Dr. Fuhai Li was born into a farming family in a beautiful village of Shandong province, China, which was not unlike many family farms and orchards in the United States. Along with his parents and older sister, they grew many kinds of colorful vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, bell peppers, wheat and corn. Their fruit trees yielded delicious peaches and plums. True to his mathematical passion, Fuhai invented a game of counting the fruit and vegetable yield during his childhood, and subsequently observed characteristic patterns which he used to identify the sweetest fruits in the crop. He continued his enthusiasm for mathematical models during his school years and received a B.S. in Applied Mathematics (and information science) at Yantai University, as well as a Ph.D. at Peking University. His childhood game helped to develop his imagination and quantitative pattern recognition, and turn it into his life’s work of solving real challenges using mathematical and statistical approaches with computers.
As a PhD student, Fuhai was invited to work in Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Bioinformatics Lab where he used mathematical models and computers to solve biomedical challenges. He then moved with the lab to the Houston Methodist Research Institute around 2 years later. After receiving his PhD, he was hired from a Postdoc to an assistant professor there. Then he was hired as an assistant professor at The Ohio State University for 2 years, and in August of 2018 Fuhai, his wife, Aixia, and his children, Vivian and William, moved to WUSTL where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Informatics and Pediatrics, and Aixia is a postdoc in the Institute for Informatics.
Fuhai is now using the applied math skill he honed years ago to develop novel statistical, systems biology (network analysis), machine learning and deep learning models to discover novel targets, drugs and synergistic drug combinations for diseases by integrating diverse and heterogeneous genomics data, sequencing data analysis, medical records data, clinical data, and imaging data.
Fuhai is always interested in developing new statistical models, new machine learning and deep learning models and new collaborations!