Distinguished Scientist Rongshi Li, Ph.D.

January 10, 2017

Image with caption: Rongshi Li, Ph.D.

Rongshi Li, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2016 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

Today we meet:

The Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

  • Name: Rongshi Li, Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor, UNMC College of Pharmacy
  • Joined UNMC: Sept. 16, 2013
  • Hometown: Jilin, China

Research focus:
Antibiotic and anti-cancer drug discovery

The goal of my research is to discover novel antibiotic and anticancer therapeutics. I have been using innovative approaches including but not limited to fragment-based, structure-guided and natural product-derived design and synthesis of small molecules to develop antibiotic and anticancer agents.

My research will make a difference because these novel antibiotic and anticancer agents target drug resistance. Our novel natural product derivatives exhibit unique activities against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and anticancer properties with high potency and selectivity. They display a desirable pharmacokinetic profile, good bioavailability and no toxicities.

The best advice I've ever been given is "never give up."

Three things you may not know about me

  • I have maintained the accuracy of my free throw at 90 percent and jump shot at 80 percent for many years.
  • After moving to Omaha, I learned to cook steak and became the best chef you will find in a chemistry laboratory.
  • My bosses and colleagues in the biotech/pharma industry called me "Mr. Careful."


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Pat Farmer
January 10, 2017 at 3:19 PM

Congratulations, Rongshi! You certainly have made important contributions in your field. We're all proud of you.

Tom O'Connor
January 10, 2017 at 3:01 PM

Impressed with your FT and jump shot accuracy! Let us know if you hear from the NBA.

Ted Roche
January 10, 2017 at 9:23 AM

Congratulations, Rongshi! Wonderful recognition of your outstanding work.It is a pleasure to know you.