Jin Li

Jin Li, was born in Shanghai in March 1963. He received BS and MS at Fudan University in 1985 and 1987, respectively, and received PhDin Biomedical Sciences/Genetics at Houston Health Science Center of University of Texas in 1994. Between 1994 and 1996, he had a postdoctoral training at Stanford University. In 1997, he was engaged by the School of Life Sciences of Fudan University as a parttime professor, and in 2005, he returned to China, and became a fulltime professor of the School of Life Sciences, and from 2003 to 2008, he served as the dean of the School of Life Sciences. Now he is the vicepresident of Fudan University, member of the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council, member of the Science & Technology Commission of Ministry of Education, member of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of CPPCC, etc. He was once the director of CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, the professor (tenure) of Center for Genome Information, Department of Environmental Health, the Medical College of University of Cincinnati, and the chairman of ACGA. At present, he holds posts at several famous international academic organizations like HUGO, and he successively became member of Editorial Board, deputy editorinchief, and editorinchief for 9 international academic journals, such as Genome Research, etc.
The main research areas of Professor Jin include medical genetics and genetic epidemiology, human population genetics, and computational biology. His representative academic achievements are as follows:
1. A systematic development of the theory and method of population genetics for the secondgeneration genetic markerSite for repetitive fragments (e.g. microsatellite), as the secondgeneration genetic marker, is the main genetic marker for research of disease genetics in the 1990s. Jin Li participated in the discovery of microsatellite site, took the lead in introducing the stepwise mutation model, systematically developed the theory and method of population genetics for such sites, and so made a foundation for establishing population genetics model of site for repetitive fragments and for determining that replication slippage is the main mechanism for such site mutation.
2. A deep study on the formation mechanism of linkage disequilibrium for human genome and its application in disease gene mappingAt the end of the 1990s, linkage disequilibrium of SNP became the main method for disease gene mapping. Jin Li’s study on the advantages of haplotype analysis and formation mechanism of linkage disequilibrium was one of the foundations for advancing the international haplotype initiative. He thought that genetic drift was one of the main reasons for formation of linkage disequilibrium module in genome, and introduced a “tetrameric method” to deduce the linkage disequilibrium module, which is still in use as a main method.
3. A systematic study on East Asian people’s genetic structure, origin and migration
In the middle of the 1990s, Jin Li and his cooperators began to study the genetic structure and formation mechanism of population from East Asia and China. They used 30 microsatellite sites for an analysis of East Asian people’s genome.
He is one of the scholars who first realized the importance of Ychromosome. In 1994, Jin Li and his cooperators found the first humanspecific Ychromosome mutation, and subsequently, they found more than 100 Ypolymorphic sites successively.
In 2001, Jin Li and his cooperators, through an analysis on 12127 cases of 163 groups in the AsiaPacific region, found that all individuals had the M168 mutation originated from Africa. This is the most powerful genetic support for Africa origination of East Asian people, which has been listed in the Encyclopedia Britannica as an important discovery of 2001. In a critical article from Science, Pbo, a geneticist from Germany said, “This is a qualitative leap, and a powerful support for Africa origination.”
The abovementioned studies have provided not only an important support for worldwide research on human origination and migration as well as origination of the Chinese Nation, but also the key information on population genetic structure for studies on disease genetics and environment susceptibility based on population.
Additionally, Jin Li has scored outstanding achievement in discipline construction and talent development. In 1999, Jin Li was awarded “Changjiang Scholar” (lecture) of the Ministry of Education; in 2002, he was engaged by the Ministry of Science and Technology as the chief scientist for a “973” program; in 2006, he won the “National Outstanding Youth Foundation,” and in 2011, he was selected in the national “1000-elite Program” (recognized retrospectively). He was successively awarded the first prize in Natural Science Award of the Ministry of Education (2003), the second prize in Chinas State Natural Science Award (2007), Special Allowance of the State Council of China (2010). Up to now, he has published more than 280 SCI papers in international academic journals, including Nature, Science, PNAS, etc., and his papers have been quoted for more than 14,000 times. He has cultivated over 50 students, and 3 of them won National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation of P. R. China Award.