Linxian Li

Dr. Linxian Li is a biomedical engineer with interdisciplinary expertise in organic chemistry, molecular biology, materials science, and bioengineering. He was Assistant Professor at Ming Wai Lau Centre for Reparative Medicine between 2017 and 2023.


Dr. Linxian Li is a biomedical engineer with interdisciplinary expertise in organic chemistry, molecular biology, materials science, and bioengineering. After obtaining his PhD degree at Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg in Germany, he pursued postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Committed to translate new materials for medical use, he focuses on developing biomaterials to deliver RNA therapeutics and engineering biointerfaces to control cell behavior. His work has resulted in over 20 publications including papers, patents and patent applications. These patents have been licensed to chemical and biotechnology companies, and several products that have been commercialized.


In molecular and cellular therapies, it is crucial that macromolecular drugs and stem cells are delivered into proper locations in vivo in order to execute their functions. However, the rational design of delivery systems is often laborious and inefficient, since the design criteria are difficult to define. Sitting at the interface of materials science and biotechnology, my research aims to develop novel delivery systems for molecular and cellular therapies. To accelerate this process, I have developed combinatorial methods that are capable of parallel synthesizing a large number of biomaterials, and fabricated microarrays as high-throughput screening tools to efficiently identify candidates. These efforts have led to an advanced system with great potential in gene therapy, drug testing, discovery, and tissue engineering applications. I continue to focus my efforts on elucidating the mechanism of molecular and cellular therapies, and translating new biomaterials for medical use.


In 2017, Dr. Li was among the first group of Chinese young researchers to receive the MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Awards. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding innovators under the age of 35 around the globe whose superb technical work promises to shape the coming decades. He was listed as a pioneer for exploring the therapeutic potentials of human messenger RNA (mRNA) and for providing innovative tools to accelerate the development of novel biomaterials for global healthcare challenges.

Group Members

Previous lab members

Bin Zheng | Postdoctoral Researcher

Fei Li | Postdoctoral Researcher

Jinsong Han | Postdoctoral Researcher

Gaofeng Zha | Postdoctoral Researcher

Jiabing Ran | Postdoctoral Researcher 

Iris Long | Research Assistant

Lu Wang | Postdoctoral Researcher

Balakrishna Moku | Postdoctoral Researcher

Yike Yang | Postdoctoral Researcher

Hui Huang | Postdoctoral Researcher

Kyler Chow | Research Assistant

Horace Lee | Research Officer

Mabel Fung | Research Assistant

Callum Stewart | Postdoctoral Researcher

Fengge Zhu | Postdoctoral Researcher


Selected Publications

Guo, J., Wang, D., Sun, Q., Li, L., Zhao, H., Wang, D., Cui, J., Chen, L., & Deng, X. (2019). Omni‐Liquid Droplet Manipulation Platform. Advanced Materials Interfaces, 1900653.

Li, F., Han, J., Cao, T., Lam, W., Fan, B., Tang, W., Chen, S., Fok, K. L., & Li, L. (2019). Design of self-assembly dipeptide hydrogels and machine learning via their chemical features. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(23), 11259–11264.

Miao, L., Li, L., Huang, Y., Delcassian, D., Chahal, J., Han, J., Shi, Y., Sadtler, K., Gao, W., Lin, J., Doloff, J. C., Langer, R., & Anderson, D. G. (2019). Delivery of mRNA vaccines with heterocyclic lipids increases anti-tumor efficacy by STING-mediated immune cell activation. Nature Biotechnology, 37(10), 1174–1185.

Yang, C., He, G., Zhang, A., Wu, Q., Zhou, L., Hang, T., Liu, D., Xiao, S., Chen, H.-J., Liu, F., Li, L., Wang, J., & Xie, X. (2019). Injectable Slippery Lubricant-Coated Spiky Microparticles with Persistent and Exceptional Biofouling-Resistance. ACS Central Science, 5(2), 250–258.

Yang, J., Wang, D., Liu, H., Li, L., Chen, L., Jiang, H.-R., & Deng, X. (2019). An electric-field-dependent drop selector. Lab on a Chip, 19(7), 1296–1304.

Du, X., Li, J., Welle, A., Li, L., Feng, W., & Levkin, P. A. (2015). Reversible and Rewritable Surface Functionalization and Patterning via Photodynamic Disulfide Exchange. Advanced Materials, 27(34), 4997–5001.

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