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Meet Dr. Ellen Li, Renowned Researcher

Dr. Ellen Li professional portrait photo

Meet Dr. Ellen Li, Renowned Researcher

Dr. Li is a Professor of Medicine, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and a distinguished biomedical expert. She is married to President Stanley.

Ellen Li, M.D., Ph.D., a gastroenterologist and research scientist, was born in the neighborhood of Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago. Dr. Li received her B.S. in chemistry at Stanford University. She received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in 1980 from the Washington University St. Louis Medical Scientist Training Program, partially funded by the Olin Fellow-ship Program. She did her residency training in internal medicine in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where she met her husband, Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.

Drs. Li and Stanley returned to St. Louis to complete their subspecialty training in gastroenterology and infectious diseases, respectively. They both subsequently joined the faculty and rose through the ranks at Washington University.

Dr. Li was a founding member and a past president of the Academic Women’s Network at Washington University. She was a Lucille B. Markey Scholar and a Burroughs Well-come Fund Toxicology Scholar. She was also elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigators and the Association of American Physicians.

Prior to leaving Washington University to join her husband at Stony Brook University, she was the director of the NIH-sponsored Silvio Conte Digestive Diseases Research Core Center and was the driving force in developing the biobanking core within this center.

Dr. Li’s major research focuses on de?ning the role of the gut microbiome in digestive diseases, particularly in?ammatory bowel diseases, colon cancer and such functional GI disorders as irritable bowel syndrome. She is the author of 77 peer- reviewed articles and several chapters in the “Textbook of Gastroenterology.” Dr. Li participates in the training of medical students, residents and fellows at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

Shortly after World War II, Dr. Ellen Li’s parents emigrated from Shanghai to study at the University of Chicago, intending to return to China. But after the Chinese revolution in 1949, they made the decision to stay in the U.S.  Together, they supported Dr. Li’s under-graduate education at Stanford University, where she received her B.S. in chemistry.


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Meet Dr. Ellen Li, Renowned Researcher

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