Nancy Lee

Volunteer Scientist

Nancy learned of YDO when her middle son, Ryan started teaching coding classes the
summer of 2017. Ryan did his Eagle project at YDO in 2018, building two sturdy tables
and creating two classrooms. During this time, she was impressed with the mission of
YDO and the passionate staff and wanted to give her time in the future. She was
instrumental in setting up the science lab at YDO by coordinating lab supplies, furniture,
small instruments and glassware donations from Simmons. She has been volunteering at
YDO since 2022 teaching science to elementary school students and mentoring high
school students interested in science. Her active involvement at YDO garnered her, the
“Parent Volunteer of the Year” award in 2022.
Nancy Lee received her BS in Chemistry from University of Pennsylvania and worked in
the pharmaceutical industry (Merck and Wyeth-Ayerst) for four years. While working in
the research laboratory synthesizing potential medicines, she discovered the joys of
organic synthesis and decided to pursue a Ph.D. in this field. She received a PhD at
Brown University on the synthesis and study of vitamin D metabolites and analogs. She
went on to MIT as a NIH postdoctoral fellow. In 1994, she joined the chemistry
department at Simmons College and taught organic chemistry for 28 years to over 2600