Jun Li

Research Scientist

Department of Nutrition


Dr. Jun Li is a research scientist in Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). She holds an MD for Preventive Medicine and a PhD for Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Environmental Health. The main area of her research focuses on the identification of risk factors for prevention of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD), with particular interest and skills on high-dimensional omics research.

Dr. Li is leading several projects identifying genomic, metabolomic, dietary, and lifestyle risk factors for T2D and CVD in the Nurses’ Health Studies (NHS), Health Professional Follow-up Study, PREDIMED study, Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, and the UK Biobank. Her research interests also extend to the new area of systems epidemiology and multi-omics integration. She is adopting new methodologies to integrate multi-omics data (including genetics, epigenetics, metabolomics, and gut microbiome) for the interpretation of disease etiology and identification of mechanisms through which diet/lifestyle factors impact cardiometabolic health.


  • M.D. in Preventive Medicine, 2011, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
  • Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Environmental Health, 2016, School of Public Health, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

Selected Awards and Honors 

  • 2020 Scott Grundy Fellowship Award for Excellence in Metabolism Research, American Heart Association 2020 EPI|LIFESTYLE Scientific Sessions, Phoenix, AZ
  • 2019 The Jeremiah and Rose Stamler Research Award winner, American Heart Association 2019 EPI|LIFESTYLE Scientific Sessions, Houston, TX
  • 2019 The Barry R. and Irene Tilenius Bloom Fellowship Award, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • 2018 The Postdoc Association Travel Award, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • 2015 Best Young Investigators, The Lancet-CAMS Health Summit 2015, Beijing, China
  • 2014 The Bernard Lown Scholarship in Cardiovascular Health Program, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA

Selected Publications

  1. Wittenbecher C, Eichelmann F, Toledo E, Guasch-Ferre M, Ruiz-Canela M, Li J, et al. Lipid Profiles and Heart Failure Risk: Results from Two Prospective Studies. Circ Res. 2020 Dec 4;. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.120.317883.
  2. Li J*, Lee DH*, Hu J, et al., Giovannucci EL, Hu FB. Dietary Inflammatory Potential and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among Men and Women in the U.S. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Nov 10;76(19):2181-2193.
  3. Lee DH*, Li J*, Li Y, et al., Hu FB, Tabung FK, Giovannucci EL. Dietary Inflammatory and Insulinemic Potential and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results From Three Prospective U.S. Cohort Studies. Diabetes Care. 2020 Nov;43(11):2675-2683.
  4. Li J, Guasch-Ferré M, Chung W, Ruiz-Canela M, Toledo E, Corella D, Bhupathiraju SN, et al., Hu FB, Liang L. The Mediterranean diet, plasma metabolome, and cardiovascular disease risk. Eur Heart J. 2020 Jul 21;41(28):2645-2656.
  5. Li J, Guasch-Ferré M, Li Y, Hu FB. Dietary and Biomarkers of Linoleic Acid Intakes and Risk of All-cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality: A Systematic-review and Meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. Feb 2020; pii: nqz349. PubMed PMID: 32020162.
  6. Hang D, Zeleznik OA, He X, Guasch-Ferre M, Jiang X, Li J, Liang L, et al. Metabolomic Signatures of Long-term Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Women. Diabetes Care. 2020 Oct;43(10):2588-2596.
  7. Li J, Hua S, Chen GC, Strizich G, et al., Hu FB, Kaplan R, Isasi CR, Qi Q. Objectively measured sedentary time, physical activity and liver enzyme elevations in US Hispanics/Latinos. Liver Int. 2020 Aug;40(8):1883-1894.
  8. Ding M, Li J, Qi L, Ellervik C, Zhang X, Manson JE, Stampfer M, Chavarro JE, Rexrode KM, Kraft P, Chasman D, Willett WC, Hu FB. Associations of dairy intake with risk of mortality in women and men: three prospective cohort studies. BMJ. Nov 2019; 367:l6204. PubMed PMID: 31776125.
  9. Li J, Hu FB. Research digest: reshaping the gut microbiota. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. Sep 2019; 7(9):671. PubMed PMID: 31439276.
  10. Hu J, Li Y, Zhang B, Zheng T, Li J, Peng Y, Zhou A, Buka SL, Liu S, Zhang Y, Shi K, Xia W, Rexrode K, Xu S. Impact of the 2017 ACC/AHA Guideline for High Blood Pressure on Evaluating Gestational Hypertension Associated Risks for Newborns and Mothers: A Retrospective Birth Cohort Study. Circ Res. May 2019; 125(2):184-194. PMID: 31104583.
  11. Li J, Rice MS, Huang T, Hankinson SE, Clevenger CV, et al. Circulating prolactin concentrations and risk of type 2 diabetes in US women. Diabetologia. Dec 2018; 61(12):2549-2560. PMID: 30306190.
  12. Li J, Zhu X, Yu K, Jiang H, Zhang Y, et al. Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Accelerated DNA Methylation Aging. Environ Health Perspect. Jun 2018; 126(6):067005. PMID: 29906262.
  13. Lu X, Peloso GM, Liu DJ, Wu Y, Zhang H, Li J, et al. Exome chip meta-analysis identifies novel loci and East Asian-specific coding variants that contribute to lipid levels and coronary artery disease. Nat Genet. Dec 2017; 49(12):1722-1730. PMID: 29083407.
  14. Li J, Zhu X, Yu K, Jiang H, Zhang Y, et al. Genome-Wide Analysis of DNA Methylation and Acute Coronary Syndrome. Circ Res. May 2017; 120(11):1754-1767. PMID: 28348007.
  15. Lu X*, Li J*, Li H, Chen Y, Wang L, et al. Coding-sequence variants are associated with blood lipid levels in 14,473 Chinese. Hum Mol Genet. Sep 2016; 25(18):4107-4116. PMID: 27516387.
  16. Zhu X*, Li J*, Deng S, Yu K, Liu X, et al. Genome-Wide Analysis of DNA Methylation and Cigarette Smoking in a Chinese Population. Environ Health Perspect. Jul 2016; 124(7):966-73. PMID: 26756918.

Bibliography: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1jkr2ceyfhgQj/bibliography/public/