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Chin-Mei Lee Assistant Professor

Expertise: Plant physiological clock, plant stress response, protein ubiquitination regulation, molecular biology 


PhD, Michigan State University, USA
Master, National Taiwan University Biochemical Research Institute
Bachelor, Department of Zoology, National Taiwan University (now Department of Life Sciences)


Postdoctoral Research Institute of Plant and Microbiology, Academia Sinica
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, Yale University, USA
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Research: Life Science Center Room 1150


Phone: (02) 3366-2541


Current Research Interests

  • Mechanism of protein ubiquitination regulating plant biological clock

  • Regulation of plant biological clocks and their growth and flowering by temperature and photoperiod

  • Regulation of protein ubiquitination under high temperature stress in plants

Laboratory Research

The circadian clock is an approximately 24-hour endogenous timekeeper to help organisms respond properly to the rhythmic environmental changes due to the Earth rotation. In plant, circadian clock not only times daily rhythmic physiological processes (photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, biosynthesis of phytohormone and secondary metabolites etc.) but also measures seasonal time to allocate energy for growth, development and dormancy. In addition, it helps plants to anticipate external biotic and abiotic stimuli for stress resilience and their survival. Some knowledge gained from circadian clock studies have been translated to agriculture practices to control flowering time, boost crop yield, and enhance stress resistances and herbicide effectiveness. However, circadian clock-regulated biological processes and their mechanism remain to be explored. My research will focus on the following directions to study the mechanism underlying plant circadian clock and its downstream biological pathways in hope of translating to agriculture.
1.    Understanding how do rhythmic light and temperature signals entrain and maintain plant circadian clock
2.    Deciphering how does plant circadian clock modulate abiotic stress
3.    Investigating how does plant circadian clock regulate seasonal growth and development
The positions are available for undergraduate interns, graduate students and postdocs. If you are interested in studying circadian clock or abiotic stress, welcome to join us!!



  1. Lee CM, Li MW, Feke AM, Liu W, Saffer AM, Gendron JM. (2019) GIGANTEA recruits UBP12 and UBP13 deubiquitylases to regulate accumulation of the ZTL photoreceptor complex. Nature Communications. 10(1): 1-10. (Article highlighted in several news media)

  2. Feke A, Liu W, Hong J, Li MW, Lee CM, Zhou EK, Gendron JM. (2019) Decoys provide a scalable platform for the identification of plant E3 ubiquitin ligases that regulate circadian function. eLife 8: e44558.

  3. Lee CM*, Feke AM*, Li MW, Adamcheck C, Webb K, Pruneda-Paz JL, Bennet EJ, Kay SA, Gendron JM. (2018) Decoys untangle complicated redundancy and reveal targets of circadian clock F-box proteins. Plant Physiology. 177(3): 1170-86. (* These authors contributed equally.) (Article highlighted in Plant Physiology and Plantae; recommended article by Faculty of 1000)

  4. Spiegelman Z, Lee CM, Gallagher KL. (2018) KinG is a plant-specific Kinesin that regulates both intra- and intercellular movement of SHORT-ROOT. Plant Physiology. 176(1): 392-405.

  5. Gehan MA, Park SC, Gilmour SJ, An CF, Lee CM, and Thomashow MF. (2015) Natural variation in the C-repeat binding factor cold response pathway correlates with local adaptation of Arabidopsis ecotypes. The Plant Journal. 84(4): 682-93.

  6. Park SC, Lee CM, Doherty CJ, Gilmour SJ, Kim YS, Thomashow MF. (2015) Regulation of the Arabidopsis CBF regulon by a complex low temperature regulatory network. The Plant Journal. 82(2):193-207. (Article spotlighted in Trends in Plant Sciences) 

  7. Wu S, Lee CM, Hayashi T, Price S, Divol F, Henry S, Pauluzzi G, Perin C, Gallagher KL. (2014) A plausible mechanism, based upon SHORT-ROOT movement, for regulating the number of cortex cell layers in roots. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111(45):16184-9.

  8. Gallagher KL, Sozzani R, Lee CM. (2014) Intercellular protein movement: deciphering the language of development. Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology. 30:207-233.

  9. Lee CM, Thomashow MF. (2012) Photoperiodic regulation of the C-repeat binding factor (CBF) cold acclimation pathway and freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109(37):15054-9. (Article highlighted in several news media and recommended by Faculty of 1000)

  10. Yang DL, Yao J, Mei CS, Tong XH, Zeng LJ, Li Q, Xiao LT, Sun TP, Li J, Deng XW, Lee CM, Thomashow MF, Yang Y, He Z, He SY. (2012) Plant hormone jasmonate prioritizes defense over growth by interfering with gibberellin signal cascades. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109(19): E1192-200.

  11. Chou ST, Yen YC, Lee CM, Chen MS. (2010) Pro-apoptotic role of Cdc25A: activation of cyclin B1/Cdc2 by the Cdc25A C-terminal domain. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285(23):17833-45.

  12. Lin HJ, Lee CM, Luo CW, Chen YH. (2005) Functional preservation of duplicated pairs of the RSVS III gene in the REST locus of rat 3q42. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 326(2):355-63.


  1. Lee CM, Adamcheck C, Feke A, Nusinow DA, Gendron JM. (2017) Mapping protein–protein interactions using affinity purification and mass spectrometry. Plant Genomics: Methods and Protocols. (Humana Press) 231-249.

Courses Taught

  • PlBio 7006 Special Topics in Plant Science

  • LS 3010 Molecular Biology

  • LS 3016 Plant Physiology

  • PlBio 5028 Advanced Plant Molecular Biology

  • PlBio 5006 Stress Botany

  • LS 2032 Green Biotechnology

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