Dr. Jun Li, widely respected physician-scientist and former chair of neurology at Wayne State University, was named chair of the Stanley H. Appel Department of Neurology at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute.


Li succeeds Dr. Stanley H. Appel, his friend and co-member in the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Scientific Advisory Board. After leading the department named in his honor for 17 years, Appel now directs the Ann Kimball and John W. Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics at Houston Methodist. During his tenure as chair of neurology at Wayne State, Li also served as scientific director of the translational neuroscience initiatives there as well as Specialist-in-Chief of Neurology at the Detroit Medical Center.


Li’s research specialties in peripheral nerve disease and myelin biology have resulted in continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for 18 years, and his research projects have produced nearly 100 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He was the recipient of  the 2014 Wolfe Research Prize from the American Neurological Association (ANA). At both Wayne State and Vanderbilt University, where he spent nine years, Li funded multidisciplinary patient clinics to study and treat patients with inherited peripheral nerve disease – a project that attracted patients from across the world. Li says he plans to continue this clinic at Houston Methodist, where the Texas Medical Center offers a rich scientific environment and unlimited opportunities for collaboration and discovery.


A 1985 graduate of Anhui Medical University in the People’s Republic of China, Li received his neurosciences Ph.D. degree from the Drexel University College of Medicine (formerly Hahnemann University) and completed a neurology residency at the Ohio State University and an EMG (electromyography)/neuromuscular fellowship at the University of Utah. Currently he serves as a member of the ANA board of directors and NIH study sections, and has served on the MDA’s scientific advisory board and the scientific committee of the Peripheral Nerve Society.