Katherine Lee, PhD, is an Associate Research Fellow within Pfizer Medicine Design group. She is a drug designer and project leader who is responsible for delivering drug candidates into clinical trials. Most recently Dr. Lee led the Medicinal Chemistry team in the discovery of a first-in-class inhibitor of the kinase IRAK4 as a drug candidate for the treatment of autoimmune diseases – an agent currently in clinical trials (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02224651). She was also recently Chair of the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS) – one of the largest (>6000 members) and most vibrant sections encompassing world-renowned academic institutions and the vibrant biopharmaceuticals hub in Boston.
As the NESACS Chair-Elect, Dr. Lee organized an outstanding scientific program which catalyzed the assembly of a diverse array of scientists from the local community, including Nobel Prize winner Professor Martin Karplus. As NESACS Chair, Dr. Lee focused on career support for young scientists and established members, setting and realizing the goals for the whole organization. Dr Lee obtained her B.S. from Yale University, summa cum laude, with Honors in Chemistry and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with Professor Rick Danheiser. She conducted her post-doctoral training at the University of Texas at Austin, with Professor Steve Martin.
Dr. Lee regularly presents at academic institutions, such as MIT, providing career insights for students, and is a mentor to young female scientists via the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Also active at the national ACS level, Dr. Lee chairs committees supporting awards and fellowships for young chemists. Her drive to build a vibrant chemistry community in the Boston area benefits all of her constituency, not least the vitally important biopharmaceutical industry.