Dr. Jun Li serves as Chairman of the Stanley H. Appel Department of Neurology at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, effective June 1, 2022. Dr. Li most recently served as the Chairman of the Department of Neurology, the Scientific Director of Translational Neuroscience Initiatives at Wayne State University, and the Specialist-in-Chief of Neurology at the Detroit Medical Center. Dr. Li spent nine years of his junior faculty career at WSU and another nine years at Vanderbilt University before taking on the chairman position at WSU.
Dr. Li received his medical degree from Anhui Medical University in the People’s Republic of China in 1985. He received his doctoral degree in Neurosciences in 1995 from the Drexel University College of Medicine (formerly Hahnemann University). He completed a Neurology residency in 1999 at the Ohio State University; and an EMG/Neuromuscular Fellowship in 2000 in the Department of Neurology at the University of Utah.
As a physician-scientist, Dr. Li subspecializes in peripheral nerve diseases and myelin biology. His laboratory has been continuously funded by NIH since 2004. He has published more than 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. These contributions earned him a Wolfe Research Prize from American Neurological Association in 2014. He is a current member of the ANA Board of Directors and has also served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association, and the scientific committee of the Peripheral Nerve Society. He has been a member of NIH study sections for more than a decade.
Dr. Jun Li's research has two arms – basic science studies in laboratory and clinical research. The basic science research focuses on a better understanding of how myelinating Schwann cells interact with axons and how various genetic mutations in inherited peripheral nerve diseases (or Charcot-Marie-Tooth diseases) alter the molecular signaling between the two types of cells. These studies aim to identify molecular targets for developing therapeutic interventions.
His clinical studies examine a group of inherited peripheral nerve diseases that typically result in limb muscle weakness, sensory loss, and foot deformities in these patients. Dr. Li directs a CMT clinic that is specifically designated for patients with inherited peripheral nerve diseases. This multi-disciplinary clinic occurs weekly and sees patients from throughout the United States. His research team is interested in the genotype/phenotype of these diseases, the identification of novel genetic mutations causing the diseases, translating the laboratory findings to bedside practice, and developing biomarkers to monitor disease progression.
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