Won Lee, M.D.

Won Lee, M.D.

Medical Director, Clinical Center for Sleep and Breathing Disorders

  • Distinguished Teaching Professor
  • Internal Medicine - Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
  • Sleep & Breathing Disorders
  • Neuromuscular Disorders


Won Lee, M.D., is an Associate Professor in UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Internal Medicine. He specializes in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.

Dr. Lee joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2008 and was mentored in neuromuscular pulmonary disorders by Joseph Viroslav, M.D. In 2009, Dr. Lee was appointed Medical Director of UT Southwestern’s Clinical Center for Sleep and Breathing Disorders.

Dr. Lee earned his medical degree at the University of Nevada and performed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Nevada Affiliated Hospitals. He completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and another fellowship in sleep medicine at the University of Chicago
Medical Center.

He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine.

His research interests include simulation training for internal medicine and pulmonary trainees, CPAP adherence in Down syndrome patients with OSA, and respiratory therapies for neuromuscular pulmonary disorders.

Texas Monthly named Dr. Lee a Rising Star, and D Magazine awarded him its Best Doctor recognition in 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Meet Dr. Lee

Sleep and Breathing Disorder Expert

Sleep disorders have a variety of causes, including breathing problems and neuromuscular disorders. Regardless of the source, UT Southwestern pulmonologist Won Lee, M.D., seeks solutions that improve his patients’ quality of life – through immediate relief and long-term benefits.

"Improving sleep quality and making patients feel better is very satisfying.”

“My goal is to optimize breathing function during sleep so that my patients feel more refreshed and alert throughout the day,” he says.

Dr. Lee – a Texas Monthly Rising Star and D Magazine Best Doctor ­­– can provide relief for breathing disorders like obstructive sleep apnea through therapies such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Patients sleep – and feel – better immediately as a result. The treatment also reduces long-term cardiovascular risk, improving life expectancy.

For patients with progressive neuromuscular pulmonary disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or muscular dystrophy, Dr. Lee uses noninvasive approaches such as bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) when possible to help them breathe more easily. By using BPAP instead of more invasive therapies like a tracheostomy, Dr. Lee is able to offer long-term quality of life improvement and prolong survival.

As Medical Director of UT Southwestern’s Clinical Center for Sleep and Breathing Disorders, Dr. Lee oversees a multidisciplinary team of experts who are board certified in sleep medicine. The Center is one of few academic programs in the country that treats both neuromuscular pulmonary disorders and primary sleep disorders.

When needed, Dr. Lee partners with UT Southwestern’s ear, nose, and throat surgeons or oral maxillofacial experts for upper respiratory surgery and oral dental appliances.

Dr. Lee is active in clinical research to improve sleep disorder treatments, collaborating with investigators who place diaphragm pacemakers in patients with neuromuscular pulmonary disease. He also works in collaboration with UTSW's pulmonary physiology group to investigate the connection between impaired pulmonary physiology and increased shortness of breath in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. He has additional research interests in improving adherence to CPAP therapy, particularly in adult patients with Down syndrome.

Dr. Lee is also proud to help train the next generation of sleep disorder and pulmonary specialists through UT Southwestern’s internal medicine residency and pulmonary fellowship. He is heavily involved in simulation training and was named outstanding internal medicine teaching faculty of the year in 2011.

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Education & Training
  • Medical School - University of Nevada School of Medicine (1997-2001)
  • Residency - University of Nevada Affiliated Hospitals (2001-2004), Internal Medicine
  • Fellowship - Rush University Medical Center (2004-2007), Pulmonary Diseases & Critical Care Medicine
  • Fellowship - University of Chicago Medicine (2007-2008), Sleep Medicine
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine
  • American College of Chest Physicians, Committee Member - Neuromuscular and Home Mechanical Ventilation Network
  • American Thoracic Society
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Doctor, 2018, 2020-2022
  • Favorite Course, Integrated Medicine - Pulmonary 2016, UT Southwestern School of Medicine
  • Outstanding Teaching Faculty of the Year 2013, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award 2011, University of Texas Southwestern - Department of Internal Medicine Residency Program
  • Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award 2007, Rush University Medical Center - Chicago
  • Alpha Omega Alpha 2004, University of Nevada School of Medicine
  • Outstanding Resident Award 2004, University of Nevada Affiliated Hospitals
Books & Publications
  • Medical Education - Simulation Training
  • Neuromuscular Pulmonary Disorders (ex: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), muscular dystrophy, and diaphragm disorders)
  • Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Clinical Focus

  • Sleep & Breathing Disorders
  • Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Lung (Pulmonary) Disorders
  • Neuromuscular Pulmonary Disease

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