Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine


Zheng Li, Ph.D.


Zheng Li, Ph.D.

Zheng Li, Ph.D.

Assistant Member
Chief, Medicinal and Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry Laboratory
Department of Translational Imaging
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Assistant Professor of Chemistry in Radiology
Weill Medical College of Cornell University

E-mail: zli@houstonmethodist.org
Phone: 713-441-7962
Fax: 713-441-8696


M.S.   Northwest University, Xi’an, China (Organic Chemistry)
Ph.D.   Fudan University, Shanghai, China (Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry)

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Radiochemistry and PET imaging, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, Bethesda, MD.



After graduating Magna cum Laude from her doctoral program at Fudan University, Dr. Li spent a year as a Research Specialist at Unilever, one of the world’s largest and oldest multi-national consumer product brand corporations. In 2004, she was awarded the NIH Fogarty International Fellowship and spent the next 3 years in PET imaging group at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering in Bethesda, MD. In 2006, she received the NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence. Dr. Li joined The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in 2007.

Description of Research

Dr. Li’s research involves the development and validation of novel molecular imaging probes for better understanding and early diagnosis of cancer and neurodegenerative disease. She also has interests in designing and synthesis of new bioactive molecules based on biomechanistic rationale and structural optimization as the therapeutic agent for cancer and using nanotechnique for targeted drug delivery.

Major Areas of Research

Molecular imaging, synthetic chemistry and radiochemistry, targeted drug delivery

Recent Publications

Li F, Liu JC, Jas G, Lee D, Qin G, Zhang J, Shi Z, Xing J, Hong Z, Li K, Li Z. Bioconjugate Chem. 2010, 17;21(2):270-278.

Zeng X, Yin B, Hu Z, Liao C, Liu J, Li S, Li Z, Nicklaus MC, Zhou G, Jiang S. Org Lett. 2010, 19;12(6):1368-1371.

Jiang S, Li Z, Ding K, Roller P. Recent Progress of Synthetic Studies to Peptide and Peptidomimetic Cyclization, Curr Org Chem, 2008 (12): 1502-1542.

Li Z, Lang L, Ma Y, and Kiesewetter DO. [18F] Fluoropropylsulfonyl Chloride: a New Reagent for Radiolabeling Primary and Secondary Amines for PET Imaging. J Label Compd Radiopharm. 2008 (51): 23–27.

Li Z, Wang QR and Tao FG, Synthesis of 2-oxo-[1,2,4]triazolo[3,2-d][1,5] benzoxazepines: A kind of novel tricyclic O,N-heterocycles. Synthetic Commun. 2004;34 (9):1691-1702.

Wang QR, Li Z and Yang H, Annulated 1,2,4-Triazoles. A Convenient Synthesis of Thieno[2,3-f][1,2,4]triazolo[1,5-a]azepines: a Novel Triheterocyclic ring system. Synthesis. 2003; 8:1231-1235.

Qin G, Li Z, Xia R, O'Neill B, Goodwin J, Khant H, Li K. Partially polymerized liposomes: stable against leakage yet capable of instantaneous release for remote controlled drug delivery, Nanotechnology. 2011, 15;22(15):155605.

Xiao Q, Liu Y, Qiu Y, Zhou G, Mao C, Li Z, Yao ZJ, Jiang S. Potent Antitumor Mimetics of Annonaceous Acetogenins Embedded with an Aromatic Moiety in the Left Hydrocarbon Chain Park, J. Med. Chem. 2011, 27;54(2):525-33.

Li F, Jas G, Qin G, Li K, Li Z. Synthesis and evaluation of bivalent, peptidomemtic antagonists of the avß3 integrins. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2010, 20: 6577-6580