De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, MPH, is a Senior Research Scientist at the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Dr. Li completed his medical training and master’s degree in Public Health at Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai, China. He then received his PhD in epidemiology from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Dr. Li is a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist with extensive experience conducting epidemiologic studies examining in-utero exposures in relation to pregnancy outcomes and early childhood diseases, including childhood obesity and asthma, preterm delivery, low birthweight, birth defects, miscarriage and SIDS. He has more than 88 peer-reviewed publications, of which he first-authored 41 and was the senior author for another 18.
He has been invited to many NIH and CDC study sections to review grant applications. Recognized for his long-standing experience in international collaborative research, Dr. Li was invited by the US National Academy of Science to evaluate Sino-US collaboration in bio-medical research. He has been invited by academic institutions and governmental agencies to present his research findings, including those related to exposures to EDC pollutants, genetic contribution, and medication use during pregnancy in relation to pregnancy outcomes and childhood diseases. He is also a current member of an advisory committee for the Dartmouth Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center.
He has received more than 10 research grants from federal agencies including NIH, CDC, FDA, and AHRQ. He is currently serving as the Associate Editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Dr. Li’s current research focuses on developmental origins of pregnancy outcomes and childhood diseases which include examination of (1) in-utero environmental exposures including endocrine disruptors (e.g., BPA) and electromagnetic fields (EMF), (2) safety and effectiveness of medication use during pregnancy, and (3) gene-environment interactions. Throughout his professional life, he has made important contributions to the understanding of (a) factors associated with reduction in SIDS risk, (b) health effects due to exposure to EMF, (c) adverse effects of in-utero exposure to caffeine, (d) impact of exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors, (e) risk and benefit of treating maternal depression during pregnancy, (f) parental genetic contribution to the risk of preterm delivery, and (g) benefits of treating herpes infection during pregnancy.
Dr. Li has worked closely with the medical communities, especially OBGYN physicians, of Kaiser Permanente Northern California.