Dr. Wen Li, PhD/MD, is John S. Dunn Endowed Chair Professor and Director of the Center for Sensory and Systems Psychiatry (CSSP) within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She has a broad, integrated background in medicine, clinical psychology, and neuroscience, fostering a rich interdisciplinary approach that bridges the realms of basic science and clinical research. Dr. Li has pioneered research into sensory mechanisms underlying human threat processing and associated disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, and pain. Her laboratory employs cutting-edge techniques, including multimodal neuroimaging (e.g., simultaneous EEG-fMRI), brain stimulation, advanced data analysis, and clinical trials. Her work has consistently appeared in high-impact journals such as Science, Neuron, Brain, PNAS, and Current Biology.

As a Principal Investigator, Dr. Li has successfully secured substantial funding from prominent institutions, including the NIH (with multiple R01s) and the DOD. Beyond her impactful research, she is deeply committed to shaping the future of scientific inquiry by mentoring and training the next generation of researchers. Graduates from her lab have gone on to achieve faculty positions at leading research institutions. Dr. Li further serves the scientific community through her roles as a longstanding study section reviewer for the NIH and NSF, including an elected Regular Membership on the NIH HCMF study section. Her contribution also extends globally through reviewer services for several major foreign government agencies such as the German Research Foundation.


Psychology, Northwestern University, IL
Psychology, Beijing University, China
General Medicine, Xiangya Medical School, China

Areas of Interest

Clinical Interests

  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Pain
  • Sensory, cognitive, affective, and systems neuroscience
  • Behavioral Therapies and transcranial modulation