Dr. Li conducts multidisciplinary research in the areas of psychoneuroimmunology, genetics and psychosocial oncology. She is developing a research program that explores the biological contributions to psychological distress in cancer patients. This includes establishing connections between basic laboratory sciences and psychosocial research departments and advocating to de-stigmatize and promote psycho-education about psychiatric illness in medical illness.
Current research projects involve characterization of cytokine profiles and genetic vulnerability as contributors to depression in cancer patients, and studies exploring the roles of psychological, endocrine, immunologic and nervous system biomarkers as mediators of non-specific cancer symptoms and symptom clusters, such as pain, depression, fatigue and insomnia.
Her psychosocial research includes educational strategies on the clinical management of depression and anxiety in cancer patients, related to the Distress Assessment and Response Tool (DART) program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and the Medical Assistance in Dying program at UHN.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Scientist, Behavioural Sciences and Health Research, University Health Network
Committee Member, Psychosocial Oncology Program, Cancer Care Ontario