Chang Yong (Cy) Lee has been working on biochemical aspects of plant foods. He has been teaching food chemistry-related undergraduate and graduate courses. His recent research focuses on nutraceutical roles of fruits, vegetables, cereals and herbal beverages that relate to antioxidant activity and bioavailability of bioactive phenolic compounds. The ultimate goal is to promote increased consumption of healthy plant foods in our daily diet.
Lee’s research interests have been the application of fundamental principles of chemistry and biochemistry toward the advancement of our understanding of chemical reactions that take place in plant foods during post-harvest and processing. Enzymes associated with sensory and nutritional quality of fresh and processed plant foods, including browning reactions were his main subjects of the research. In recent years, he focuses on various bioactive phytochemicals in relation to their chemical natures and bioavailability and which are associated with antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-neurodegenerative activities of the major flavonoids in fruits and vegetables, along with green teas, cocoa and coffee.
Lee’s teaching philosophy is to motivate students in active learning processes, rather than passive learning. He has been teaching Food Chemistry (FDSC 4180), Food Chemistry Laboratory (FDSC 4190) Capstone Project in Food Science (FDSC 4000), Readings in Current Food Chemistry (FDSC 6950).
Awards and Honors
- Distinguished Adjunct Professor (2015) King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
- Babcock-Hart Award (2003) Institute of Life Sciences, Institute of Food Technologists, Chicago
- Honor Award for Excellence (2001) Secretary of Agriculture, USDA
- Elected Fellow: American Chemical Society's Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (1991), Institute of Food Technologists (1996), Korean Academy of Science and Technology (1998) and International Academy of Food Science & Technology (2006)
- Highly Cited Researcher - In recognition of ranking among the top 1% of researchers in the world for most cited documents in the field of Agricultural Sciences (2012) Thomson Reuters
- Lee, C. C., Kim, J. H., Kim, J. S., Oh, Y. S., Han, S. M., Park, J. H., Lee, K. W., & Lee, C. Y. (2017). 5-(3’, 4’-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone, a major microbial metabolite of procyanidin, attenuates monocyte-endothelial adhesion. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 18:E1363.
- Jang, H., Choi, Y., Ahn, H. R., Jung, S. H., & Lee, C. Y. (2015). Effects of phenolic acid metabolites formed after chlorogenic acid consumption on retinal degeneration in vivo. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 59:1918-1929 .
- Kim, J. E., Son, J. E., Jung, S. K., Kang, N. J., Lee, C. Y., Lee, K. W., & Lee, H. J. (2010). Cocoa polyphenols suppress TNF-a-induced vascular endothelial growth factor expression by inhibiting phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase-1 (MEK1) activities in mouse epidermal cells. British Journal of Nutrition. 104:957-964.
- Lee, K. W., Heo, H. J., Lee, H. J., & Lee, C. Y. (2005). Antiproliferative effects of dietary phenolic substances and hydrogen peroxide. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 53:1990-1995.
- Heo, H. J., & Lee, C. Y. (2004). Protective effects of quercetin and vitamin C against oxidative stress-induced neurodegeneration. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 52:7514-7517.
- Lee, K. W., Lee, H. J., Kang, K. S., & Lee, C. Y. (2002). Preventive effects of vitamin C on carcinogenesis. The Lancet. 359:172.
- Kim, D. O., Lee, K. W., Lee, H. J., & Lee, C. Y. (2002). Vitamin C equivalent antioxidant capacity (VCEAC) of phenolic phytochemicals. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 50:3713-3717.
- Lee, K. W., & Lee, C. Y. (2002). Vitamins, diet, and cancer prevention. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 75:1122-1123.
- Eberhardt, M. V., Lee, C. Y., & Liu, R. H. (2000). Antioxidant activity of fresh apples. Nature. 405:903-904.
- Shallenberger, R. S., Acree, T. E., & Lee, C. Y. (1969). Sweet taste of D- and L-sugars and amino acids and the steric nature of their chemo-receptor site. Nature. 221:555-556.