Professor Li’s research focuses on the new field of epigenetics, which has transformed how people think
about genomes. Epigenetics is the study of how heritable changes in organisms can be caused by the
modification of gene expression, rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. Professor Li holds a
Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and received Post-doctoral training at University of California
at Berkeley. His studies of epigenetics in a model organism, fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe),
have enabled them to use genetics to identify the proteins involved in establishing epigenetic states of
DNA in chromosomes and maintaining them after DNA replication. As these proteins and processes are
conserved across fission yeast and man, our studies have translational relevance to medicine. He has
published a number of papers in peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature, Cell, PNAS, Molecular Cell, etc.
He was also named a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences in 2013, given by the Pew Charitable Trusts to
the promising young investigators with potential to significantly impact biomedical research. Professor Li
has a strong research connection with NYU Shanghai, and established collaboration with Professor
Jungseog Kang at NYU Shanghai.