Ka Yee C. Lee served as the fourteenth Provost of the University of Chicago. She stepped away from the role in March 2023 to assume the position of Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the University.
Lee is the David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Chemistry, the James Franck Institute, the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, and the College, and a member of the Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory, the Board of Trustees for NORC, and the Field Museum Board. She is an elected member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a Fellow of the Biophysical Society, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Her research focus lies in the area of membrane biophysics, and she is the author or co-author of more than 130 scholarly publications.
Lee joined the University in 1998 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and was appointed full professor in 2008. She previously served as Vice Provost for Research, working with deans, faculty, and researchers across the University to increase access to research funding and resources, among other responsibilities. Lee also served as Director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and Associate Director of the James Franck Institute, as well as Chair of the Faculty Advisory Board for The Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Academic Complex | Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong.
Her honors include being named a Searle Scholar, a David and Lucile Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering, and a Sloan Research Fellow. She also was the recipient of the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the inaugural recipient of the Arthur L. Kelly Prize for Exceptional Faculty Service in the Physical Sciences Division.
Lee holds an Sc.B. degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Physics from Harvard University. She completed her postdoctoral training at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Barbara.