Dan Li received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Medicine from China, and in 2003, she was obtained a PhD from Chonbuk National University in South Korea. Following her doctoral studies, she joined the University of Oxford, Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics for postdoctoral research in Professor David Paterson's laboratory. She progressed from Departmental Lecturer to University Research Lecturer and, in 2023, was awarded the title of Associate Professor.
Dan Li’s main research interest is focused on understanding how the autonomic nervous system influences cardiac function in health and disease. She developed a primary culture system of sympathetic ganglion neurons, using cellular and molecular approaches to investigate the interactions between different signalling cascades (Ca2+, nitric oxide, natriuretic peptide, cAMP, cGMP and other) in the cytosol and the sub-organelles (mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum). She utilises several genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors for monitoring second messengers using fluorescence microscopy and Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) in living cells to understanding how these second messengers impact on neuronal and cardiac function.