Yun (Rose) Li
Genomics and Computational Biology, Radiation Oncology MD/PhD
University of Pennsylvania, expected 2016
Rose, 23, was born in Beijing, China, and immigrated to the US at the age of 9. At the age 16, she won a full-tuition scholarship to study at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, where she pursued biochemistry, Chinese and Spanish Literature. In 2008, Rose transferred to Duke University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a BS in chemistry. At Duke, Rose joined the laboratory of Hiroaki Matsunami to study the molecular regulation and genetic basis of smell and taste in mammals.
She is the first author of a cover article in Science Signaling and a related patent. Since matriculating in the MD/PhD Program at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, Rose has continued this work in the laboratory of Minghong Ma, where she investigated odor receptor modulation in mammalian models through electrophysiological recordings of single odor-sensing neurons.
During her first-year medical school course in longitudinal patient care, Rose met and cared for a patient with multiple sclerosis, an experience that inspired her to take an active role in championing the cause of MS and neurodegenerative disease through research and advocacy. She has worked in the lab of Aaron Gitler to identify genetic risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and published manuscripts in Neurology and Human Molecular Genetics. Her research on ALS and FTLD has won a number of awards, including the Keystone Graduate Student Research Travel Award.
Rose is currently working towards her doctoral degree at the Center for Applied Genomics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she is using high sensitivity DNA sequencing techniques to identify genetic markers for organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplant rejection. Her work on human genetics has resulted in coauthored publications in the Am. J. of Human Genetics and the Lancet. Following graduation from the MD/PhD program, Rose aspires to work as oncologic/transplant surgeon-scientist. This year, Rose was awarded the Paul and Daily Soros Fellowship for New Americans.
In addition to her research, Rose serves on the UPenn University Council, Women’s MD-PhD Student Association, and is the editor-in-chief of Stylus, UPenn’s first biomedical literary journal. Nationally, she serves on the Public Relations Committee of the American Physician-Scientist Association and is a Public Health Scholar with the American Medical Student Association. She is currently an intern with the American Transplant Foundation, where she directs the Living Organ Donation Awareness Campaign among university students and also volunteers with the African Family Health Organization in Philadelphia.
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