Yao Li

Yao Li is the Professor and Assistant Dean of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), China. Her research is in the general area of brain mapping, with a focus on multimodal brain imaging and its clinical applications. She is particularly interested in high-resolution magnetic 3D resonance spectroscopic imaging and its applications in brain disorders including stroke, brain tumor, Alzheimer's disease and psychiatric disorders. She has published over 100 papers in prestigious journals such as Science, Brain, IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. and Brain Stimulation. Dr. Li received the Outstanding Young Faculty Award from SJTU in 2016, the Fei-Xiang Young Faculty Talent Award from the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology in 2015. She received the best paper award (First place) in IEEE EMBC 2021 and multiple ISMRM Summa Cum Laude Awards and ISMRM Magna Cum Laude Awards in 2019 and 2021. Dr. Li is the associate editor of BMC Neuroscience. She is the senior member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), member of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) and member of Organization of Human Brain Mapping (OHBM). She is also the member of Chinese Society of Biomedical Engineering Foreign Affairs Committee and member of Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine Brain Imaging Technical Committee. Dr. Li was a charter member of the IEEE-EMBS Shanghai Chapter serving as the Secretary of the Founding Committee, which won the IEEE-EMBS Best New Chapter Award in 2013. She played a major role in the organization of the IEEE-EMBS International Summer School on Neural Engineering held in Shanghai biannually since 2013. Dr. Li has also served as Organizing Committee member, Session Chair and Program Chair for a number of scientific meetings, including the Frontiers of Biomedical Imaging Symposium held in Shanghai in 2017.


High resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging; Deep learning based multimodal MR brain imaging, Brain mapping and neuroimaging of brain disorders

Research Project

1. In vivo whole brain metabolic mapping for obsessive-compulsive disorder patients using high resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging technology
National Science Foundation of China
Role: PI; Amount: 560,000 Yuan; Project Period: 01/2019 - 12/2022
2. In vivo neurovascular coupling imaging during stroke acute stage in awake freely moving rats
National Science Foundation of China
Role: PI; Amount: 580,000 Yuan; Project Period: 01/2017 - 12/2020
3. The molecular and functional atlas of the Chinese brain 
Zhangjiang Science and Technology Major Project
Role: PI; Amount: 1900,000 Yuan; Project Period: 11/2019 - 12/2020
4. Simultaneous brain structural, functional and metabolic imaging
Key Program for Science and Technology Innovation of Shanghai Jiao Tong University 
Role: PI; Amount: 1000,000 Yuan; Project Period: 01/2020 - 12/2021
5. Study of functional and metabolic alterations after TMS modulation for drug-naïve first-episode schizophrenia patients
Key Program of Medical Engineering Cross Research Fund of Shanghai Jiao Tong University 
Role: PI; Amount: 750,000 Yuan; Project Period: 01/2018 - 12/2020


1. Zhang M, Guan Z, Zhang Y, Sun W, Li W, Hu J, Li B, Ye G, Meng H, Huang X, Lin X, Wang J, Liu J, Li B, Li Y*, Disrupted coupling between salience network segregation and glucose metabolism is associated with cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease - A simultaneous resting-state FDG-PET/fMRI study, NeuroImage: Clinical, 34: 102977, 2022.

2. Li W, Xu J, Xiang Q, Zhuo K, Zhang Y, Liu D, Li Y*, Neurometabolic and functional changes of default-mode network relate to clinical recovery in first-episode psychosis patients: A longitudinal 1H-MRS and fMRI study, NeuroImage: Clinical, 34: 102970, 2022.

3. Wang T, Hu Y, Wang D, Liu J, Sun J, Wei C, Dai H, Li Y*, Arcuate fasciculus subsegment impairments distinctly associated with memory and language deficits in acute mild traumatic brain injury patients, Journal of Neurotrauma, 38(23): 3279-87, 2021. 

4. Lu J, Mei Q, Hou X, Manaenko A, Zhou L, Liebeskind D, Zhang J, Li Y*, Hu Q, Imaging acute stroke: from one size fits all to biomarkers, Frontiers in Neurology, 12: 697779, 2021.

5. Ye Q, Zhang Z, Sun W, Fan Q, Li Y*, Disrupted functional connectivity of precuneus subregions in obsessive-compulsive disorder, NeuroImage: Clinical 31: 102720, 2021

6. Li Y, Xiong J, Guo R, Zhao Y, Li Y, Liang Z, Improved estimation of myelin water fractions with learned parameter distributions, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 86(5): 2795-2809, 2021.

7. Wang D, Zhuo K, Sun Y, Xiang Q, Guo X, Wang J, Xu Y, Liu D*, Li Y*, Middle temporal corpus callosumimpairment as a predictor of eight-week treatment outcome of drug-naïve first-episode psychosis patients: A pilot longitudinal study, Schizophrenia Research 232: 95-97, 2021.

