U. of C. names new provost: Ka Yee C. Lee, current vice provost for research

Prof. Ka Yee C. Lee (Photo courtesy of UChicago)

Staff writer

The University of Chicago announced Tuesday at it has named Chemistry Department Professor Ka Yee C. Lee provost, the school’s chief academic officer, effective Feb. 1.

Lee was educated at Brown University and got her master’s degree and doctorate at Harvard University before postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She became an assistant professor at the U. of C. in 1998, an associate professor in 2002 and a full professor in 2008. Her research interests include protein-lipid interactions, particularly in respiratory distress syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

Lee has overseen increased access to research funding and resources through her current role as vice provost for research. She has also played a lead role in the University’s activities and partnerships in Hong Kong over the past five years while serving as chair of the Faculty Advisory Board of the Hong Kong Jockey Club U. of C. Academic Complex and the school’s Francis and Rose Yuen Campus there. She is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Physical Society.

“It is a great honor and privilege to serve the University as provost,” Lee said in a statement. “The distinctive intellectual environment here is a legacy that we will continue to foster and develop as a community. I am excited to work with colleagues across disciplines to push the frontiers of knowledge, and to ensure that students receive a transformative University of Chicago education.”

In his statement announcing the appointment, President Robert J. Zimmer said Lee brings leadership experience, “the ability to bring people of varied disciplines and perspectives together and a clear understanding of the University’s values of academic excellence and rigorous inquiry.”

Outgoing Provost Daniel Diermeier announced his resignation to become chancellor of Vanderbilt University last month.