Profile – Dr Joohyung Lee

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Dr Joohyung Lee



Research Group Head, Brain and Gender


Dr Lee received his PhD, in 2002, from The University of Melbourne and the Florey Neuroscience Institutes, in the area of neuroscience and pharmacology. He then worked as a Parkinson’s Society Canada Research Fellow at the Toronto Western Hospital in Canada, to investigate the role of abnormal synaptic plasticity in Parkinson’s disease. In 2006 he returned to the Florey Neurosciences Institute to investigate the compensatory mechanisms in the brain in Parkinson’s disease and drug addiction, before joining PHI in 2002.

Research Interests:

Dr Lee’s research focuses on sex differences in brain function in normal and diseased states. In particular the research laboratory is focusing on the potential role of the male sex-determining gene SRY in the sex differences in neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and autism. He has a strong interest in understanding the role of the Y-chromosome gene SRY and the male brain and how abnormal regulation of SRY may increase the susceptibility of males to certain neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.


Animal models of Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders; Behavioural Neuroscience; Stereotaxic surgery; Neurochemistry, in vivo and in vitro measurements of neurotransmitter release, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridisation

Selected publications:

Czech DP*, Lee J*, Correia J, Loke H, Möller E, Harley VR (2014) Transient neuroprotection by SRY up-regulation in dopamine cells following injury in males. Endocrinology. Apr 7 [Epub] PMID: 24708242 (joint first author)

Lee, J. and Harley, V. (2012) The male fight-flight response: A result of SRY regulation of   catecholamines? Bioessays. 34(6): 545-7

Czech, D.P., Lee, J., Sim, H., Parish, C.L., Vilain, E. and Harley, V.R. The human testis determining factor SRY localizes in the substantia nigra and regulates multiple components of dopamine synthesis and metabolism. (2012) Journal of Neurochemistry 122(2): 260-271

Lee, J., Parish, C.P., Tomas, D., Lawrence, A.J., HorneM.K. Chronic cocaine administration reduces striatal dopamine terminal density and striatal dopamine release which leads to drug-seeking behaviour. (2011) Neuroscience. 174c: 143-150

Lee, J., Zhu, W.M., Stanic, D., Finkelstein, D.I., Horne, M.H., Henderson, J., Lawrence, A.J., O’Connor, L., Tomas, D., Drago, J., and Horne, M.K. (2008) Sprouting of Dopamine Terminals and Altered Dopamine Release and Uptake in Parkinsonian Dyskinesia. Brain. 131 (pt6), 1574-87.