Dr. Li received her PhD in Nursing from the University of Michigan and her MSN and BSN from the Shandong University in China. Before joining the faculty at UT Austin, she had her postdoctoral training at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing. Dr. Li's research is focused on the effects of lifetime trauma (i.e., adverse childhood experiences, intimate partner violence [IPV]) on women’s health and its potential biological pathways.
During her master's program, she was involved in a project on investigating the trajectories of depressive and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms across the perinatal period and their relationships with childhood maltreatment and social support. During Dr. Li’s PhD studies, she mainly focused on understanding maternal childhood maltreatment and trauma-related psychopathology and their impacts on perinatal outcomes. During her postdoctoral training period, she completed a project with Chinese immigrant women to quantitatively investigate the prevalence, risk factors, and mental health consequences of IPV and qualitatively explore their IPV experiences, help-seeking behaviors, and special needs for support. Findings from this study provided evidence for her current research project on conducting an empowerment-based intervention for abused Chinese immigrant women living in the US to reduce further victimization and the mental health effects of IPV.