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Bioinformatics Prof Honored at USciences 193rd Founders’ Day Award Ceremony

By Lauren Whetzel-Siburkis

Zhijun LiUniversity of the Sciences proudly recognized Zhijun Li, PhD, associate professor of bioinformatics, with the 2014 Founders’ Day Faculty Award of Merit during the University’s 193rd Founders’ Day ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 20.

“Since joining USciences 10 years ago, Dr. Li has secured 10 grants totaling over $1 million dollars through his research primarily with G-protein coupled receptors, the No. 1 drug target,” said Dr. Heidi Anderson, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Even more significant, these awards came from nationally competitive funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.” 

Dr. Li was influential in developing the bioinformatics program at USciences, building and teaching a number of modern courses including bioinformatics, bioinformatic computing, and phylogenetics. An active member of the University community, he has assumed numerous leadership roles and committee chairships in the College of Graduate Studies, as well as the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Publishing 24 papers in prominent, peer-reviewed journals in the areas of bioinformatics and chemistry, Dr. Li also allowed the opportunity for USciences graduate students and postdocs to coauthor 10 of those publications.

“Dr. Zhijun Li delivers great value as a teacher and advisor,” said Dr. Vojislava Pophristic, chair of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. “Under his mentorship, students and postdocs quickly become independent scientists.”

Each year, Founders’ Day at USciences recognizes its establishment on Feb. 23, 1821, as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy — the first college of pharmacy in North America, which is now a part of USciences. As part of the ceremony, faculty members were formally installed into their respective endowed positions and merit awards were presented to two current students and a faculty member. An honorary degree of science was also presented to Dr. Harkishan Singh, a world-renowned pharmaceutical academic, researcher, and science historian with more than 50 years of experience. 

For more information, visit the University’s Founders’ Day webpage.  

Click to see Founders' Day: Photos | Video.

Categories: News, Feature Story, Faculty, Students, Awards and Honors, Event, Leadership, Research, Academics, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Misher College, USciences, Department of Chemistry, Bioinformatics