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Environmental Factor, December 2012

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Leping Li awarded tenure

By Robin Arnette

Leping Li, Ph.D.

In addition to developing computer software and mentoring his staff, Li also finds the time to organize scientific symposia. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

The National Institutes of Health Central Tenure Committee unanimously granted tenure Nov. 19 to Leping Li, Ph.D., a leading researcher in the NIEHS Biostatistics Branch. Clarice Weinberg, Ph.D., Li’s branch chief, was pleased with the news.

“Leping is an outstanding bioinformaticist, and NIEHS and my branch are really fortunate to have among us an investigator with his talents and enthusiasm for science,” Weinberg said.

Li has a wide range of expertise, but he mainly focuses on genomic analyses, developing methods for analysis of NextGen data and using ChipSeq data to detect transcription factor binding sites in DNA sequences. To this end, he develops software programs that scientists around the world can download and use for free.

“Bioinformatics is an integral part of environmental health science research at NIEHS,” Li said, when asked about the importance of his work. “New technologies have enabled investigators to generate huge amounts of data, but drawing reliable and insightful inferences from those data remains a challenge. I believe that I am in an excellent position to play a pivotal role in integrated studies of the effects of the environment on human health.”

Li came to NIEHS in 2000 as a research fellow, moving on to lead his own research group in 2003. He received a B.S. in medicinal chemistry from Fudan University in 1987, and a Ph.D., also in medicinal chemistry, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994.

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