Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Chendi Li, Ph.D.

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Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MAPh.D.Biochemistry
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MAResearch fellowTranslational lung cancer
2013 - 2013
Dr. and Mrs. Franzblau Student Travel Award
2013 - 2013
1st Prize in Poster Session
2015 - 2015
Henry I. Russek Student Achievement Day Honorable Mention
2015 - 2015
Travel Scholarship
2020 - 2023
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship
2023 - 2023
Scholar in Training Award
2024 - 2024
AACR-June l. Biedler scholar in- Training awards (In the field of drug resistance)

Chendi Li, PhD, was born and raised in Xi’an, China. She completed her PhD in the Department of Biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine. During her PhD work at BU with Dr. Stephen Farmer, she identified a novel MRTFA signaling pathway that dictates multipotential progenitor cell fate towards smooth muscle v.s. beige adipocyte (McDonald*, Li* et al., Cell, 2015). Her postdoctoral research, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Aaron Hata, MD, PhD at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, explored therapy-induced resistance in KRAS non-small cell lung cancer. She had identified STK11 loss as a genomic biomarker that renders vulnerability to the combination of KRAS G12C + MCL-1 inhibitor (Li et al., BioRxiv, 2022), as well as the first documented instance of clinical acquired resistance to the KRAS G12C inhibitor (Tanaka*, Lin* and Li* et al., Cancer Discovery, 2021). She is currently an instructor in medicine and investigation, exploring evolutionary trajectories of drug-tolerant persisters by combining DNA/RNA barcoding and single-cell sequencing with mathematical modeling. She is also working on dissecting DNA repair mechanisms, genomic instability, and resistance to targeted therapies.

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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.