Sammy Lee (scientist)

Sammy Lee (scientist)

Sammy Lee (born Samuel Lee, 1958) is an expert on fertility[1] and in vitro fertilisation[2]

He has been a hospital scientific consultant and was the chief scientist at the Wellington IVF programme.[3] His book Counselling in Male Infertility was published in 1996 and he has contributed to major newspaper articles, and has appeared on several current affairs television programmes. He was the "inspiration" for Anthony Ling, the character in the novel One Life by Rebecca Frayn (Simon & Schuster 2006, ISBN 0-7432-6876-8), after the author herself sought Lee's help for IVF treatment[4]


Current Research

Lee’s current interests lie in the field of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. He is collaborating with various groups in the Anatomy Department at University College London examining the potential of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells to give rise to neuronal/glial lineages in response to various growth factors and tissue culture manipulations. He also teaches ethics in reproduction at University College London. In addition, he is interested in tissue engineering and teaching ethics in reproduction. He is attached to the Jessen-Mirsky laboratory and is studying remyelination. Lee has ethical committee approval in Brasil for creating artificial gametes from umbilical cord blood derived stem cells. It is hoped these will be used to overcome infertility.[5]


Lee originally researched his PhD at UCL under the supervision of Professor Ricardo Miledo FRS in the school of Sir Bernard Katz.[6] Lee is also a signatory to a memento presented to Sir Bernard Katz on his 80th birthday from bona fide members of the school-occasion when the phrase "School of Katz" was coined.[7]

Lee first published research in Neuroscience during the 1980s (from the Biophysics department at UCL), having worked on nerve muscle interaction ranging from examining TTX-resistant action potentials in denervated muscle [8] to studying cholinesterase activity in dissociated adult muscle fibres [9] following up on the work first done in the same department by Bill Betz and Bert Sakmann.[10][11] Lee changed his focus to embryos, when he realised that many of the questions framed by his Neuroscience research were rooted in the matter of differentiation. The ultimate undifferentiated cell is the fertilised egg. This led Lee to work on gap junctions in early mammalian embryos (in the Anatomy & Embryology department at UCL), where work with Anne Warner FRS and Anne McLaren DBE FRS produced new information on factors affecting communication between cells and their developmental potential.[12][13]

Lee became a clinical embryologist in 1985, when working with the gynaecologist Ian Craft[14] he directed the IVF laboratory at the Wellington Hospital in London, then one of the largest units in the world. Consultancy work with the UK division of Ares Serono (1986–1994) also involved work with the Bourn Hallam Group, which Patrick Steptoe and Bob Edwards had set up after Louise Brown's birth. From 1995 to 2002 he was based at the Portland Hospital for Women & Children.[15][16] [17]

Lee is now based again at UCL. He is interested in tissue engineering and teaching ethics in reproduction.[18] He is now working on tissue engineering and stem cells mainly concerned with background research on Stem cells and Progenitor cells. Dr. Lee also has a keen interest in ethics and expresses this at UCL by running a course titled "Ethics of Fertility and Embryo Research". His students remark him to be knowledgeable in the field of ethics and enthusiastic, they have particularly noted that he is clearly a fan of Kant.

He has previously served as an international editor of the Brazilian Journal of Assisted Reproduction. He has served as a Trustee and director of several charities. His curriculum vitae lists numerous scientific publications. He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Health (now Royal Society for PublicHealth) and the Royal Society of Medicine, both in 1987.[19]

Lee's team at the Wellington pioneered the first UK practise of gamete Intra-fallopian Transfer (GIFT), The GIFT of Life (a technique invented by Ricardo Asch in the USA). The team was the second to carry out GIFT and then proceeded to post the largest series in the world in 1986.[20][21]

Lee also helped perform some of the first egg donations in the UK, when directing the Wellington Hospital IVF Laboratory.[22]

Lee pioneered a simple inexpensive efficient form of Mechanical Assisted Hatching in the UK.[23] He produced the world's first intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI with NASBA virus assay) virus free baby to an HIV discordant couple.[24]

Lee has many media appearances having been on many TV shows as well as writing a number of newspapers articles . He has written several books of his own: such as Counselling in Male Infertility, and has also been a contributor/consultant in such books: The Miraculous World of The Unborn Baby (Quadrillion, Godalming, Surrey 1998) ISBN 1-85833-966-9, Natural Fertility (Hamlyn 2002) ISBN 0-600-60396-2 and Inconceivable Conceptions.

