Fang Li, PhD

Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Fang Li

Contact Info

Mailing Address:
321 Church St SE
6-120 Jackson Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Additional Locations
Laboratory of Structural Biology of Disease
Center for Coronavirus Research

Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Edmund Wallace Tulloch and Anna Marie Tulloch Endowed Chair

Director, Center for Coronavirus Research

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School

PhD, Yale University (Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry)

BS, Beijing University (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)


Please visit Dr. Fang Li's lab website for more information.

We study the structural and molecular basis of human and animal diseases including virus infections and cancer.

Our main line of research examines the invasion mechanisms of viruses. We investigate the structures and functions of virus-surface proteins that mediate receptor recognition and cell entry of viruses.

Our other line of research explores the structural and molecular basis for cancer. Specifically, we investigate the structures and functions of mammalian-cell-surface enzymes that are critical for tumor cell growth and invasion.

Based on these structural and functional studies, we further develop novel therapy strategies to treat human and animal diseases.

Our research tools include X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, protein biochemistry, and vaccine and drug designs.

Advising Statement


Professor Li is a leading researcher in the coronavirus entry field, having determined many structures of coronavirus spike proteins and discovered the molecular events that lead to coronavirus entry into host cells. His research has been one of the major driving forces behind what we now know about receptor recognition and cell entry of coronaviruses. Moreover, he has developed structure-based strategies for vaccine design and drug development. His research provides foundational knowledge for the field of coronaviruses.