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2020 Predoctoral Researchers


Kaili Li

Henan Agricultural University and Sun Yat-Sen University

For Kaili (pronounced Kelly) Li, time flies when she’s working on her research. Whether it’s designing and performing the experiments or analyzing the data, she enjoys every aspect of the process.

She first became interested in science when she participated in a biology competition during high school, then got really hooked after reading On the Origin of Species. Li considers herself a quiet, reserved person and appreciates how well the independent nature of research suits her personality.

Born and raised in a small town in China, Li earned her B.S. in bioengineering from Henan Agricultural University and her M.S. in cell biology from Sun Yat-Sen University. During that time, she built a system for screening nanobodies, a class of single-domain antibodies, from camels. She also researched a histone variant in Drosophila and proved that this particular variant acted unlike other histones. That research sparked a keen interest in genetics as well as respect for the power of Drosophila as a model organism.

Li was drawn to GSSIMR by the many labs doing research in genetics, as well as the abundant resources that allow scientists to focus on their research.