Dr. Lee is one of the top scientists in the world in the field of fish cell culture, and she is considered an international leader in fish cell line development. Ever since Dr. Lee completed her PhD research at the University of Waterloo in 1988 (PhD degree received in 1989) on the role of corticosteroids on salmonid cells in culture, she has continued to lead cutting-edge research in fish parasitology, nutrition, endocrinology, and aquatic toxicology. She has published this research in 95 articles (12 of which were published in the SIVB journal In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology – Animal). Many of the 248 peer-reviewed abstracts of this research were presented at SIVB annual meetings dating back to 1991 (Anaheim, CA). She has educated over 150 trainees, including graduate students, research associates, post-doctoral fellows, undergraduate students, and even high school students. Dr. Lee has held numerous successful grants with a total of over two million dollars which address both important basic and applied in vitro biology topics of fish cells in culture. Professor Lee’s academic career began in 1988 as an Assistant Professor at Acadia University, then the University of Saskatchewanfrom 1989 to 1996. In 1997, Dr. Lee moved to Wilfrid Laurier University as an Associate Professor and achieved the rank of Full Professor in 2002. Dr. Lee was Chair of the Biology Department at Wilfrid Laurier University between 2009-2012. She took an administrative position as Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, British Columbia in 2012 and is currently serving a second 5-year term. In her time as an academic, she has served on numerous committees both internal and external to the University community and is an outstanding example of a talented and hardworking scientist.
Dr. Lee has been an outstanding educator and mentor for both undergraduate and graduate students. She has taught numerous undergraduate courses on topics such as anatomy, histology, cell & molecular biology, developmental biology, and embryology. Despite being an active administrator, Dr. Lee has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses while Dean. Over the years, she has had a positive influence on a large number of students and is undoubtedly passionate about teaching the next generation of scientists. Dr. Lee’s service to the scientific community started while she was a graduate student. Since then, she has been a member of several societies including the SIVB from 1991-1992 and 2007-2021. She has been the President of the Canadian Society of Zoologists and the President of the Canadian Council of Deans of Science. She has also been of support to the SIVB in capacities such as Program Committee Member (2008-2015), and Board of Director Member-at-Large from 2010-2012. She has also co-organized the International Conference on Invertebrate and Fish Tissue Culture held every four years along with the SIVB annual meeting. In 2019, Dr. Lee was convenor of the Cellular Agriculture and Use of Cell Lines for Meat Production session at the SIVB meeting. This session introduced the SIVB to a new set of researchers within an expanding area of in vitro biology. Dr. Lee has been a scientific advisor to several cellular agriculture companies as well as a Scientific co-investigator at Plant and Food Research in New Zealand. These are some of the more recent examples of Dr. Lee’s engagement with the private sector. Dr. Lee is exemplary in her service to the SIVB. She has received the SIVB Service Award in 2019 and twice received the Distinguished Service Award in 2012 and 2014. She has also received several Merit awards from her tenure at Wilfrid Laurier and was recognized for her excellence in research as University Research Professor in 2011, as well as for teaching (Hoffmann-Little Award 2010). She also received a teaching award while a professor at the University of Saskatchewan (1996), and won several awards for teaching of courses during her graduate studies at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Lee has engaged in multiple outreach activities with more recent presentations on the impact of cellular agriculture at the Abbotsford Learning Plus Society that hosts a wide range of topics for Seniors. Dr. Lee is an exceptional researcher, teacher, scholar, and mentor who has made outstanding contributions in fish cell culture in research, teaching and administration across all sectors.