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Changhoon Jee, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology 

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
71 South Manassas, Suite 217
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901.448.6050
Fax: 901.448.1623
Lab: 71 South Manassas, TSRB
Email: Changhoon Jee


  • PhD Institution: Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, Department of Life Science
  • Postdoctoral: University of California at San Francisco, Department of Neurology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Texas A&M University, Department of Biology

Research Interests

My research is to understand how animals modulate innate state of motivation and make a risky-decision to develop compulsive behaviors. This subject poses fascinating insight into the development of Substance abuse Disorders (SUD) and comorbid neuropsychoiatric disorders. Focusing on how neuropeptide signaling regulate neural integration via modulation of wired-circuits to orchestrate animal behaviors in a distance, I exploit sophisticated behavioral paradigms in the simplest and most completely defined connectome using C. elegans. I demonstrated the neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptor ortholog GPCR in C. elegans, enhance motivational state resulted in compulsive engagement in both sexual drive and ethanol craving over the aversive stimuli. Currently, I am investigating how C. elegans CRF signaling regulates cellular excitability of neurocircuit associated with motivated behaviors to supersede avoidance program and pursuing to elucidate the molecular pathway associated with pathological neuroadaptation in constitutively activated stress model using genetic manipulations, microsurgeries, electrophysiological recordings, optogenetic tool.

Representative Publications

  • Jee C, Goncalves JF, LeBoeuf B, Garcia LR. CRF-like receptor SEB-3 in sex-common interneurons potentiates stress handling and reproductive drive in C. elegans. Nat Commun. 2016 Jun 20;7:11957. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11957. PubMed PMID: 27321013; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4915151.
  • Zhang L, Gualberto DG, Guo X, Correa P, Jee C, Garcia LR. TMC-1 attenuates C. elegans development and sexual behaviour in a chemically defined food environment. Nat Commun. 2015 Feb 19;6:6345. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7345. PubMed PMID: 25695879.
  • LeBoeuf B, Correa P, Jee C, García LR. Caenorhabditis elegans male sensory-motor neurons and dopaminergic support cells couple ejaculation and post-ejaculatory behaviors. Elife. 2014 Jun 10;3. doi: 10.7554/eLife.02938. PubMed PMID: 24915976; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4103683.
  • Jee C, Lee J, Lim JP, Parry D, Messing RO, McIntire SL. SEB-3, a CRF receptor-like GPCR, regulates locomotor activity states, stress responses and ethanol tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genes Brain Behav. 2013 Mar;12(2):250-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2012.00829.x. Epub 2012 Sep 4. PubMed PMID: 22853648; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3848202.
  • Jee C, Choi TW, Kalichamy K, Yee JZ, Song HO, Ji YJ, Lee J, Lee JI, L'Etoile ND, Ahnn J, Lee SK. CNP-1 (ARRD-17), a novel substrate of calcineurin, is critical for modulation of egg-laying and locomotion in response to food and lysine sensation in Caenorhabditis elegans. J Mol Biol. 2012 Mar 30;417(3):165-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2012.01.012. Epub 2012 Jan 28. PubMed PMID: 22300764.
  • Lee J, Jee C, McIntire SL. Ethanol preference in C. elegans. Genes Brain Behav. 2009 Aug;8(6):578-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2009.00513.x. Epub 2009 Jun 22. PubMed PMID: 19614755; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2880621.

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May 26, 2022