Li is from Changsha city, Hunan, China. She graduated from Zhejiang University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science, and an Honorary Degree of Science for interdisciplinary training. Li has been doing research in Neuroscience since her Freshman year, and moved to the United States to continue her graduate level research training. In the Genetics, Genomics and Development program at Cornell University, she studied nuclear architecture and regulation of transcription, and she received a Master of Science degree in Genetics. Her experience in learning and teaching scientific and medical subjects, as well as conducting research projects, has made her realize the challenges and importance of communication.
Li chose to pursue a career in medical illustration at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institute to combine her research background and visual communication skills to help scientists and doctors convey their research.
Li was recognized with the Frank H. Netter, M.D. Memorial Scholarship for anatomical excellence at Johns Hopkins. She was named a Vesalius Scholar and is the 2017 Inez Demonet recipient for the most promising new medical illustration graduate.