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Professor Seung-Wuk Lee

Seung-Wuk Lee, Ph. D.

Professor, Department of Bioengineering

B108A Stanley Hall,

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, U.S.A.

Phone: 510-664-5193, E-mail:,


Professional Experience

Professor, Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley (2015-Present).

Associate Professor, Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley (2011-2015).

Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley (2006-2010).

Associate Director, Center of Integrated Nanomechanical System, UC Berkeley (2009-2015). 

Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2006-present).

Adjunct Professor, Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute, Shenzhen, China (2015-2021).

Visiting Professor, Institute of Material Chemistry and Engineering, Kyushu University, Japan (2022).

Visiting Professor, Material Science, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland (2012).

Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2004-2005).

Research Assistant, Chemistry and Biochemistry, UT Austin, TX (2000-2002).

Teaching Assistant for Inorganic Chemistry Lab, UT Austin, TX (Spring, 2002).

Engineer, Samsung (Display Device Group), Korea (1997-1998).



The University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry (2000 - 2003)

 Research Adviser: Professor Angela M. Belcher; Thesis Title: Self-Assembly of Nanomaterials 

 Into Films and Fibers Using Genetically Engineered Viruses.

Korea University, M.S. in Polymer Chemistry (1995- 1997)

 Research Adviser: Professor Jung-Il Jin; Thesis Title: Synthesis and Luminescence Properties of 

 Poly(p-phenylenevinylene) Derivatives Carrying Directly Attached Carbazole Pendants.

Korea University B.S. in Chemistry (1990-1995) 


Awards and Honors

National Science Foundation - Engineering Frontier Research and Innovation Award (2022) 

Bayer Pharma Biomedical Research Award (2019)

CJ Grant Award, CJ Company, Seoul, Korea (2017) 

American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s Fellows (2016)

R&D 100 Awards (2015 and 2013).

Samsung GRO Award (2013 and 2015).

One of 12 Highlights for 2014 President Obama’s NSF Report to the US Congress. 

One of top five Nanomanufacturing process chosen by Scientific American (2013).

One of the 17 Scientific Breakthrough Discoveries (iO9 Committee; 2012).

Berkeley Faculty Research Fund Award, University of California, Berkeley (2010).

Presidential Chair Fellows, University of California, Berkeley (2009).

National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2008-2013).

Hellman Family Faculty Award (2008).

First Place in MRS 2007 Spring Meeting Top 5 Hot Talk/Cool Papers (April, 2007).

Best Paper in IEEE-NEMS 2007 Meeting (April, 2007).

Annual Nanotech Briefs' Nano50 Award; Top 15 Innovator in Nanotechnology (2005). 

Gold Award in MRS 2002 Fall Meeting Graduate Student Competition (Dec., 2002). 

Best Poster Award at 2002 Spring Materials Research Society Meeting (April, 2002). 

Best Employee Honor from Samsung Electronics (Display Device Division) (1998). 

Samsung Scholarships (1996-1997). 

First Class Honors from Korea University (1993-1994). 


About Professor Lee


Dr. Seung-Wuk Lee is a pioneering bioengineer in the field of virus engineering. His major contribution in the research is to utilize synthetic viruses as a tool to solve challenging scientific and engineering problems in medicine, energy, and sensors. He developed a new virus engineering system to create programmable structures and functions through unique virus properties - self-assembly, self-replication, and self-evolution. One of the representative works that he contributed is to develop a novel pathway to synthesize diverse hierarchically organized nanostructures existing in nature, termed ‘self-templating assembly’, which can be used to synthesize our eye, skin, and biological tissue nanostructures. His approaches enable scientists to synthesize desired tissue in the laboratory with desired structures and functions in a programmed manner. He also expanded the virus engineering approach to design a colorimetric biosensor to detect desired chemicals, bioelectricity generating matrices to harvest energy, and novel drug delivery vehicles to cure cancers and other diseases. During the covid pandemic, he exploited his expertise to develop a virus sensor and therapeutic methods. Recently, he expanded his virus engineering approach to develop a novel environmentally friendly mining process to purify desired metallic materials, such as rare earth elements and develop a process to remediate microbe induced biocorrosion in the infrastructures.  


His research contribution in virus engineering has already broadly impacted on research communities, education, industry, and society. His research was recognized by many awards and honors. Among them, Professor Lee is two-time R&D 100 Awardee (2013 & 2015) and an NSF CAREER awardee, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow. Dr. Lee’s on-going research was chosen by President Obama’s US Congress Report entitled “Manufacturing Goes Viral”. He is also a dedicated educator and contributor in the society. He has trained 17 new professors, 4 medical doctors, 2 dentists, and many visiting scholars from all around the world. He published a book, entitled ‘Bio-inspired Nanomaterials’ and organized multiple conferences in his research fields. He also co-founded a venture company, Bioinspira Inc (now Calyx Inc) to develop environmental sensors.