About Us

Welcome to the Li Laboratory for drug discovery at the University of Arizona

         Research in the Li laboratory focuses on both basic and translational sciences. In basic science part, we investigate the structures, functions and mechanisms of essential macromolecules involved in various cellular actions and disease processes, using crystallography, cryo-EM, biochemical and biophysical tools. The knowledge gained from these basic science studies leads to the second category, the drug discovery part where we develop novel biochemical and cellular assays for different drug targets, carry out high throughput screening (HTS) assays to identify novel target-based inhibitors, perform cellular antiviral/antifungal/anti-cancer assays, and conduct ADMET profiling and mouse model efficacy studies for lead compounds.

        We currently have multiple positions opening at all levels (undergraduate and graduate students, technician, and postdoc).  Please contact Dr. Li (hli1@pharmacy.arizona.edu) if you are interested in research in the Li laboratory! 


group photo in UA


        The Li laboratory has developed a research platform that integrates virology, mycology, bacteriology, RNA, biochemistry, structural biology, cellular biology, and in vivo animal model in the same lab. We also work closely with collaborators and colleagues in the aspects of medicinal chemistry, computational biology, immunology, cancer biology, and in vivo pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD).

        The Li laboratory has been continuously funded by the NIH and various foundations since 2002. Currently, the main research focuses on development of therapeutics against cancers and human pathogens such as dengue virus, Zika virus, SARS-CoV-2, Cryptococcal fungi and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Students and postdoctors joining in the lab will have opportunities to explore all areas in the Li laboratory, from basic biological sciences to drug discovery with clinical potential. 

Li lab