Professor Ying Li is a renowned research scientist in the field of spinal cord injury repair by cell transplantation in experimental models. The late Professor Geoffrey Raisman formed the team that Professor Li now leads with Dr Daqing Li.
Professor Li is the first research scientist to demonstrate the anatomical and functional repair of the damaged rat corticospinal tract by inserting olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) at the site of injury. She subsequently has confirmed the finding in other experimental injury models of which the lost functions like movement control, sensation and control of breathing are restored. Her findings have led to major international efforts to explore the value of these cells in the treatment of spinal cord injuries.
Professor Li is collaborating with Dr. Pawel Tabakow and his team to translate the laboratory work to clinical application. She was involved in the treatment of the first spinal cord injury patient by autologous transplantation of OECs obtained from the patient’s own olfactory bulb. It was a very successful case and the team are now planning to treat more patients.