UnCheol Lee, PhD


UnCheol Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and the associate director of the Center for Consciousness Science at the University of Michigan Medical School. He is also an affiliated faculty in the Center for the Study of Complex Systems.

UnCheol’s research uses highly advanced mathematical and physical methods to systematically identify a physical or mathematical principle of the emergence of consciousness in the brain and control states of consciousness. He is interested in developing large-scale brain network models that simulate characteristic brain activities in various altered states of consciousness such as anesthesia, psychedelic, minimally conscious state, and unresponsive wakefulness syndrome. More specifically:

  1. Develop quantitative methods to define brain states in altered states of consciousness.
  2. Identify the underlying mechanism of fast and slow state transitions during the loss and recovery of consciousness under significant brain perturbations.
  3. Systematically modulate the recovery process from unconsciousness with effective brain stimulation.

His recent NIH project aims to study the underlying mechanism of the hyper-sensitivity of chronic pain (fibromyalgia) and develop an effective brain stimulation method to convert a hypersensitive brain into a less sensitive brain based on a network principle called “explosive synchronization” in physics.