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Ellen Li, MD, PhD

Ellen Li, MD/PhD, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology in the Department of Medicine at Stony Brook School of Medicine, is a renowned gastroenterologist and research scientist whose work has helped define the role of the gut microbiome in digestive diseases.

During her time at Washington University School of Medicine, Li was a founding member and president of the school’s Academic Women’s Network, a Lucille B. Markey Scholar and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Toxicology Scholar.  She focused on increasing research opportunities for medical students in research and was the PI for a new NIDDK T35 short term medical student training program which funded summer research after first year of medical school.  In addition, she was the director of the NIDDK MRST program to support medical students taking a year off to conduct research.

As founding director of the Washington University Digestive Diseases Research Core Center in 2000, she became the driving force in building its biobank. Since moving to Stony Brook University in 2009, she has continued to return regularly to St. Louis, maintaining principal responsibility for updating detailed patient clinical data linked to the samples collected. She has also built a parallel infrastructure for collecting linked samples in patients with digestive diseases at Stony Brook.

In her current role, Li oversees a division that specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive tract and liver. Her major research interest is defining the role of the gut microbiome in digestive diseases, particularly inflammatory bowel diseases, colon cancer and functional gastrointestinal disorders.

Li is the author of 77 peer-reviewed articles and several chapters in the Textbook of Gastroenterology. She is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Clinical Investigators and the Association of American Physicians.

Li participates in the training of medical students, residents and fellows and is dedicated to improving undergraduate premedical education, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. She tutors students in chemistry and mentors several undergraduates as well as high school students in her laboratory.

Li received her medical and doctoral degrees in 1980 from the Washington University Medical Scientist Training Program. After completing her residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, she returned to St. Louis to complete subspecialty training as a fellow in gastroenterology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, followed by postdoctoral training in molecular biology at the School of Medicine. She was named professor of medicine in 1997.

The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is pleased to present its Alumni Achievement Award to Dr. Li.

Published: 04/12/2015