Lee is no stranger to controversy. In addition to his work in IVF, he has had differences of opinion with the HFEA, most notably over the issue of human cloning.[25] He states that if it may be done safely and effectively, it may be morally justifiable.

Lee also wrote an article in the Sunday Times (10 November 2002) in the aftermath of a number of high profile embryo transfer mixups in several human IVF clinics.

Professor Sammy Lee arranged a conference co-sponsored by the Progress Educational Trust entitled '21st Century Motherhood' at the University College London (UCL) (18 September 2009). Speakers included Peter Brinsden, Consultant Medical Director at Bourn Hall Clinic, Professor Lord Robert Winston and Professor Shere Hite[26][27] .[28]

Education and experience

Lee was educated at Mill Hill School and received a BSc in Physiology in 1979 from King’s College London. He received a PhD in Biophysics from University College London under the supervision of Prof. Ricardo Miledi, in a group associated with Sir Bernard Katz. He later received a Diploma in Counselling from London Hospital Medical College in 1991, and in 2004 a PGCE at the University of Greenwich.

Lee has held the following appointments:

  • Research Associate in Biophysics (1982–1984), and Anatomy & Embryology (1984–1985) University College London
  • Laboratory Director, IVF unit at the Humana Hospital Wellington in London (1985–1986)[20][21]
  • Consultant Clinical Embryologist, UK division of Ares Serono (human recombinant pharmaceutical company) [21]
  • Scientific Director of the Colchester Fertility Service (1992 to 2001)
  • Consultant Scientist and Director of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) at the Portland Hospital for Women & Children (1995–2003)
  • Acting Scientific Director for the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital (1999–2000).
  • Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Reproductive Medicine at the Homerton Hospital (2000–2005)
  • Honorary Lecturer in the Anatomy & Developmental Biology Dept., University College London (2003–present).[18]
  • Visiting Professor in Biomedical Science at the ABC Medical School in São Paulo, Brasil (2006–present).[29]


  1. ^ [1] The Guardian "Women are risking their lives to have IVF babies" Sep 13 2009
  2. ^ [2] The Times "Paying poor women for eggs is 'a Kind of Prostitution' says expert" Sep 19 2009
  3. ^ [3] The Times "Why are older mothers still taboo? Sep 22 2009
  4. ^ [4] The Independent Rebecca Frayn Interview Aug 30 2009
  5. ^ [5] Official UCL page
  6. ^ [6] The School of Sir Bernard Katz
  7. ^ [7] Lee provides an anecdote about Sir Bernard Katz and Ricardo Miledi. ISBN 88-86062-55-9 Published by CESI
  8. ^ [8] S Lee, R Miledi, F Ruzzier. (1987). Rat diaphragm muscle fibre action potentials and the development of tetrodotoxin resistance in long-term organ culture. Quart J Exp Physiol. 72, 601-608
  9. ^ [9] MI Glavinovic, S Lee, R Miledi. (1987). Effect of collagenase treatment on rat muscle fibre acetylcholinesterase activity. J Neuroscience Res. 18, 519-524.
  10. ^ Betz, W.J. & Sakmann, B. (1971). "Disjunction" of frog neuromuscular synapses by treatment with proteolytic enzymes. Nature New Biol. 232: 94-95
  11. ^ Betz W.J., Sakmann B. (1973). "Effects of proteolytic enzymes on function and structure of frog neuromuscular junctions". J. Physiol 230 (3): 673–688. PMC 1350622. PMID 4352108. 
  12. ^ Buehr M, Lee S, McLaren A, Warner A (1987). "Reduced gap junctional communication is associated with the lethal condition characteristic of DDK mouse eggs fertilized by foreign sperm". Development 101 (3): 449–459. PMID 3502992. 
  13. ^ Lee S, Gilula NB, Warner A (1987). "Gap junctional communication and compaction during preimplantation stages of mouse development". Cell 51 (5): 851–860. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(87)90108-5. PMID 3677175. 
  14. ^ The Daily Telegraph Letter from Ian Craft when he and Sammy Lee worked at the Wellington [10]
  15. ^ Official UCL page
  16. ^ Portland Hospital
  17. ^ Dr Sammy Lee, Scientific Director of the Portland Hospital, David McConnell, Professor of Genetics at TCD, and David Quinn, Editor of the Irish Catholic, discuss the issue [11]
  18. ^ a b S. Lee (2007). "UCL staff webpage". UCL. 
  19. ^ UCL Staff Page (1987) Lee was FRSM and FRSH. He was inducted to Fellowship of RSH (now RSPH) and RSM. [12]
  20. ^ a b J Laurance (1987-10-30). "The test tube dilemma". New Society. 
  21. ^ a b c C Harrison (January 1991). "Failing to deliver". Public Eye (BBC). 
  22. ^ Laboratory Director and Chief Scientist at the Wellington Hospital
  23. ^ A Kon (1999-08-08). "My little miracle". Sunday Mirror. 
  24. ^ S. Lee and H Rivas-Toro (2001). "Treatment with IUI and ICSI for HIV men whose partners remain HIV- free: a risk reduction method". J. Bras. Reprod. Ass. 5: 64–65
  25. ^ BBC News Dr Sammy Lee and Ruth Deech head of the UK human fertilisation authority [
  26. ^ Times On Line 'Cultural historian Shere Hite says it’s just sexism ' [13]
  27. ^ UCL '21st Century Motherhood' Conference at the University College London (UCL) (18 September 2009) [14]
  28. ^ In this podcast Professor Sammy Lee (chair of the conference, Visiting Professor in Biomedical Science ABC Medical School Sao Paulo, and Honorary Teaching Fellow at UCL), Lord Robert Winston (Imperial College) and Professor Naomi Pfeffer (Historian and Sociologist, London Metropolitan University) debate the issue and talk about the implications, both from a socio/historical and biological perspective. They cover topics such as IVF tourism, egg freezing and the money to be made from making babies [15]
  29. ^ Faculdade De Medicina Do ABC Information about the faculty

