Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Peng Li, Ph.D.

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2016 Partners Healthcare Innovation Discovery, Partners Healthcare (not Mass General Brigham)
Trainee Professional Development Award, Society for Neuroscience
Brigham Research Institute Microgrant Award, Brigham and Women's Hospital
1st place of Club Hypnos Cup Data Blitz competition (virtual due to COVID19), Sleep Research Society
Travel Award, the International Workshop on HIV & Aging (converted to fee waiver due to COVID 19)
Young Investigators Research Forum Award, American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Early Career Mentoring Award, Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Medicine

I am an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the HMS and a Lead Investigator at the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders (DSCD), BWH. I also serve as the Research Director of the Medical Biodynamics Program, a cross-disciplinary research and training program whose major goal is to promote translational research in sleep medicine and facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations.

Research Interests:
I was trained in biomedical engineering during my Ph.D. I received my postdoctoral training in neurophysiology including sleep/circadian and Alzheimer’s. I am interested in understanding sleep and circadian disturbances as potential risk factors of neurodegeneration or cognitive complications. I am also interested in designing new tools through biomedical signal analyses to predict disease progression and monitor health status. My current research is devoted to understand sleep and circadian contributions to brain health disparities in diverse populations.

Society Memberships:
Senior Member
IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
American Heart Association
Sleep Research Society
Society for Neuroscience
The Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment (ISTAART)

Kun Hu, Ph.D., 2016-present (Primary)
Monty A. Montano, Ph.D., 2020-present (Co-mentor on HIV and aging research)
Ingrid T. Katz, MD, 2020-present (Co-mentor on HIV research)

Postdoctoral Fellows
Chenlu Gao, Ph.D., 2021-present

Research Assistants (*indicates a trainee for whom I was/am a co-mentor)
*Chelsea Hu, B.S., 2017-2019
*Longchang Cui, B.S., 2019-2020
*Arlen Gaba, B.S., 2019-present
*Ma Cherrysse Ulsa, B.S., 2020-present
Xi Zheng, M.S., 2020-present

Visiting Ph.D. students
Ruixue Cai, M.S., 2022-present

Undergraduates (*indicates a trainee for whom I was/am a co-mentor)
*Nicole Nikolaeva Gaykova, 2021-present

High school students
Max Wagner, 2021-present

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. 290-FP-22 (GAO, CHENLU) Jan 1, 2023 - Dec 31, 2023
    American Academy of Sleep Medicine
    Daytime napping and Alzheimer's disease in middle-to-older aged adults: Timing, irregularity, and interaction with genetic risks
    Role: Primary Mentor
  2. AARFD-22-928372 (GAO, CHENLU) Mar 1, 2022 - Feb 28, 2025
    Alzheimer's Association
    Timing and irregularity of daytime napping and Alzheimer’s disease
    Role: Primary Mentor
  3. UWSC12802 (LI, PENG) May 1, 2021 - Oct 31, 2022
    Association between rest activity circadian rhythm and cognition in PLWH
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. CFAR-BWH-21-1-LI (LI, PENG) Feb 1, 2021 - May 31, 2022
    Harvard University Center for AIDS Research
    Circadian disturbances and cognitive impairment in people living with HIV
    Role: Principal Investigator
  5. A2020886S (LI, PENG) Sep 1, 2020 - Aug 31, 2023
    The BrightFocus Foundation
    Circadian regulation, autonomic function, and Alzheimer’s disease
    Role: Principal Investigator

Featured Content

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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.