Oncology Division
Alphabetical list (active faculty):   
Li Ding

Li Ding, PhD

David English Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine


Department of Medicine

Oncology Division

Computational Biology

Department of Genetics

McDonnell Genome Institute

Research Interests

  • Cancer genomics and proteomics



Dr. Ding has extensive experience in cancer genetics/genomics. She successfully led and completed the integrated analysis of a multi-institute study on the genomics of lung adenocarcinomas and identified key genes and pathways leading to lung cancer. In addition, Dr. Ding worked with Drs. Timothy Ley, Richard Wilson, and Elaine Mardis to analyze the tumor and skin genomes of a patient with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the first cancer genome that has ever been fully sequenced and analyzed. Further, Dr. Ding led the analysis of several cancer metastasis/relapse studies including the genome remodeling of a basal-like breast cancer and the clonal evolution of relapsed AML. Dr. Ding's research focuses on identifying and characterizing somatic/germline genetic changes relevant to cancer initiation and progression as well as drug response by integrating various data types including DNA, RNA, and proteomics data. Dr. Ding is also interested in developing algorithms to facilitate the translation of genomic findings to clinical practice.

Dr. Ding leads The Genome Institute's Medical Genomics group, consisting of biologists, bioinformaticians, mathematicians, and statisticians. Dr. Ding's team has developed a suite of variant detection and interpretation tools including VarScan, SomaticSniper, CMDS, BreakDancer, BreakFusion, PathScan, and MuSiC; many of them are widely used by the research community and have been applied in several large-scale projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project (PCGP).

Dr. Ding received a BS degree from Fudan University, a PhD from the University of Utah under Dr. Stephen Prescott's guidance, and did her postdoctoral research in the Biochemistry Department at Stanford University. Prior to her move to St. Louis, Dr. Ding was at Incyte Genomics, where she used in silico approaches to discover novel drugable genes and identify gene expression changes during development and disease progression.