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Hongbo Chi ’98M (MS), ’01M (PhD) and Ping Li ’01M (MS), ’03M (PhD)

Hongbo ChiDr. Hongbo Chi is a professor in the Department of Immunology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He joined St. Jude in 2007 and previously held the titles of assistant member and associate member.

Dr. Chi received his bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Shandong University in China in 1994. He earned his master’s degree in Pathology in 1998 and doctorate degree in Pathology in 2001, both from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. While at the University, Dr. Chi held a Robert and Mary Sproull University Fellowship from 1995 to 1997. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow and associate research scientist in the field of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine.

Groundbreaking and innovative, Dr. Chi’s research aims to understand immune signaling and cell metabolism that control the differentiation and function of immune cells and the effects on immune-mediated disorders. His laboratory has discovered the critical importance of mTOR signaling, metabolism and autophagy in the differentiation and function of T cells, the control of T cell quiescence and antigen-triggered exit from quiescence, and the regulation of autoimmune, infectious and malignant diseases. His research has also contributed to the understanding of the signaling and metabolic pathways in dendritic cell biology and the crosstalk between innate and adaptive immunity. His efforts have yielded the Hulda Irene Duggan Arthritis Investigator Award from the Arthritis Foundation, the Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Health, and Scholar Awards from both the American Cancer Society and the American Asthma Foundation.

Dr. Chi has published over 90 primary research articles, including publications in Nature, Nature Immunology, and Immunity, and holds multiple NIH grants. Currently, Dr. Chi serves as an Editorial Board Member for Frontier in Immunology and Cellular and Molecular Immunology.Ping Li

Dr. Ping Li is the principal scientist and biological laboratory manager in the Spine Division at Medtronic in Memphis, Tennessee. She joined Medtronic in 2007 as senior research and development scientist, managing the biological laboratories and developing new technologies to treat orthopaedic and spinal conditions. Prior to her tenure at Medtronic, Dr. Li was a staff scientist in Orthopaedic Research at Sanofi Genzyme in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Dr. Li received her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Shandong University in China in 1994. In 2001, she earned her master’s degree and in 2003, her doctorate degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Accomplished in the fields of industry and academics, Dr. Li owns three U.S. patents on methods and compositions of bone growth. She received the 2017 Quest Grant Award from Medtronic Technology Innovation Program and the 2018 Outstanding Project Execution Beacon Award from Medtronic Research and Development Leadership Team. She was also a nominee of Medtronic Global Preclinical Research Excellence Award in 2017. She received the 2002 Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the 2002 Young Investigator Travel Award from the International Chinese Hard Tissue Society, and she was a finalist for the New Investigator Recognition Award at the 6th Combined Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in 2007. She is currently a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the Orthopaedic Research Society, and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Drs. Chi and Li were married in 1995 and live in Memphis. They are proud parents of their son, Max, who was born in 2008.