Yilmaz

Peer-reviewed Publications:

  1. Lee JS and Yilmaz O  Key Elements of Gingival Epithelial Homeostasis upon bacterial Interaction.  J Dent Res 2020 Nov 17 online PMID: 33203318
  2. Lee JS, Spooner R, Chowdhury N, Pandey V, Wellslager B, Kalina A, Evans Z, Yilmaz Ö.2020, In Situ Intraepithelial Localizations of Opportunistic Pathogens, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Filifactor alocis, in Human Gingiva. Microbiol. Curr. Res. In Micro. Sci. Sept 2020 1:7-17.
  3. Lee JS, Chowdhury N, Roberts JS, Yilmaz Ö. Host surface ectonucleotidase-CD73 and the opportunistic pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, cross- modulation underlies a new homeostatic mechanism for chronic bacterial survival in human epithelial cells. Virulence. 2020 Dec;11(1):414-429. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2020.1763061. PMID: 32419582; PMCID: PMC7239027.
  4. Lee JS, Yilmaz Ö. Unfolding Role of a Danger Molecule Adenosine Signaling in Modulation of Microbial Infection and Host Cell Response. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jan 9;19(1):199. doi: 10.3390/ijms19010199. PMID: 29315226; PMCID: PMC5796148.
  5. Lee HJ, Lee JS, Lee JT, Hong JS, Lim BS, Park HJ, Kim YK, Kim TI. Microgrooves on titanium surface affect peri-implant cell adhesion and soft tissue sealing; an in vitro and in vivo study. J Periodontal Implant Sci. 2015 Jun;45(3):120-126. PMCID: PMC4485062.


  • NIH-F30 (DE029103) NRSA initiated 9-1-2019
  • 2020 Awarded IADR Immunology/Microbiology Group Travel Award
  • 2019 and 2020 Awarded AADR Bloc Travel Grant
  • 2019 Awarded third place, Senior Category, Poster Competition, MUSC College of Dental Medicine
  • Scholar’s Day
  • 2017 and 2018 Awarded AADR Student Research Fellowship
  • 2017 Awarded second place in the PhD I Years 1-2 poster category at the MUSC Student Research Day