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Justin Lee

Justin Lee

Department Head, Assistant Professor


Abbotsford campus, B360

Phone: 604-851-6377

email Justin


I have worked at UFV in the Biology Department since 2013 and teach many of the Biology courses offered including BIO 093, 105, 111, 112, 201, 202 and 320. It has always been my lifelong dream to be a teacher/instructor. I chose to work at UFV because of its emphasis on high quality teaching and smaller class sizes. I enjoy the personal interaction with my students and find it extremely rewarding to see them progress onwards into professional schools and their careers.

Before working at UFV, I gained much of my teaching experience at UBC (Vancouver) by lecturing a 3rd year Biochemistry course (BIOC 302) and lecturing in a specialized course on the Molecular Mechanisms of Human Diseases in UBC’s Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) for International students. I was also a former Laboratory Instructor at the University of Calgary and St. Mary’s University (Calgary, AB) teaching first-year Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

In my spare time, I enjoy being physically active and participate regularly in CrossFit, volleyball, beach volleyball, snowboarding and hiking. I also enjoy spending time with my dog, Luna, who is a St. Bernard/Bernese Mountain dog cross. (Instagram: @luna_the_stbernese).



B.Sc. Honours Biochemistry (University of Calgary)

Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (University of British Columbia)

Research Interests

My research program at UFV involves studying, characterizing and developing lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) encapsulating nucleic acids such as messenger RNA (mRNA) and small-interfering RNA (siRNA). In 2020, LNP therapeutics gained worldwide attention as LNPs encapsulating mRNA for the SARS-CoV-2 “spike protein” are the primary component of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. You will likely be injected with LNPs in the very near future!

At UFV, my focus is on studying LNP-mRNA and LNP-siRNA systems on rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fish cell lines. These systems are well-studied in humans, but have never been studied in fish cells before. My future goals are to develop aquaculture therapeutics to prevent the overuse of antibiotics in commercial fisheries and to develop an LNP-siRNA system on a validated serine protease (Myx-SP1) target to prevent the spread of “Whirling Disease” in Canadian bodies of water.

My current research program is in collaboration with Integrated Nanotherapeutics ( (BCIT: Burnaby, BC) and the fish cell lines employed in my research have been generously donated by UFV’s Dean of Science, Dr. Lucy Lee.

I am currently looking for students interested in completing Directed Studies projects (BIO 408/409) to examine in vitro gene expression, gene knockdown and cellular uptake in rainbow trout fish cell lines. Please contact me if you are interested.


Kelly HM, Lee LEJ, Chen S, Tam YYC, Lee JB (2021) Use of Rainbow Trout Fish Cell Lines to Study Cellular Uptake of Fluorescently DiI-Labeled Lipid Nanoparticles Encapsulating siRNA in vitro (Submitted to SIVB World Congress on In Vitro Biology).

Cho SJ, Braley EF, Kelly HM, Lee PW, Lee JB, Lee LEJ (2020) Astaxanthin effects on salmonid and shrimp cells in vitro. World Congress on In Vitro Biology. Virtual Meeting Abstract A2005. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology 56: S33.

Pritchard DT, Lee JB, Bols NC, Lee LEJ (2020) Use of fish epithelial cell lines to study actions of nitrite in fish. World Congress on In Vitro Biology. Virtual meeting Abstract A2007. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology 56: S33-S34.


Lee JB, Zhang K, Tam YYC, Quick J, Tam YK, Lin PJC, Chen S, Liu Y, Nair JK, Zlatev I, Rajeev KG, Manoharan M, Rennie PS, Cullis PR. A Glu-urea Lys ligand-conjugated lipid nanoparticle/siRNA system inhibits androgen receptor expression in vivo. Molecular Therapy: Nucleic Acids 5(8): e348. (2016)

Walsh S, Ou K, Belliveau NM, Leaver TJ, Wild AW, Huft J, Lin PJC, Chen S, Leung AKK, Lee JB, Hansen CL, Taylor RJ, Ramsay EC, Cullis PR. Microfluidic-based manufacture of siRNA-lipid nanoparticles for therapeutic applications. Methods in Molecular Biology 1141, 109-120. (2014)

Bellievau NM, Huft J, Lin PJC, Chen S, Leung AKK, Leaver TJ, Wild AW, Lee JB, Taylor RJ, Tam YK, Hansen CL, Cullis PR. Microfluidic Synthesis of Highly Potent Limit-size Lipid Nanoparticles for In Vivo Delivery of siRNA. Molecular Therapy: Nucleic Acids 14(1): e37. (2012)

Lee JB, Zhang K, Tam YYC, Belliveau NM, Sung VY, Lin PJC, LeBlanc E, Ciufolini MA, Rennie PS, Cullis PR. Lipid nanoparticle siRNA systems for silencing the androgen receptor in human prostate cancer in vivo. International Journal of Cancer 131, E781-E790. (2012)

ressman S, Dobson I, Lee JB, Tam YYC, Cullis PR. Synthesis of a labeled RGD-lipid, its incorporation into liposomal nanoparticles, and their trafficking in cultured endothelial cells. Bioconjugate Chemistry 20, 1404-1411. (2009)

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