Dr. Lingyin Li is an assistant professor in the Biochemistry Department at Stanford School of Medicine. She is also a fellow at the Stanford ChEM-H institute. She was born in 1981 in Xi’an, the ancient capital city of China for many of the most important dynasties in the Chinese history and also where the terracotta warriors were uncovered. As a teenager, she was fascinated by Chinese history and literature until her sixth grade math teacher one day remarked: literature is for girls and math is for boys. At a rebellious age, she shifted her focus to math, physics, and chemistry, and eventually attended University of Science and Technology of China. There she majored in Polymer Physics in the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Institute and earned a bachelor of engineering degree in 2003.
She was introduced to the field of Chemical Biology by her graduate mentor Dr. Laura Kiessling at University of Wisconsin-Madison. There, she used synthetic chemical signals to direct human embryonic cell fate decision, with the hope to use stem cells to treat degenerative diseases. Through this project, she was armed with synthetic chemistry experiences, biochemical techniques, and cell biology principles. She also became passionate about making an impact to human health through science and engineering. The obstacles she faced made her realize the importance of biochemical mechanisms in understanding human physiology and therapies.
After obtaining her Ph.D in Chemistry in 2010, she moved to Harvard Medical School to seek further biochemical training with Dr. Tim Mitchison. At Harvard, she collaborated with Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research to perform reverse pharmacology of known immune modulators to elucidate mechanism and identify potential therapeutic targets. Her research put human STING, a central adaptor protein in the innate immune system, on the map of cancer drug discovery and also led her to the field of innate immunology at an exciting time.
Lingyin joined the faculty at Stanford School of Medicine in September 2015. Her lab will seek research directions rooted in chemistry with high potential to impact on basic biological/immunological research and drug development.
Research Assistant/Lab Manager
I grew up in Florida and attended Duke University for my undergraduate degrees in Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology and Anatomy (Go Blue Devils!). After college, I attended Cornell University and earned my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. After a brief stint in equine private practice, I am excited to return to academia and the world of research. My research interest centers on gaining a better knowledge of the immune system and thereby improving our understanding of infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and neoplasia. A fun fact about me: on my path to veterinary medicine and beyond, I’ve had crazy experiences such as training lemurs, darting rhinos from a helicopter, and doing physical exams on camels.
I grew up in California, and attended Stanford as an undergraduate. After completing a bachelor's degree in biology, I spent some time as a research assistant in oncology at Genentech. I am primarily interested in cancer biology generally, and specifically in the discovery of novel targets for cancer treatments.
PhD Student (Biochemistry)
I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where I learned to appreciate the outdoors and developed an interest in the physical world. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at Brown University where I researched the molecular patterns of emerging antibiotic resistance, particularly in bacterial ribosomes. After completing my degree, I took a year off to travel before beginning my PhD at Stanford. I am primarily interesting in studying the molecular mechanisms of cell signaling, particularly in the context of the immune system and disease.
PhD student (Chemistry)
I grew up in southeastern Michigan near Detroit and did my bachelor's degree in chemistry at Cornell University. As an undergraduate, I did research on organic polymers and completed internships studying metabolomics and cancer cell biology. As my interest in biological systems and questions deepened, I went across the pond to the University of Cambridge, where I wrote my master's thesis on the quantification of protein-protein interactions measured by microfluidic techniques. I am interested in studying the molecular mechanisms of disease and particularly the role played by small molecule messengers.
Post Doctoral Fellow
I was born in Norwich, on the east coast of England (U.K) and did my undergraduate degree at Keele University studying medicinal chemistry and forensic science. I studied a wide array of subjects from drugs of abuse identification and autopsy to the synthesis of tetracyclic antimalarial compounds and the analysis of polonium levels in tobacco smoke.
I stayed on at Keele to complete my PhD in chemistry (synthetic medicinal chemistry) designing and synthesising nitric oxide (NO) modulators to aid in conditions ranging from angina to Alzheimer’s. My research interests remain in small molecule drug discovery and development for the treatment of disease. Moving to Stanford was my first trip to the U.S.A but new challenges excite me.
Fun fact: I am a massive foodie and I love the concept of molecular gastronomy.