Isaac Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Okanagan. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry with Dr. Gilbert Walker at the University of Toronto, where he studied hydrophobic interactions with single-molecule techniques. In 2012, Isaac joined the labs of Dr. Yann Chemla and Dr. Taekjip Ha as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Physics of Living Cells at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he developed the adhesion footprint assay to study dynamic cell adhesion processes. He joined UBC Okanagan in 2016 and established the Single-Molecule Mechanobiology Lab.
The Li lab is currently investigating how forces at the molecular level influence cell adhesion and signalling, which will lead to new methods to control cell behaviour orthogonal to conventional biochemical means and enable new disease diagnosis and treatment strategies. The lab develops smart molecular tools tailored to directly interface with cells and tissues by combining techniques in single-molecule biophysics, DNA nanotechnology, bioengineering, and cell biology.