Dr. Brendan Lee took on responsibilities as department chair in December 2014 after serving as interim chair since June 2014.
Lee, a member of the Institute of Medicine, also serves as a professor in the genetics department, as well as co-director of the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Bone Disease Program of Texas, a collaboration of Baylor and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and as director of the Center for Skeletal Medicine and Biology at Baylor.
He holds the Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair in Molecular and Human Genetics and is the founder and director of the Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Lee is an internationally recognized geneticist. His research centers on understanding how gene mutations affect skeletal development and combines laboratory studies with clinical research involving patients with skeletal problems. Another important area of research for Lee is metabolic disorders or energy regulation.
Lee and colleagues were recently awarded two large NIH grants which Lee will serve as principal investigator. They include a $7.3 million, four-year grant on a study at Baylor to join a national network of clinicians and scientists joining forces to address prolonged undiagnosed medical conditions and a $6.25 million, five-year grant to lead a multi-center initiative that will focus on understanding and providing better therapeutic options for brittle bone disorder.
As an M.D./Ph.D. student at State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center in the late 1980s, he was first to clone two genes for connective tissue diseases – Marfan syndrome and spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia. He completed both his medical and doctorate degrees at SUNY and then his pediatric residency and two genetics fellowships at Baylor.
As an educator, Lee is a mentor to medical and graduate students, and directs the Medical Research Pathway at Baylor. The pathway gives medical students who do not want to pursue a Ph.D. the chance to do research in the laboratory.
Along with genetics, he is a professor in the Program in Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, Program in Developmental Biology and Program in Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine.
Lee is the recipient of many awards and honors, and was recently named as one of the 2014 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.