Further reading


Selected journal articles

Newspaper articles

Books & book chapters/contributions

  • S Lee (1996). Counselling in male infertility. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Press. ISBN 0-632-03906-X. 
  • S. Lee (2003). "Myths and reality in male infertility". In J. Haynes & J. Miller. Inconceivable conceptions. Routledge. ISBN 1-58391-168-5. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sammy Lee — is the name of:*Sammy Lee (scientist) (born 1958), expert in vitro fertilisation *Sammy Lee (diver) (born 1920), Korean American diver and two time Olympic Games champion *Sammy Lee (footballer) (born 1959), former Liverpool footballer and former …   Wikipedia

  • Lee (surname) — The surname Lee can be one of the following: *Lee (English name): An English surname. *Lee (Korean name): A Korean name *A common transliteration of Li, one of several Chinese names. (For Hong Kong Chinese and Taiwanese, Lee is more common… …   Wikipedia

  • Lee Scratch Perry — Rainford Hugh Perry Lee Scratch Perry Surnom Lee Scratch Perry, Pipecock Jaxxon, The Upsetter Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of King's College London alumni — This List of King s College London alumni includes graduates, non graduate former students, and current students of King s College London. The list also includes those whom are alumni by extension, having studied at institutions that have… …   Wikipedia

  • List of University College London people — This is a list of notable individuals associated with University College London, including graduates, former students, and academics.See also: * * . Faculty Arts and Humanities * Chimen Abramsky Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies * A …   Wikipedia

  • List of University of Southern California people — This is a list of notable alumni, faculty, and students, from the University of Southern California. For individual who qualify for multiple categories, they have been placed under the section for which they are best known. Alumni and… …   Wikipedia

  • List of British Chinese people — This article is a list of prominent people of Chinese ancestry who were born in or have settled in the United Kingdom.Academia, science and technology*Benjamin Chan, FRSA, high profile Information Library Professional and keyboardist for British… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Scouts — This is a list of famous Scouts and Scouters.AfricaGhana*Hon. Nana Amanfi III CBE, Omanhene (Paramount Chief) of Asebu Statecite news| title =World Scout @100 Ghana Scout Celebrates!!! | language =English | publisher =Modern Ghana Ltd | date… …   Wikipedia

  • Oral History of British Science — An Oral History of British Science is an oral history project conducted by National Life Stories at the British Library.[1] The project began in 2009 with funding from the Arcadia Fund, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and a number …   Wikipedia

  • 1920 — Year 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display 1920) of the Gregorian calendar.Events of 1920January *January 1 Babe Ruth is traded by the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees for $125,000, the largest sum ever paid… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”