Yan Li, MD, PhD

Yan Li, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator

Research interests: MR metabolic imaging, multimodal neuroimaging, imaging biomarkers of disease onset and progression

Dr. Yan Li is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. Her research focuses on developing methods for obtaining reliable metabolic information from the brain to characterize spatial and temporal heterogeneity and the biological behavior during disease time for brain tumors, psychiatric and neurologic diseases. This includes the development of new methods for obtaining whole-brain metabolites and tools for generating metrics of brain neurotransmitters using 3T and 7T MR scanners, implementation of statistical methods to relate metabolic metrics to clinical outcomes or measures, and integration of steady-state 1H metabolic imaging with PET, hyperpolarized 13C and advanced MR imaging parameters to elucidate the underlying normal and abnormal biological process.

Li Lab Imaging Website >


Education and Training

2002: Bachelor of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
2004: MS, Biochemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2008: PhD, Bioengineering, UC Berkeley & UCSF
2008-2013: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF

Academic Positions

2019-2023: Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF
2023-present: Associate Professor in Residence, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF

Selected Awards

2023: RAP Pilot Award for Early Career Investigators, UCSF
2021-2022: Developmental Research Program Award, UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE
2020: The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Foundation Young Investigator Award, UCSF nominee
2017-2018: RAP Pilot Award in Precision Imaging of Cancer and Therapy, UCSF
2015-2016: RAP Pilot for Junior Investigators in Basic and Clinical/Translational Sciences
2012-2013: T32 training award in translational brain tumor research, UCSF Brain Tumor Center
2008: Margaret Heart Surbeck Scholar Award, UCSF
2007-2008: Krevans Graduate Research Fellowship, UCSF