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Dr. Yun Li is a neurobiologist interested in understanding human brain development and diseases. She attended graduate school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Her Ph.D. work, conducted in the lab of Luis Parada, focused on understanding the role of growth factor signaling pathways in brain development and neurological disorders. She completed her postdoctoral training in the lab of Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute and MIT, where she continued her research in neurodevelopment using human pluripotent stem cell-derived 2D and 3D models.
In 2018, Dr. Li established her independent lab in Toronto. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, a Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, and a Medicine by Design Investigator. Her laboratory studies how the human brain forms, what makes it unique from those of other species, and how disorders like autism impact its development and function. Her group takes the experimental approach of modeling human brain development in the dish, utilizing a combination of pluripotent stem cell technology, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome engineering, and 3D brain organoids.