Leyi Li, MD, Ph.D.

Leyi Li, MD, Ph.D. is Head of Embryology at Colossal. He received his MD degree from Hunan Medical University in China, followed by Ph.D. in Reproductive Physiology in Louisiana State University. He succeeded in getting horse IVF to develop to the blastocyst stage when studying at Louisiana State University, an achievement sought after in the horse IVF field. Immediately after his Ph.D. study, he was recruited as a Research Instructor in Pennington Biomedical Research Center at LSU, and there he established the first mouse transgenic facility in the State of Louisiana. He moved to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to be the Manager of the Neuro-Embryology Core Lab, and there he turned malignant mouse medulloblastoma cells into normal mouse embryos by using somatic cell nuclear transfer. He went back to clinical medicine and worked as a Resident Physician in University of Missouri College of Medicine for two years. He then returned to science and accepted the position of Director of Gene Targeting Shared Resource in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and there he created mouse models for researchers by using CRISPR, embryonic stem cells, genome engineering and microinjections. While at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, he developed a brand-new microinjection method called CELLectro, which utilizes electricity instead of hydro-pneumatic pressure to propel microinjection, and results in higher efficiency and better egg survival.  At Colossal he is establishing a state-of-the-art embryology program to serve its mission of de-extinction.