Dean J. Lee received his PhD in 1998 from Harvard University in theoretical particle physics as a student of Howard Georgi. From 1998 to 2001, he was a postdoctoral researcher with the nuclear, particle, and gravitational theory group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 2001 he joined the faculty at NC State as an Assistant Professor and became an Associate Professor in 2007 and a Full Professor in 2012. In 2017, he joined the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University as a Professor, jointly appointed in the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy.
His general research interests are in quantum field theory and quantum many-body theory. More specifically he has worked on effective field theory, lattice methods for many-body physics, quantum Monte Carlo, nuclear and neutron matter, cold atomic Fermi gases, spontaneous symmetry breaking, Bose-Einstein condensation, and superfluidity. In recent years he has collaborated with members of the nuclear theory group at Bonn University and Ruhr-University Bochum to combine computational lattice methods and the framework of effective field theory for low-energy nuclear physics.