Meet Our Team
Assistant Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
Affiliate Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre - University Health Network
Canada Research Chair in RNA Vaccines and Therapeutics
M.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Waterloo, 2022
M.S., Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, 2019
I am an enthusiastic nanomedicine researcher, who focus on drug delivery system development for cancer theranostics, specializing in formulation development, nanoparticle characterization, cell-based characterization, and rodent animal experiments. Previously, I earned another M.S. in Pharmaceutical Science at Peking University. During my second master's study at the University of Waterloo, I developed an interest in developing RNA lipid nanoparticles (LNP) for cancer treatment. I join this team to further investigate nucleic acids encapsulated LNP. During my free time, I like painting, reading, and playing video games.
Andrew Varley enjoys exploring all areas of science and engineering. He began his studies in engineering and physics before a passion for biotechnology and life sciences. He earned a Master’s degree in microbial biochemistry and completed his PhD studies on biochemical and chemical biological studies of gene silencing (siRNA) mechanisms in the Desaulniers lab at Ontario Tech University. Andrew is a passionate teacher, having taught or tutored academics or music since the age of 15. He enjoys spending his free time playing the piano or guitar, snowboarding, riding his motorcycle, socializing with friends, or simply playing some videogames.
Yue (York) Xu
Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Engineering, China Pharmaceutical University, 2022
Yue Xu received his Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Engineering at China Pharmaceutical University. His research interests focus on Medicinal Chemistry and Biomedical Imaging. He has published first-author papers in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Journal of Advanced Research, Small, and ACS Sensors. In the Li lab, Yue is working on the de novo design of LNPs for RNA delivery.
I was born in Seoul, South Korea. I graduated from the University of Toronto specializing in pharmaceutical chemistry and a minor in mathematics. I enjoy learning and discovering new findings in the chemistry and biological field. So, I joined Dr. Li’s group as a Ph.D. student. During my free time, I enjoy watching sports (baseball, basketball, etc.). I am a big fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. I like to play soccer with my friends and enjoy playing golf. Also, I like listening to music and playing musical instruments (clarinet, saxophone, and drum).
M.S., Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 2022
I am interested in engineering novel RNA molecular therapies using synthetic biology. I completed my BSc in biological sciences at the University of Alberta and my MSc in molecular genetics at the University of Toronto. My diverse research experiences include DNA poxvirus genetics, neuropsychology data acquisition, high-throughput DNA multiplexing technologies, and microfluidic device design and fabrication. In my free time, I enjoy cooking for my family, improving my fitness level, playing video games, and exploring the great outdoors.
B.S., Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Toronto, 2022
I'm very passionate about research and enjoy learning new things, especially in the field of novel therapeutic solutions. I earned my HBSc at the University of Toronto with a specialization in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and a minor in Immunology. My research experience includes studying the role of the immune system in mediating idiosyncratic drug reactions in the Uetrecht Lab and working on the development of electrochemical biosensors in the Kelley Lab. In my free time, I'm a tech enthusiast and hobby artist who loves to play video games, watch documentaries, and read a good book.
Graduate student, LDFP Dean's Fellowship Awardee
B.S., Nanotechnology Engineering, University of Waterloo, 2022
I recently earned my BASc in Nanotechnology Engineering at the University of Waterloo, where I developed an interest in pursuing further research in nanomedicine. My undergraduate research experiences focused on developing plasmonic nanoparticles for biomedical applications and optimizing new methods of measuring the surface energy of micro- and nanoparticles. I also gained industry experience at Precision Nanosystems working on customized GMP systems for manufacturing RNA therapeutics and optimizing lipid nanoparticle formulations for mRNA vaccines. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, drawing, spending time at my cottage, and learning how to bake new desserts.
B.S., Nanotechnology Engineering, University of Waterloo, 2022
Alex is passionate about the targeted delivery of drugs using nanomedicine. He understands that when one’s health falters, it can be extremely debilitating and all-consuming. Thus, he hopes to pave the way for more effective disease treatments with his research. Alex recently graduated with a BASc in Nanotechnology Engineering at the University of Waterloo, primarily working on synthesizing and testing new polymer formulations for thermoplastic applications during his co-ops. He was also a nuclear engineering consultant at NPX. In his free time, Alex loves going to the gym, hiking, watching sports, and listening to psychology podcasts.
Jingan (Charles) Chen
B.S., Neuroscience, University of Toronto, 2021
Shufen (Sophia) Xu
M.D. candidate, Nanjing Medical University
Shufen Xu is an M.D. student in the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University. Her research interests focus on IncRNA, cancer Immunotherapy, cell biology, and tumor angiogenesis.
Kidus Estifanos Biru
MPharm Pharmacy Student, University College London
I am a Swiss-Ethiopian student in my final year of Pharmacy in the UK. I am excited by novel methods to develop and deliver medications. In particular, my interests in nanomedicines and formulation science have led me to the Li Lab, where my research project will focus on optimizing LNP formulations for circRNA expression and cellular activation. In my spare time, I like watching and playing football (the European kind). I also enjoy travelling, reading, and collecting Vynls.
NSERC-Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA), 05/2022-08/2022
McMaster University, B.Sc., Chemical Biology, 2022