8. Zheng Y, Wang D, Ye Q, Zou F, Li Y*, Kwok S, Diffusion property and functional connectivity of superior longitudinal fasciculus underpin human metacognition, Neuropsychologia 156(107847), 2021.

9. Meng Z, Guo R, Li Y, Guan Y, Wang T, Zhao Y, Sutton B, Li Y and Liang Z-P, Accelerating T2 mapping of the brain by integrating deep learning priors with low‐rank and sparse modeling, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 85(3):1455-1467, 2021.

10. Guo R, Zhao Y, Li Y, Wang T, Li Y, Brad S, and Liang ZP, Simultaneous QSM and metabolic imaging of the brain using SPICE: Further improvements in data acquisition and processing, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 85(2):970-977, 2021.

11. Li Y*, Wang T, Zhang T, Lin Z, Li Y, Guo R, Zhao Y, Meng Z, Liu J, Yu X, Liang Z-P and Nachev P, Fast high-resolution metabolic imaging of acute stroke with 3D magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Brain (封面论文), 143(11): 3225–3233, 2020.

12. Bo B, Li Y*, Li W, Wang Y, and Tong S, Optogenetic translocation of protons out of penumbral neurons is protective in a rodent model of focal cerebral ischemia, Brain Stimulation, 13: 881-890, 2020.

13. Cen H, Xu J Xu, Yang Z, Mei L, Chen T, Zhuo K, Xiang Q, Song Z, Wang Y, Guo X, Wang J, Jiang K, Xu Y, Li Y*, and Liu D, Neurochemical and brain functional changes in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex of first-episode psychosis patients: A combined functional magnetic resonance imaging - proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 54(5):519-527, 2020.

14. Guo R, Zhao Y, Li Y, Li Y, and Liang ZP, Simultaneous metabolic and functional imaging of the brain using SPICE, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 82(6):1993-2002, 2019.

15. Zhuang H, Liu R, Wu C, Meng Z, Wang D, Liu D, Liu M, and Li Y*, Multimodal classification of drug-naïve first-episode schizophrenia combining anatomical, diffusion and resting state functional resonance imaging, Neuroscience Letters, 705:87-93, 2019.

16. Xiang Q, Xu J, Wang Y, Chen T, Wang J, Zhuo K, Guo X, Zeljic K, Li W, Sun Y, Wang Z, Li Y*, and Liu D, Modular functional-metabolic coupling alterations of frontoparietal network in schizophrenia patients, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13:40, 2019. 

17. Bo BLi Y*, Li WWang Y, and Tong S, Optogenetic excitation of ipsilesional sensorimotor neurons is protective in acute ischemic stroke: a laser speckle imaging study, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 66(5):1372-1379, 2019.

18. Chen Y, Meng Z, Zhang Z, Zhu Y, Gao R, Cao X, Tan L, Wang Z, Zhang H, Li Y*, Fan Q, and Xiao Z, The thalamic glutamate level correlates with functional connectivity with dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/middle occipital gyrus in obsessive-compulsive disorder: a combined fMRI and 1H-MRS study, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 53(3): 207-218, 2019.

19. Tang Y, Zhang X, Sheng J, Zhang J, Zhu Y, Wang J, Zhang T, Zhuo K, Zhang X, Tong S, Li Y*, and Wang J, Elevated hippocampal choline level is associated with altered functional connectivity in females with major depressive disorder: A pilot study, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 278: p. 48-55, 2018.

20. Wang R, Fan Q, Zhang Z, Chen Y, Zhu Y and Li Y*, Anterior thalamic radiation structural and metabolic changes in obsessive-compulsive disorder: a combined DTI-MRS study, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 277:39-44, 2018. 

21. Li Y, Chen Z, Su X, Zhang X, Wang P, Zhu Y, Xu Q, Xu J and Tong S, Functional lateralization in cingulate cortex predicts motor recovery after basal ganglia stroke, Neuroscience Letters, 613(2): 6-12, 2016.

22. Zhang X, Tang Y, Maletic-Savatice M, Sheng J, Zhang X, Zhu Y, Zhang T, Tong S, Wang J and Li Y*, Altered neuronal spontaneous activity correlates with glutamate concentration in medial prefrontal cortex of major depressed females: an fMRI-MRS study, Journal of Affective Disorders, 201:153-161, 2016.

23. Zhu Y, Fan Q, Han X, Zhang H, Chen J, Wang Z, Zhang Z, Tan L, Xiao Z, Tong S, Maletic-Savatic M and Li Y*, Decreased thalamic glutamate level in unmedicated adult obsessive compulsive disorder patients detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Journal of Affective Disorders, 178:193-200, 2015. 

24. Li Y*, Zhu S, Yuan L, Lu H, Li H and Tong S, Predicting the ischemic infarct volume at the first minute after occlusion in rodent stroke model by laser speckle imaging of cerebral blood flow, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 18 (7): 076024, 2013.