A headshot photo of Joonhee Lee.

Joonhee Lee, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Contact Information



  • Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Department of Neuroscience
  • Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute

Graduate Training

  • PhD, Physics (condensed matter physics), Seoul National University, Korea


  • Senior Research Associate, School of Engineering, Brown University
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Engineering, Brown University

Research Interests

The recently pioneered optogenetic technique, allowing fast, spatially targeted control over neuronal activity by using light, has become a powerful driving force in neuroscience research and significantly enriched modern neuroscience with the expanding libraries of opsins and promoters and with other complementing methods. However, the dissection of complex functional brain microcircuits is constrained by seemingly insurmountable limitations due to the lack of versatile and practical miniaturized neurodevice technology. I successfully developed a new type of neural probe array with transparent ZnO semiconductors for simultaneous electrical recording and spatio-temporal optical modulation of neural activity, as well as fluorescence mapping ( Lee et al., Nat. Methods, 2015).

To bridge the technological gap between biomedical science and neuroscience in ways beyond those available today, my research focuses on the development of a) multifunctional neural interface technology for in-vivo applications, b) optical method of sensing biophysical phenomena in various biological systems and, c) nanomaterials and optoelectronics, from novel luminescent nanomaterials to integrated optoelectronic devices, with future biomedical/clinical applications in mind.

I will make use of my broad range of expertise and more than 10 years of experience in nanophotonics, optoelectronics, microdevice fabrication, and implantable neural device technology. I also pursue the multidisciplinary collaboration with the goal of providing a valuable new tool for use in basic neuroscience and clinical research communities.