Chanam Lee is a Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and founding director of Design Research for Active Living (DrAL), at Texas A&M University. Lee's research focuses on linking the built environment with public health outcomes. Her expertise is in ‘active living research,’ a transdisciplinary area of research that deals with environmental and policy approaches toward promoting physical activity.
Lee’s contributions to this relatively new area of scholarship is significant in: (a) developing methodological and theoretical foundations, (b) bringing attention to high-risk populations, and (c) translating research into tools/guides to facilitate evidence-based policy/design interventions. Lee has led 25 externally funded projects as the PI or Co-PI at TAMU, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Institute of Health, etc., totaling almost $15 million. Two of her on-going NIH R01 projects, titled Active Living Austin and Active El Paso, exemplify her current and continued focus on advancing environment-health research by establishing causality and addressing disparity.
Lee (co)authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in leading journals/books in health and design/planning disciplines, and is among the most cited scholars in her field. She has made almost 300 presentations including 150 conference and 60 invited keynote/plenary presentations. She is the recipient of the Excellence in Research and/or Creative Works Award, Senior Level, in 2020 from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. The significance of her scholarship has been recognized by multiple other awards from American Public Health Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, Scott & White Healthcare, and Center for Transportation Studies. Her work has also impacted professional practices in urban planning and landscape architecture, by informing new policy development and by providing evidence-based guides for multiple built and under-construction design projects in the U.S., Japan and Nigeria. These projects range from hospital healing garden designs to large-scale health-oriented community planning projects.