Dr. Li is currently working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical & Diagnostic Sciences, School of Health Professions (SHP) at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He earned his PhD in Molecular Physiology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2006 and a Medical Degree in Clinical Medicine in 1997 from Xinxiang Medical University. As a medical educator, he has more than 10 years’ experience dedicated on teaching and doing translational research. He has also published over 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. At the same time, he is serving as the associate editor for Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and an active reviewer for five other journals: Journal of Allied Health, Neurobiology of Aging, Journal of Diabetes, Journal of Brain Imaging and Behavior, and The American Journal of the Medical Sciences. Further, he is an active member of several professional organizations including Alzheimer’s Association, Endocrine Society, and Physician Assistant Education Association. He enjoys teaching as well as doing research for his academic career. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and playing tennis.
Dr. Li started his research career in 1997 after he received his medical degree. As a graduate student, he had his formal research training in electrophysiology for investigating inhibitory components of the neuronal circuit underlying the Startle Reflex in fish. In 2002, he investigated the cardio-protective effects of phytoestrogen resveratrol with an estrogen receptor free cell model: HeLa cell line. In 2009, he successful applied the National Genomics Research Initiative grant sponsored by Howard Hughes Medical Institute as a Principal Investigator (PI). This grant provided an opportunity for him to work with undergraduates on individual projects on studying Phages in Genomics research. His current research focus is on Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Using the data from Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), type 2 diabetes mellitus, traumatic brain injuries, and obstructive sleep apnea are investigated for their effects on brain structure and function changes. Volume, cortical thickness, and gray matter density of regional brain areas are analyzed for examining structural changes of the brain. The functional changes are analyzed by using data from cognition performance tests and glucose metabolism measurements from different brain regions. In addition, biomarkers from either blood plasma or cerebrospinal fluid are analyzed to examine their changes during a longitudinal follow-up. Last but not least, he has been supervising physician assistant (PA) students on their research projects since 2013.
Dr. Wei Li has accumulated a lot of teaching experience through working in the roles of a teaching assistant, assistant professor or associate professor. He has been teaching different subjects at the level of undergraduate or graduate students. The medical subjects include Anatomy, Physiology, Biology, Medical Terminology, Pathophysiology, Evidence Based Critical Inquiry Series, Introduction to Medical History and Physical Examination, Neurology, Endocrinology, Clinical Simulation, and Genomics Research. In addition, he is a certified instructor from American Heart Association for both Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) trainings. In 2019, Dr. Li received the Gold Certificate from the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at UAB. Moreover, he is interested in doing pedagogical research, diversifying Physician Assistant workforce and outcome assessments.