Shi-Jiang Li, PhD

Professor Shi-Jiang Li

Professor of Biophysics

Director, Center for Imaging Research

(414) 955-4029



Dr. Shi-Jiang Li received his engineering degree from the Department of Electronics Engineering at Tsinghua University, the People's Republic of China. He worked for eight years as a communication engineer and later as a graduate student in the Biophysics Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Science. He received his PhD from Ohio State University in Biochemistry and spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University's School of Medicine MRI/MRS laboratory. His multidisciplinary education and experiences have provided him with a broad background to conduct sophisticated biophysics research.

Research Interests

At present, Dr. Li has two NIH-funded research projects:

  • Imaging Cocaine Valuations in the Human Brain by fMRI
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    It is hypothesized that cocaine is a disease agent and that repeated cocaine use alters brain valuation circuitry in which the predictive error signal between the expected cocaine value and the outcome upon cocaine delivery goes awry; this could bias the decision-making processes and lead to addiction. We will use the fMRI-BOLD method with cocaine-dependent human subjects to test our hypothesis. The proposed study will greatly enhance our understanding of drugs of abuse and may potentially guide the development of new treatments for addiction.

  • A Composite MR Neuroimaging Marker for Alzheimer's Disease
    National Institute on Aging
    Neuropathological changes related to Alzheimer's Disease (AD) may begin 20 to 30 years before the onset of clinical symptoms in individuals at great risk. AD affects an estimated 4.5 million Americans and is expected to affect as many as 16 million Americans by 2050, as the baby boomers reach the age at which they are most at risk. It is of major concern to explore and develop new technologies for the early detection of AD in order to facilitate disease prevention, diagnosis, and effective treatment. The goal of this proposal is to develop an innovative imaging technology for the early detection of AD. We propose a new composite MRI Neuroimaging (MRN) Index, obtained by quantitatively combining two functional MRI measurements: Functional Connectivity Index (FCI) and Regional Cerebral Blood Flow (rCBF)-Perfusion Deficits at the resting-state condition. We will employ the MRN index to distinguish mild cognitive impaired subjects who are destined to develop AD from individuals evidencing the normal aging processes or converting to different types of dementia. 

and collaborates with Dr. Anthony Hudetz on this NIH-funded project:

  • General Anesthetics and Cerebral Cortical Sensory Integration
    National Institute of General Medical Sciences
    This research project should help us better understand how general anesthetics work, in particular, how they remove consciousness in the anesthetized patient. The knowledge gained should help develop safer anesthetics and better methods to determine the presence or absence of consciousness during anesthesia. Using anesthetic drugs as investigational tools, the project will also help understand how nerve cells in the brain collaborate to create human and animal consciousness. 

Dr. Li collaborates with many distinguished investigators, conducting multidisciplinary research in related frontiers: Dr. Alan Bloom, Professor of Pharmacology; Dr. Piero Antuono, Professor of Neurology; Dr. Travis Fisher, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Dr. Michael McCrea, Professor of Neurosurgery.

Lab Members 

  • Gang Chen, PhD, Research Scientist II
  • Guangyu Chen, Doctoral Student
  • Wenjun Li, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Hao Shu, Project Appointment
  • Chunming Xie, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Xingyu Xu, Doctoral Student
  • Zhan Xu, Doctoral Student
  • Kathleen Qian Yin, BS, Research Technologist III
    Provides technical support for fMRI applications to drug abuse and neuropharmacology with animal models
Open AllClose All
  Selected Publications
  • Babaei A, Kern M, Antonik S, Mepani R, Ward BD, Li SJ, Hyde J, Shaker R. Enhancing effects of flavored nutritive stimuli on cortical swallowing network activity. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. 299:G422-G429 (2010).

  • Biswal BB, Mennes M, Zuo XN, Gohel S, Kelly C, Smith SM, Beckmann CF, Adelstein JS, Buckner RL, Colcombe S, Dogonowski AM, Ernst M, Fair D, Hampson M, Hoptman MJ, Hyde JS, Kiviniemi VJ, Kötter R, Li SJ, Lin CP, Lowe MJ, Mackay C, Madden DJ, Madsen KH, Margulies DS, Mayberg HS, McMahon K, Monk CS, Mostofsky SH, Nagel BJ, Pekar JJ, Peltier SJ, Petersen SE, Riedl V, Rombouts SA, Rypma B, Schlaggar BL, Schmidt S, Seidler RD, Siegle GJ, Sorg C, Teng GJ, Veijola J, Villringer A, Walter M, Wang L, Weng XC, Whitfield-Gabrieli S, Williamson P, Windischberger C, Zang YF, Zhang HY, Castellanos FX, Milham MP. Toward discovery science of human brain function. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107:4734-4739 (2010).

  • Mantsch JR, Wisniewski S, Vranjkovic O, Peters C, Becker A, Valentine A, Li SJ, Baker DA, Yang Z. Levo-tetrahydropalmatine attenuates cocaine self-administration under a progressive-ratio schedule and cocaine discrimination in rats. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 97:310-316 (2010).

  • Xie C, Li SJ, Shao Y, Fu L, Goveas J, Ye E, Li W, Cohen AD, Chen G, Zhang Z, Yang Z. Identification of hyperactive intrinsic amygdala network connectivity associated with impulsivity in abstinent heroin addicts. Behav. Brain Res. 216:639-646 (2011).

  • Zhou J, Liu X, Song W, Yang Y, Zhao Z, Ling F, Hudetz AG, Li SJ. Specific and nonspecific thalamocortical functional connectivity in normal and vegetative states. Conscious Cogn. 2010 Nov 13. 

  • Lee T, Jarome T, LI SJ, Kim JJ, Helmstetter FJ. Chronic stress selectively reduces hippocampal volume in rats: A longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging study. Neuroreport 20:1554-1558 (2009).

  • Yang Z, Xie J, Shao YC, Xie CM, Fu LP, Li DJ, Fan M, Ma L, LI SJ. Dynamic neural responses to cue-reactivity paradigms in heroin-dependent users: An fMRI study. Hum. Brain Mapp. 30:766-775 (2009).

  • Ellingson BM, Kurpad SN, LI SJ, Schmit BD. In vivo diffusion tensor imaging of the rat spinal cord at 9.4T. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 27:634-642 (2008).

  • Kufahl P, Li Z, Risinger R, Rainey C, Piacentine L, Wu G, Bloom A, Yang Z, LI SJ. Expectation modulates human brain responses to acute cocaine: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Biol. Psychiatry 63:222-230 (2008).

  • Xu Y, Xu G, Wu G, Antuono P, Rowe DB, LI SJ. The phase shift index for marking functional asynchrony in Alzheimer's disease patients using fMRI. Magn. Reson. Imaging 26:379-392 (2008).

  • Yang Z, Shao YC, LI SJ, Qi JL, Zhang MJ, Hao W, Jin GZ. Medication of l-tetrahydropalmatine significantly ameliorates opiate craving and increases the abstinence rate in heroin users: A pilot study. Acta Pharmacol. Sin. 29:781-788 (2008).

  • Ying L, Liu B, Steckner MC, Wu G, Wu M, LI SJ. A statistical approach to SENSE regularization with arbitrary k-space trajectories. Magn. Reson. Med. 60:414-421 (2008).

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
Directions & Maps
© 2016

Page Updated 03/24/2016