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Juong G. Rhee, PhD

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:

Radiation Oncology


BRB 8-031

Education and Training

1970   B.S.    Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

1975   M.S.    Grad. Sch. Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

1983   Ph.D.   Grad. Sch. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


Research/Clinical Keywords

Radiation Biology, Tumor Physiology, Tumor Hypoxia, Hyperthermia, Chemotherapy, and Cancer stem cells

Highlighted Publications

Rhee, J.G., Song, C.W., Levitt, S.H., "Changes in thermosensitivity of mouse mammary carcinoma following hyperthermia in vivo,"  Cancer Res., 1982, 42, 4485-4489

Rhee, J.G., Song, C.W., "Thermosensitivity of bovine aortic endothelial cells in culture: in vitro clonogenicity study," Hyperthermic Oncology, 1984, 1, 157-160

Rhee, J.G., Lee, I., Song, C.W., "Radiosensitivity of clonogenic bovine aortic endo­thel­ial cells cultured in vitro,"  Radiat. Res., 1986, 106, 182-189

Rhee, J.G., Schuman, V.L., Song, C.W., Levitt, S.H., "Differences in the thermo­tolerance of mouse mammary carcinoma cells in vivo and in vitro,"  Cancer Res., 1987, 47, 2571-2575

Rhee, J.G., Eddy, H.A., Salazar, O.M., Lyons, J.C., Song, C.W., "Reversible heat sensi­tivity of mouse mammary carcinoma by a modified microenviron­ment," Hyperthermic Oncology, 1988, 1, 32-33

Rhee, J.G., Eddy, H.A., Salazar, O.M., Lyons, J.C., Song, C.W., "A differential low pH effect on tumor cells grown in vivo and in vitro when treated with hyperthermia,"  Int. J. Hyperther­mia, 1991, 7(1), 75-84

Rhee, J.G., Eddy, H.A., Hong, J.J., Suntharalingam, M., Vaupel, P.W., “Divergent changes of flow through individual blood vessels upon localized heating,” Int. J. Hyperthermia, 1996, 12(6), 757-769

Rhee J.G., Li D., O’Malley jr. B.W., Suntharalingam M. “Combination radiation and adenovirus-mediated p16INK4A gene therapy in a murine model for head and neck cancer.” ORL 2003, 65:144-154

Rhee J.G., Li D., Suntharalingam M., Guo C., O’Malley B.W. Jr, Carney J.P. “Radiosensitization of        head/neck squamous cell carcinoma by adenovirus-mediated expression of the Nbs 1 protein.” Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 2007, 67(1):273-278

Lee D.H., Rhee J.G., Lee Y.J. “Reactive oxygen species up-regulate p53 and Puma; a possible mechanism for apoptosis during combined treatment with TRAIL and wogonin.” Br. J. Phamacol. 2009, 157(7):1189-202

Kim S.Y., Rhee J.G., Song X., Prochownik E.V., Spitz D.R., Lee Y.J., “Breast cancer stem cell-like cells are more sensitive to ionizing radiation than non-stem cells: role of ATM”. PLoS One, 2012, 7: e50423 (PMC3503893)



Research Interests

As a tumor physiology lab, we study the role of tumor microenvironments on the proliferation and adaptation of malignant tumor cells, and we utilize this knowledge to prevent or eliminate the malignancy by employing various therapeutic interventions, such as radio-, chemo-, immuno-, and thermo-therapies.

Our tumor models are comprised of triple-negative human mammary carcinoma stem or non-stem cells. Some tumor models have a >90% stem cell purity ratio, while others are mixtures that were developed in order to represent different stem to non-stem cell ratios. These cells are grown in culture flasks, a multi-cellular spheroid system, or a mouse tumor model.

Our primary goal is to investigate the behavior of cancer stem cells (CSCs) when various therapies are applied, since CSCs are known to be resistant to conventional radiotherapy. Long-term goals include characterizing the fate of CSCs in various micro-environmental conditions (e.g., low glucose, low pH, and/or low oxygen conditions), toward the end of identifying those therapeutic modalities that most effectively inactivate or eliminate CSCs in human breast cancers.