Faculty Focus: Mo Li
Mo Li, assistant professor of bioscience in the University’s Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division.
is an assistant professor of bioscience in the University’s Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division
. Prior to joining KAUST in November of 2016, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher and then a staff scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences (U.S.),
where his research interests focused on somatic cell reprogramming, genome editing technology and pluripotent stem cell models of human monogenic diseases. Li received his Ph.D. in cellular biology from the University of Georgia
(U.S.) in 2007.
His research at KAUST attempts to understand the molecular basis of the regenerative mechanisms that maintain the proper form and function of the human body.
“My research programs build on a multidisciplinary platform that integrates stem cell models with genome engineering, functional genomics, bioengineering and chemical screening to gain a holistic understanding of regeneration in its broadest sense while keeping a commitment to fulfilling the translational promise of stem cell research,” Li said.
“My vision is to develop stem cell-based therapeutics for human diseases. Some examples include developing cures for diseases such as sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia based on precise genome editing technologies, discovering disease diagnostic biomarkers or new drugs and in vitro generation of blood cells for cell-based therapy,” he added.
The multidisciplinary research program at KAUST, the quality of the University’s faculty, generous research funding, excellent research facilities and independence in pursuing fundamental and innovative research questions are some of the factors that attracted Li to join KAUST.
“I think the dynamic culture of a multinational and young university offers exciting opportunities to do things outside the box,” he said. “I’ve been warmly welcomed by students and faculty members of several divisions, and I’ve received support from multiple support teams in building my lab. I’ve already had many opportunities to interact with scientists from many institutes around the world.
“Everyday starts with exciting new opportunities and new challenges. Growth would be the one keyword to describe my experience so far in terms of scientific research and personal career development.”
-By David Murphy
, KAUST News.