Mark W. Lee Jr.

Mark W. Lee Jr.
Assistant Professor
202 Schlundt
Research Emphasis: 

Boron chemistry, BNCT, Rational drug design, Nanotechnology


BA, University of California, Santa Barbara
PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

Professional Experience: 
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2012-present
  • Assistant Director, International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine, University of Missouri, 2006-2012
  • Acting Director, International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine, University of Missouri, 2008-2009
  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, University of Missouri, 2006-2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, 2005-2006

Honors and Awards
Excellence in Teaching Award, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2001
Chancellor's Scholar, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1998

Image of a phenyl substituted polyarylborane


Our research focuses on biomedical, analytical, and material science applications of polyhedral boranes.

Material Science Applications of Polyhedral Boranes –The higher closo polyhedral borane anions, such as dodecaborate, B12H122-  exhibit extraordinarily high thermal stability and resistance to oxidative degradation. Such stability results in low biological toxicities for these clusters, but also renders them relatively inert to many chemical reactions. As such, today there are few real-world applications for these substances. Recently, our group reported a new class of organic-inorganic hybrid materials, which we call polyarylboranes, where these clusters serve as a core upon which several aryl ligands are bound through stable boron-carbon bonds. Many of these species exhibit remarkable electronic properties, including high fluorescence quantum yields. Our group is currently exploring and expanding the scope of known substitution chemistry of these polyarylboranes, focusing on potential applications in bioimaging, alternative energy and materials science.

Targeted Drug Delivery – Using carboranes, our group has developed a class of highly potent anticancer agents which exhibit sub-nanomolar activity against a wide range of human cancer cell lines in vitro.  These drugs inhibit the NAD+ recycling pathway which has implications in a wide-range of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.  We are currently developing a class of cancer-specific targeted prodrugs of these exceptionally potent molecules.

Select Publications: 
  1. Huang, P.; Lee, M. W.; Sadrerafi, K.; Heruth, D. P.; Zhang, L.Q.; Maulik, D.; Ye, S.Q.; MC-PPEA as a new and more potent inhibitor of CLP-induced sepsis and pulmonary inflammation than FK866, Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 2017 (in press)
  2. Lee, M. W.; Catalyst-Free Polyhydroboration of Dodecaborate Yields Highly Photoluminescent Ionic Polyarylated Clusters. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 56(1), 138-142, 2017.
  3. Stalla, D.; Lam, T.; Lee, M. W.; Pfeifer, P.; Spectroscopic Investigations of the Structure of Graphitic Carbon Nitrides for H2 Storage, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 22, 1668-69, 2016.
  4. Zheng, H.; Ramalingam, B.; Mukerjee, S.; Zhou, Y.; Gangopadhyay, K.; Brockman, J.; Lee, M. W.; Gangopadhyay, S.; Neutron detection with integrated sub-2 nm Pt nanoparticles and 10B enriched dielectrics—A direct conversion device, Sensing and Bio-Sensing, 9, 1-6, 2016.
  5. Sadrerafi, K.; Zargham, E.; Lee, M. W.; Improved Synthesis of MC4-PPEA and the Biological Evaluation of its Hydroxymethyl Derivative, Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 26, 618-21, 2016.
  6. Sadrerafi, K.; Moore, E.; Lee, M. W.; Association constant of β-cyclodextrin with carboranes, adamantane, and their derivatives using displacement binding technique, Journal of inclusion phenomena and macrocyclic chemistry, 83, 159-66, 2015.
  7. Huang, P.; Lee, M. W.; Heruth, D. P.; Sokolovsky, I. V.; Nsumu, N. N.; Grigoryev, D.; Zhang, L.; Ye, Q.; Ye, S. Q.,  MC-bpep as a new and potent inhibitor of endothelial permeability and inflammation. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 2014
  8. Romanos, J.; Beckner, M.; Stalla, D.; Tekeei, A.; Suppes, G.; Jalisatgi, S.; Lee, M. W.; Hawthorne, M.; Robertson, J. D.; Firlej, L., Infrared study of boron-​carbon chemical bonds in boron-​doped activated carbon, Carbon, 54, 208-14, 2013.
  9. Mutz, M.; Eastwood, E.; Lee Jr, M. W.; Bowen, D.; Dadmum, M.,  Qunatifying the thermodynamic interactions of polyhedral boranes in solution to guide nanocomposite fabrication., Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 14, 1237, 2012.
  10. Lee Jr., M. W.; Sevryugina, Y.; Khan, A.; Ye, S. Q.; Carboranes Increase the Potency of Small Molecule Inhibitors of Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltranferase. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 55, 7290-94, 2012.
  11. Heber, E. M.; Lee Jr., M. W.; Hawthorne, M.; Garabalino, M. A.; Molinari, A. J.; Nigg, D. W.; Bauer, W.; Hughes, A. M.; Pozzi, E. C.; Trivillin, V. A.; Schwint, A. E.;  Boron delivery with liposomes for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT): Biodistribution studies in an experimental model of oral cancer demonstrating therapeutic potential. Radiation and Environmental Biophysics, 51, 195-204, 2012.
  12. Goswami, L.; Chakravarty, C.; Lee Jr. M. W.; Jalisatgi, S.; Hawthorne, M., Extensions of the Icosahedral Closomer Structure by Using Azide-Alkyne Click Reactions. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 46, 17, 3018-22, 2011.
  13. Jalisatgi, S.; Kulkarni, V. S.; Tang, B.; Houston, Z.; Lee Jr., M. W.; Hawthorne, M.,  A Convenient Route to Diversely Substituted Icosahedral Closomer Nanoscaffolds. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133, 12382-85, 2011.
  14. Lee Jr, M. W.; Safronov, A.; Jalisatigi, S.; Hawthorne, M.,  Cesium dodecahydroxy-closo-dodecaborate: Cs2[B12(OH)12],” Inorganic Syntheses, 2010.
Research Division: