Yun Rose Li

Rose was born in Beijing, China, and immigrated to the US at the age of 9. At the age 16, she won a full-tuition scholarship to study at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, where she pursued biochemistry, Chinese and Spanish Literature. Rose’s passion for molecular biology and human genetics stemmed from her first research fellowship at the age of 16 at Iowa State University, where she was a two-time research award recipient for her work as a part of the George Washington Carver Summer Internship Program.

She graduated summa cum laude with a BS in chemistry in 2010 from Duke University, where she worked in the laboratory of Hiroaki Matsunami to study the molecular regulation and genetic basis of smell and taste in mammals. She won funding from the Irene and Eric Simons Brain Research Foundation for her work. She is the first author of a cover article in Science Signaling and a related patent. Since matriculating in the MD/PhD Program at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, Rose has worked at the Center for Applied Genomics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where her PhD dissertation focused on identifying common genetic risk factors underlying pediatric autoimmune diseases across a cohort of over 40,000 patients. Her dissertation work is supported by the NIH F30 NRSA Individual Research Fellowship and the Paul and Daily Soros Fellowship for New Americans, a fellowship for advancing the scholarly work and education of first and second generation US immigrants. Currently, in addition to continuing to advance her work in pediatric autoimmunity, she also contributes to several projects using exome sequencing to identifying causes of Mendelian diseases.

In addition, she is a part of a multi-institutional and international effort applying next generation DNA sequencing to the identification of genetic markers for organ transplant rejection, helping to design and implement a transplant-specific high density genome-wide array for the iGENETRAIN consortium in transplantation genomics. Rose is currently completing her medical training and plans to pursue residency in radiation oncology. She aspires to bring targeted therapeutics to radiation by by applying her expertise in human genomics to prospectively identifying patients with tumors sensitive to radiotherapy. Her clinical work in breast oncology has been recognized by the 2014 ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Award and most recently her clinical work describing the role of proton therapy in the treatment of mesothelioma has been selected as a platform talk at the 2015 World Lung Cancer Symposium. Her work in molecular and human genetics have resulted in coauthored publications in the Am. J. of Human Genetics, Neurology, Nature Neuroscience, Human Molecular Genetics, Nature and the Lancet as well as patents/patent application.

In addition to her research, Rose serves advisory and consulting roles for healthcare IT and international education companies and organizations including Shearwater International, 2014 DreamIt Venture Healthcare Program, and CrowdMed. In addition to being a 2014 fellow in the Managing Sciences in the Biotech Industry program sponsored by the American Society for Cell Biology and EMD Millipore, Rose has continued on as a student liaison and consultant. In addition, Rose co-leads a business team participating in the 2014-2015 NeuroChallenge sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Heritage Foundation to propel the clinical translation of novel neurological therapies.

Rose serves on the UPenn University Council, Women’s MD-PhD Student Association, is a part of the Association for Women in Science Mentor-Mentee Program and is the founder and editor-in-chief of Stylus, UPenn’s first biomedical literary journal. Nationally, she serves on the Public Relations Committee of the American Physician-Scientist Association and has been named a Public Health and Medical Humanities Scholar with the American Medical Student Association. She serves as the VP of the Board of Directors of the Journal of Young Investigators, an international undergraduate research journal, the VP of Communications for Penn’s Graduate Consulting Club, and as a grants consultant with the African Family Health Organization in Philadelphia. In the past, she has served as a board member of the Government Relations Council of the Greater Delaware Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Rose has most recently been named a 2015 Emerging Leaders in Science and Society Fellow, a program sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and a Paul Ambrose Scholar by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research for her public health project on faith-based interventions in vaccination re-education in West Philadelphia.


Select Publications

Activation state of the M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor modulates mammalian odorant receptor signaling.
Li YR, Matsunami H.
Sci Signal. 2011 Jan 11;4(155):ra1. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2001230.

Mutations in prion-like domains in hnRNPA2B1 and hnRNPA1 cause multisystem proteinopathy and ALS.
Kim HJ, Kim NC, Wang YD, Scarborough EA, Moore J, Diaz Z, MacLea KS, Freibaum B, Li S, Molliex A, Kanagaraj AP, Carter R, Boylan KB, Wojtas AM, Rademakers R, Pinkus JL, Greenberg SA, Trojanowski JQ, Traynor BJ, Smith BN, Topp S, Gkazi AS, et al.
Nature. 2013 Mar 28;495(7442):467-73. doi: 10.1038/nature11922. Epub 2013 Mar 3.

Stress granules as crucibles of ALS pathogenesis.
Li YR, King OD, Shorter J, Gitler AD.
J Cell Biol. 2013 Apr 29;201(3):361-72. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201302044. Review.

Making the genomic leap in HCT: application of second-generation sequencing to clinical advances in hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Li YR, Levine JE, Hakonarson H, Keating BJ.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2014 Jun;22(6):715-23. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2013.247. Epub 2013 Nov 20. Review.

Unfolding the mystery of olfactory receptor gene expression.
Li YR, Matsunami H.
Dev Cell. 2013 Oct 28;27(2):128-9. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.10.012.

The missense of smell: functional variability in the human odorant receptor repertoire.
Mainland JD, Keller A, Li YR, Zhou T, Trimmer C, Snyder LL, Moberly AH, Adipietro KA, Liu WL, Zhuang H, Zhan S, Lee SS, Lin A, Matsunami H.
Nat Neurosci. 2014 Jan;17(1):114-20. doi: 10.1038/nn.3598. Epub 2013 Dec 8.

Ataxin-2 intermediate-length polyglutamine expansions in European ALS patients.
Lee T, Li YR, Ingre C, Weber M, Grehl T, Gredal O, de Carvalho M, Meyer T, Tysnes OB, Auburger G, Gispert S, Bonini NM, Andersen PM, Gitler AD.
Hum Mol Genet. 2011 May 1;20(9):1697-700. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddr045. Epub 2011 Feb 3.

Evaluating the prevalence of polyglutamine repeat expansions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Lee T, Li YR, Chesi A, Hart MP, Ramos D, Jethava N, Hosangadi D, Epstein J, Hodges B, Bonini NM, Gitler AD.
Neurology. 2011 Jun 14;76(24):2062-5. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31821f4447. Epub 2011 May 11.

α-synuclein promotes neuroprotection through NF-κB-mediated transcriptional regulation of protein kinase Cδ.
Aoki R, Li YR.
Sci Signal. 2011 Oct 18;4(195):jc6. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2002425.

The interleukin-6 receptor as a target for prevention of coronary heart disease: a mendelian randomisation analysis.
Interleukin-6 Receptor Mendelian Randomisation Analysis (IL6R MR) Consortium.
Lancet. 2012 Mar 31;379(9822):1214-24. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60110-X. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Mesothelin expression is associated with poor outcomes in breast cancer.
Li YR, Xian RR, Ziober A, Conejo-Garcia J, Perales-Puchalt A, June CH, Zhang PJ, Tchou J.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Oct;147(3):675-84. doi: 10.1007/s10549-014-3077-5. Epub 2014 Sep 6.

Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M3 modulates odorant receptor activity via inhibition of β-arrestin-2 recruitment.
Jiang Y, Li YR, Tian H, Ma M, Matsunami H.
Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 24;6:6448. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7448.

The genomic landscape of pediatric autoimmune diseases.
Li, YR…Keating, BJ, Hakonarson, H. Nature Medicine. [In Press] 2015.

Heritability and genetic sharing of pediatric age-of-onset autoimmune diseases.
Li, YR... Keating, BJ, Hakonarson, H. Nature Communications. [IN PRESS] 2015.