Rachel U. Lee


Captain, Navy

Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Division Head, Allergy/Immunology
Location: Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
Research Interests:
Drug allergy, Desensitization, Host Immunity, Immunodeficiency
Office Phone


BA, University of California at Berkeley
MD, New York Medical College


Commander Rachel Lee is a dual board certified allergist, immunologist and internal medicine physician who currently serves as the Division Head of the Allergy/Immunology Clinic and Director of the Allergy Technician Course, at the NTC Branch Health Clinic in San Diego, California. She was born in Seoul, Korea, but grew up in San Diego, CA after her parents immigrated to the United States. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California at Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology, then commissioned as an ensign in the Naval Reserves in 1998 on a Health Professions Scholarship Program and received her Medical Degree from New York Medical College in 2002. She completed an Internal Medicine residency in 2005 at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. Dr. Lee transferred to Lemoore, California where she served as a Staff Internist at the Naval Hospital Lemoore. While there, she was a member of the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff, Chair of Credentialing, and served as the Command’s Asthma Champion. Following that tour, she was accepted into an Allergy and Immunology fellowship at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego and in 2008, she was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Upon completion in 2009, Dr. Lee transferred across country to the busiest naval allergy Clinic at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, where she was the Division Head. During that time, she was appointed Assistant Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and was instrumental in the graduate medical education program, training numerous medical students and residents in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings.

In 2012, she transferred to the Naval Health Research Center to serve as principal investigator on a myriad of studies evaluating factors that impact the safety, efficacy and clinical outcomes of various vaccinations in military populations. There, she developed scientific collaborations and inter-agency and non-governmental partners to enhance understanding of infectious disease, host immunity, novel pathogen discovery and prevention and their impact on at-risk populations. Also, she served as the Command DAPA, Member of the IRB, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Chair of the Navy’s American College of Physician’s Award Committee, and Member of the Health and Wellness Committee. While there, she was promoted to the rank of Commander. In 2013, she took the opportunity to deploy to Afghanistan as a combat support internist at the NATO Role 3 in Kandahar in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2015, she returned to Naval Medical Center San Diego as Head of the Allergy Division and Internal Medicine C ore Faculty. She received an appointment as Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine for her continued efforts in graduate medical education. Dr. Lee was elected to fellowship in the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, has multiple peer-reviewed publications, and has actively participated in a variety of organizational, research and mentoring opportunities. She was selected as the Navy Allergy/Immunology Specialty Leader, representing all allergists and allergy care in navy medicine.

Dr. Lee’s personal awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal, and multiple other campaign and service medals.

Career Highlights: Positions, Projects, Deployements, Awards and Additional Publications

Navy Allergy Immunology Specialty Leader

Head, Division of Allergy/Immunology, Dept of Medicine, Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA

Research physician and Program manager, Military Population Health and Operational Infectious Disease Directorates, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA

Internal Medicine Hospitalist/ Internist, Intermediate Care Ward and Referral Care Clinic, Combat support Internist, NATO Role III, Multi-National Medical Unit, Kandahar, Afghanistan

Staff Internist/Medicine Ward Attending, Clinic Preceptor, Allergist/Immunologist, Department of Internal Medicine, Naval Medical Center (NMCP), Portsmouth, VA

Head, Division of Allergy/Immunology, Dept of Medicine, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA

Staff Internist, Dept of Medicine, Naval Hospital Lemoore, CA

Clinical Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego CA

Representative Bibliography

1. Crum NF, Lee RU, Thornton SA, Stine OC, Wallace MR, Barrozo C, Keefer-Norris A, Judd S, Russell KL. Fifteen-year study of the changing epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Am J Med. 2006;119 (11): 943-51. PMID: 17071162

2. Lee R, Crum-Cianflone N. Increasing incidence and severity of coccidioidomycosis at a naval air station. Mil Med. 2008; 173(8):769-75. PMID:18751595

3. Lee RU, Stevenson DD. Hydroxyurea in the Treatment of Churg-Strauss Syndrome. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2009; 124(5):1110-1111. PMID:19703710

4. Lee RU, White AA, Ding D, Durson AB, Woessner KM, Simon RA, Stevenson DD. Use of intranasal ketorolac and modified oral aspirin challenge for desensitization in aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010; 105(2):130-5. PMID:20674823

5. Eddleston J, Lee RU, Doerner AM, Herschbach J, Zuraw BL. Cigarette Smoke Decreases the Innate Responses of Epithelial Cells to Rhinovirus Infection. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2011;44(1):118-26. PMID: 20224072

6. Lee RU, Stevenson DD. Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease: Evaluation and Management. Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Res. 2011;3(1):3-10. PMID:21217919

7. Lee RU, Saland S, Sullivan S. Tumor necrosis factor receptor associated periodic syndrome as a cause of recurrent abdominal pain in identical twins and description of a novel mutation of the TNFRSF1A gene. J Ped Gastroenterol Nutr. 2013, 56(4):e22-3. PMID:22343913

8. Allard J, Lee RU. Idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia manifesting as refractory genital dysplasia. Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Aug;122: 455-458. PMID:23884258

9. Crum-Cianflone NF, Won S, Lee R, Lalani T, Ganesan A, Burgess T, Agan BK. Vitamin D levels and influenza vaccine immunogenicity among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adults. Vaccine 2016; 34:5040-6.

10. Lee RU, Radin JM. A Population-Based Epidemiologic Study of Adult-Onset Narcolepsy Incidence and Associated Risk Factors, 2004-2013. J Neurol Sci 2016;370:29-34