David Li joined the Rice University Department of Bioengineering's teaching faculty in 2019. As an instructor his focus is on implementing experiential learning in laboratory courses and helping students form connections across the core disciplines comprising bioengineering.
Li's broad research experience spans fields including primate genomics, neural signal processing, microfabrication, and synthetic biology. During his doctoral and postdoctoral training with Professor Elliot Hui at UC Irvine, Li developed photolithographic fabrication processes and low-cost cell patterning devices leading to journal publications and two patents. Li also constructed a light-activated selection system in yeast for optogenetic probe development, implementing modular recombinant DNA assembly strategies tailored for undergraduate and high school trainees to rapidly become independent and productive researchers in the lab.
Always seeking to improve student learning, he has worked with flipped classrooms and studio-format labs in courses including Biomedical Instrumentation, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Systems Physiology. Outside the classroom, he is also passionate about inspiring young new engineers through workshops in MATLAB programming and leading demos and hands-on experiments at science fairs and after-school programs.