Song Li Ph.D

Chancellor Professor and Department Chair
Department of Bioengineering
Department of Medicine

5121C Engineering V
310-794-5956 fax
| Li Lab Group Website


  • B.S., Mechanics & Engineering Science, Peking (Beijing) University, 1988
  • M.S., Biomechanics, Peking (Beijing) University, 1991
  • Ph.D.,¬†Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, 1997 (Mentor: Shu Chien, M.D., Ph.D.)

Awards and Recognitions

  • Biomedical Engineering Society National Conference Chair, 2016
  • Chancellor Professorship, UC Los Angeles, 2015
  • Fellow, International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE), 2014
  • Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society, 2014
  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), 2014

Research Interests

  • Stem Cell Engineering
    Stem cells are valuable cell sources for tissue engineering, disease modeling and drug screening. We engineer the microenvironmental cues such as cell adhesion substrates, mechanical forces and chemical factors to guide cell differentiation and cell reprogramming in vitro. We also develop novel biomaterials to recruit stem cells for tissue regeneration in vivo.
  • Tissue Engineering and Vascular Remodeling
    We combine stem cells, micro/nano materials and drug delivery for tissue engineering, which involves either the construction of functional tissues with stem cells and scaffolds in vitro or the design of bioactive materials to awaken the regeneration potential of endogenous stem cells in the body. We also investigate the roles of stem cells in vascular remodeling and wound healing.
  • Mechanobiology/Mechanotransduction
    Biophysical factors such as mechanical factors and micro/nano features of biomaterials play an important role in cell reprogramming, development and tissue remodeling. Compared to biochemical factors, the effects of biophysical factors are not well understood. Our goals are to understand the roles of biophysical factors in regulating stem cell functions and cell reprogramming, and to elucidate how cells sense, transduce and convert these biophysical signals into biochemical signals through the cell membrane, cytoskeleton, receptors, signaling molecules, transcriptional machinery and chromatin remodeling.


Wang A, Tang Z, Park IH, Zhu Y, Patel S, Daley G, Li S (2011) Induced pluripotent stem cells for neural tissue engineering. Biomaterials 32(22):5023-32.


Tang, Z, Wang, A, Yuan, F, Yan, Z, Liu, B, Chu, JS, Helms JA, Li S. (2012) Differentiation of multipotent vascular stem cells contributes to vascular diseases. Nature Communications. June 6; 3: 875.


Yu J, Wang A, Tang Z, Henry J, Li-Ping Lee B, Zhu Y, Yuan F, Huang F, Li S. (2012) The effect of stromal cell-derived factor-1a/heparin coating of biodegradable vascular grafts on the recruitment of both endothelial and smooth muscle progenitor cells for accelerated regeneration. Biomaterials 33: 8062-8074.


Downing T, Soto J, Morez C, Houssin T, Yuan F, Chu J, Fritz A, Patel S, Schaffer D, Li S (2013) Biophysical regulation of epigenetic state and cell reprogramming. Nat Mater 12(12):1154-62.


Sia J, Sun R, Chu J, Li S. Dynamic culture improves cell reprogramming efficiency. Biomaterials. 2016 Jun;92:36-45