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Sum P. Lee, MD, PhD
Professor Emeritus
Dr. Lee is a professor emeritus and a specialist in gastroenterology. Formly, he was the Cyrus E. Rubin Endowed Chair and Head of the UW Division of Gastroenterology, as well as former Dean of Medicine of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. He received his MBBS and MD degrees from HKU in 1970 and 1980 respectively, and his PhD in 1978 from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
His research interests includes the pathophysiology of biliary tract disorders, examining biliary lipids using biochemical and biophysical techniques, and the pathophysiology of biliary epithelial cells using cell culture systems. He also conducts clinical studies on biliary tract imaging and epidemiology of gallstone formation.
Dr. Lee refers to himself as a physician-educator- scientist practicing a "quiet art". To his patients, he is a learned, compassionate and caring physician. He regards taking care of the sick as life's calling. To his students, he is a warm, generous and engaging mentor and friend. His peer researchers revere him as a creative, visionary, highly organised, and disciplined thinker. As a leader and an administrator, he is driven by a sense of honesty, fairness and humility. He is a man of few words and loves reading, poetry, music, and Chinese calligraphy.
Recent Publications
Displaying 20 Most Recent Publications from PubMed

April 2019. Cholesterol Crystals in Hepatocyte Lipid Droplets Are Strongly Associated With Human Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis. Ioannou GN, Landis CS, Jin GY, Haigh WG, Farrell GC, Kuver R, Lee SP, Savard C. Hepatol Commun. 2019 Apr 1;3(6):776-791. doi: 10.1002/hep4.1348. eCollection 2019 Jun.

June 2017. Cholesterol crystallization within hepatocyte lipid droplets and its role in murine NASH. Ioannou GN, Subramanian S, Chait A, Haigh WG, Yeh MM, Farrell GC, Lee SP, Savard C. J Lipid Res. 2017 Jun;58(6):1067-1079. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M072454. Epub 2017 Apr 12.

July 2016. Gallstones: new insights into an old story. Tiderington E, Lee SP, Ko CW. F1000Res. 2016 Jul 26;5. pii: F1000 Faculty Rev-1817. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.8874.1. eCollection 2016. Review.

June 2016. The changing faces of cholangitis. Lee SP, Roberts JR, Kuver R. F1000Res. 2016 Jun 17;5. pii: F1000 Faculty Rev-1409. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.8745.1. eCollection 2016. Review.

January 2014. Physical Activity, Maternal Metabolic Measures, and the Incidence of Gallbladder Sludge or Stones during Pregnancy: A Randomized Trial. Ko CW, Napolitano PG, Lee SP, Schulte SD, Ciol MA, Beresford SA. Am J Perinatol. 2014 Jan;31(1):39-48. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1334455. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

March 2012. Liver fluke-induced hepatic oxysterols stimulate DNA damage and apoptosis in cultured human cholangiocytes. Jusakul A, Loilome W, Namwat N, Haigh WG, Kuver R, Dechakhamphu S, Sukontawarin P, Pinlaor S, Lee SP, Yongvanit P. Mutat Res. 2012 Mar 1;731(1-2):48-57. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

October 2011. Hepatic Free Cholesterol Accumulates in Obese, Diabetic Mice and Causes Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis. Van Rooyen DM, Larter CZ, Haigh WG, Yeh MM, Ioannou G, Kuver R, Lee SP, Teoh NC, Farrell GC. Gastroenterology. 2011 Oct;141(4):1393-403, 1403.e1-5. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

July 2009. Association between dietary nutrient composition and the incidence of cirrhosis or liver cancer in the United States population. Ioannou GN, Morrow OB, Connole ML, Lee SP Hepatology. 2009 Jul;50(1):175-84

July 2009. Effects of lipopolysaccharide on platelet-derived growth factor isoform and receptor expression in cultured rat common bile duct fibroblasts and cholangiocytes Kim TH, Moon JH, Savard CE, Kuver R, Lee SP J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Jul;24(7):1218-25

March 2009. Gallbladder epithelial cells that engraft in mouse liver can differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells. Lee SP, Savard CE, Kuver R Am J Pathol. 2009 Mar;174(3):842-53 [Epub 2009 Feb 13]

July 2008. Physical chemistry of intestinal absorption of biliary cholesterol in mice. Wang DQ, Lee SP. Hepatology. 2008 Jul;48(1):177-85

April 2008. Hepatic free fatty acids accumulate in experimental steatohepatitis: Role of adaptive pathways. Larter CZ, Yeh MM, Haigh WG, Williams J, Brown S, <br>Bell-Anderson KS, Lee SP, Farrell GC J Hepatol. 2008 Apr;48(4):638-47. Epub 2008 Jan 28

