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Wen-Hsiung Li

Wen-Hsiung Li (1942-) is a Taiwanese American scientist working in the fields of molecular evolution, population genetics, and genomics. He is currently the James Watson Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago and a Principal Investigator at the Institute of Information Science and Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.



Li was born 1942 in Taiwan. In 1968 he received a M.S. in geophysics from National Taiwan University. In 1972 he received his Ph.D in applied mathematics/genetics at the Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. From 1972 to 1973 he was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin Madison (genetics), working with James F. Crow. In 1973 he moved to the University of Texas, where he was appointed as a professor in 1984. Since 1998 he has been a Professor at The University of Chicago.

Scientific contributions

He is best known for his studies on the molecular clock (i.e. rates and patterns of DNA sequence evolution) and on the patterns and consequences of gene duplication. In 2003, he received the international Balzan Prize for his contribution to genetics and evolutionary biology, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, who cited his role in "establishing theoretical foundations for molecular phylogenetics and evolutionary genomics"[1]. He is author of first texts in the field of molecular evolution, Molecular Evolution and Fundamentals of Molecular Evolution (co-authored with Dan Graur), and an author on more than 200 peer-reviewed publications.


  • Academia Sinica Taiwan, 1998
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1999
  • President of the “Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution”, 2000
  • National Academy of Sciences, 2003
  • Balzan prize 2003 for genetics and evolution (The third recipient, following Sewall Wright (1984) and John Maynard Smith (1991)).


  • Li, W.-H. (2006). Molecular Evolution. Sinauer. ISBN 0878934804. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wen-Hsiung_Li". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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