Dr. Li received his B.S. degree from Fudan University in China. He did his Ph.D. thesis work at the University of California Berkeley, and his postdoctoral work at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He established his independent research lab at the University of Virginia in 1996. In 2007 Dr. Li was recruited to the University of Texas Health at San Antonio, where he was a Professor at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Co-Leader of the Cancer Development Program at the NCI-designated Cancer Center. In November 2018, Dr. Li became chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, the George Washington University SMHS.
Dr. Li is a prominent laboratory in the field of breast cancer biology. His research has been continuously funded by NIH for more than two decades. His laboratory has also received funding from Department of Defense and various state and private funding agencies. His current work focuses on transcriptional regulation and breast cancer biology. His laboratory identified a previously unappreciated functional link between BRCA1 and transcriptional elongation control during normal breast tissue development and tumor suppression. Other active research projects in Dr. Li’s laboratory include antitumor immunity and obesity-associated cancer burden. Dr. Li has published over 80 scientific papers, many in high-impact journals including Nature, Cell, Genes & Development, Nat Communications, PNAS, and Journal of Clinical Investigation. He has served as chair of the NIH tumor microenvironment study section. He has also served on the Program Committee of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the world’s largest breast cancer symposium.