January 2008. Insulin resistance and incident gallbladder disease in pregnancy. Ko CW, Beresford SA, Schulte SJ, Lee SP Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Jan;6(1):76-81. Epub 2007 Dec 11

November 2007. Murine gallbladder epithelial cells can differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells in vitro. Kuver R, Savard CE, Lee SK, Haigh WG, Lee SP Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2007 Nov;293(5):G944-55. Epub 2007 Aug 23

August 2007. Incidence and Predictors of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients With Cirrhosis. Ioannou GN, Splan MF, Weiss NS, McDonald GB, Beretta L, <br>Lee SP Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Aug;5(8):938-945.e4. Epub 2007 May 16

August 2007. Paclitaxel interrupts TGF-beta1 signaling between gallbladder epithelial cells and myofibroblasts. Choi HS, Savard CE, Choi JW, Kuver R, Lee SP J Surg Res. 2007 Aug;141(2):183-91. Epub 2007 Jun 14

June 2007. Gastric fluid bile concentrations and risk of Barrett's esophagus. Nason KS, Farrow DC, Haigh G, Lee SP, Bronner MP, Rosen SN, Vaughan TL Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2007 Jun;6(3):304-7. Epub 2007 Feb 8

December 2006. Absence of CFTR is associated with pleiotropic effects on mucins in mouse gallbladder epithelial cells. Kuver R, Wong T, Klinkspoor JH, Lee SP Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 Dec;291(6):G1148-54. Epub 2006 Jul 6

May 2006. Elevated serum alanine aminotransferase activity and calculated risk of coronary heart disease in the United States. Ioannou GN, Weiss NS, Boyko EJ, Mozaffarian D, Lee SP. Hepatology. 2006 May;43(5):1145-51.

May 2006. The production of oxysterols in bile by activated human leukocytes. Haigh WG, Wong T, Lee SP Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 May 5;343(2):467-9. Epub 2006 Mar 9

April 2006. Hypertonic saline for cystic fibrosis. Kuver R, Lee SP. N Engl J Med. 2006 Apr 27;354(17):1848-51; author reply 1848-51.

January 2006. Interactions between sphingomyelin and cholesterol in low density lipoproteins and model membranes. Guarino AJ, Lee SP, Wrenn SP J Colloid Interface Sci. 2006 Jan 1;293(1):203-12. Epub 2005 Jul 12

January 2006. The prevalence and predictors of elevated serum aminotransferase activity in the United States in 1999-2002. Ioannou GN, Boyko EJ, Lee SP. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan;101(1):76-82.

July 2005. Biliary Sludge Is Formed by Modification of Hepatic Bile by the Gallbladder Mucosa. Ko CW, Schulte SJ, Lee SP Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Jul;3(7):672-8.

March 2005. Contribution of metabolic factors to alanine aminotransferase activity in persons with other causes of liver disease. Ioannou GN, Weiss NS, Boyko EJ, Kahn SE, Lee SP. Gastroenterology. 2005 Mar;128(3):627-35.

February 2005. Incidence, natural history, and risk factors for biliary sludge and stones during pregnancy. Ko CW, Beresford SA, Schulte SJ, Matsumoto AM, Lee SP. Hepatology. 2005 Feb;41(2):359-65.

December 2004. Oxysterols from human bile induce apoptosis of canine gallbladder epithelial cells in monolayer culture. Seo DW, Choi HS, Lee SP, Kuver R. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2004 Dec;287(6):G1247-56. Epub 2004 Jul 8.

February 2004. Calcium binding to biliary mucins is dependent on sodium ion concentration: relevance to cystic fibrosis. Kuver R, Lee SP. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Feb 6;314(2):330-4.

June 2002. Polarized cholesterol and phospholipid efflux in cultured gall-bladder epithelial cells: evidence for an ABCA1-mediated pathway. Lee J, Shirk A, Oram JF, Lee SP, Kuver R. Biochem J. 2002 Jun 1;364(Pt 2):475-84.

February 2001. Effects of bile salts on cholestan-3beta,5alpha,6beta-triol-induced apoptosis in dog gallbladder epithelial cells. Yoshida T, Klinkspoor JH, Kuver R, Poot M, Rabinovitch PS, Wrenn SP, Kaler EW, Lee SP. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Feb 26;1530(2-3):199-208.

Contact Info

M.D., University of Hong Kong

Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Cell Biology, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Residency in Medicine, University of Hong Kong and University of Auckland, NZ

Fellowship in Gastroenterology, University of Auckland, NZ

Fogarty Research Scholar, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

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