Zong-Ming Li, PhD

Zong-Ming Li, PhD

Zong-Ming Li, PhD, is currently the William and Sylvia Rubin Endowed Chair of Orthopedic Research and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona. Dr. Li also serves as the Vice Chair for Research in Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Director of Robert G. Volz, MD Orthopedic Research Laboratories, Associate Director of University of Arizona Arthritis Center, and Director of the Hand Research Laboratory.

Prior to moving to University of Arizona, Dr. Li was a Full Professor in Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and held appointments as Full Staff in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Orthopedic Surgery, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic. While in Cleveland, Dr. Li was an Adjunct Professor in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the Cleveland State University where he served as the Co-Chair of the Applied Biomedical Engineering PhD Program, a joint educational establishment between Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland State University.

Dr. Li has more than 30 years of experience in musculoskeletal research and education, including (1) his current position as Professor in Orthopedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering (2019-); (2) Professor and Staff at the Cleveland Clinic in Biomedical Engineering, Orthopedic Surgery, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (2009-2019); (2) Assistant/Associate Professor in Orthopedic Surgery, Bioengineering, and Occupational Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh (2001-2009); (3) Assistant Professor in Physical Therapy at Walsh University (1998-2001); (4) doctoral studies in biomechanics at the Pennsylvania State University (1995-1998); (5) research experience in orthopedic biomechanics at the Shanghai Institute of Orthopaedics and Traumatology of Ruijin Hospital (1992-1995); (6) graduate studies for a Master’s degree in musculoskeletal biomechanics from the Sichuan University (1989-1992); and (7) undergraduate studies in engineering mechanics and a bachelor’s thesis in sports biomechanics from the Southwest Jiaotong University in China (1985-1989).

Dr. Li has broad research interests in musculoskeletal biomechanics, with a particular focus on the hand and upper extremity. His research has been sponsored by more than 40 grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Whitaker Foundation, Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), Aircast Foundation and other private foundations. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles in 51 journals, given 125 invited lectures worldwide, and presented over 350 podium and poster presentations in professional conferences. His research work has resulted in significant impact on biomechanics and motor control of the musculoskeletal function and dysfunction, particularly for the hand and upper extremity. In recognition of his "seminal contributions to hand and wrist biomechanics that impact better outcomes for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome”, Dr. Li was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

As an enthusiastic supporter and contributor to his profession, Dr. Li has served on the editorial boards of 18 journals related to bioengineering and orthopedics and has reviewed manuscripts for more than 30 professional journals. He is currently a Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, and an Associate Editor-in-Chief for the Chinese Journal of Biomedical Engineering. He also serves and has served as an Associate Editor for other 5 journals (Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, Journal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology, and Journal of Wrist Surgery). Dr. Li has served as standing member of NIH study section, and a grant reviewer for many other grant agencies including National Health Research Institute (NHRI) of Taiwan, Whitaker Foundation, Aircast Foundation, University Grants Committee (UGC) of Hong Kong, National Medical Research Council (NMRC) of Singapore, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, among others. He has extensively contributed to organizing national and international conferences related to orthopedics, bioengineering, rehabilitation, kinesiology, and biomechanics.

In his service to professional societies, Dr. Li was the President of the World Association for Chinese Biomedical Engineers (WACBE, 2013-2015), a member of the Executive Board of the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB, 2009-2012), Topic Co-Chair of the Upper Extremity Topic Committee (2007-2009) and Topic Chair of Hand and Wrist (2020-2022) of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), and a Member of the Research Management Committee of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH, 2014-2017). He is currently a member of the Board of Directors, Asian♦American Institute for Research and Education (ASIAM 2017-), and the President of Hand and Wrist Biomechanics International (HWBI, 2012-).


At-a-Glance

  • Endowed Chair Professor, University of Arizona

  • Vice Chair for Research, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Arizona

  • Associate Director, University of Arizona Arthritis Center

  • Director, Robert G. Volz, MD Orthopedic Research Laboratories, University of Arizona

  • Director, Hand Research Laboratory, University of Arizona

  • Director, Hand Research Laboratory, Cleveland Clinic

  • Director, Hand Research Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh

  • Professor, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU)

  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)

  • President, World Association for Chinese Biomedical Engineers (WACBE)

  • Chair, Board of Directors, Hand and Wrist Biomechanics International (HWBI)

  • Member, Board of Directors, Asian♦American Institute for Research and Education (ASIAM Institute)

  • Member of Executive Board, American Society of Biomechanics (ASB)

  • Member of Research Management Committee, American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH)

  • Member of International Advisory Committee, International Symposium for Ligaments and Tendons (ISL&T)

  • Standing Member of NIH Study Section

  • 18+ journals with editorship including Deputy Editor-in-Chief (1), Associate Editor-in-Chief (1), Associate Editor (5)

  • 18+ professional societies for membership with fellow status, founding member, president, etc

  • 40+ grant awards from federal agencies and private foundations

  • 30+ years of professional experiences in musculoskeletal research and education

  • 120+ peer-reviewed publications in 51 professional journals

  • 120+ invited lectures and presentations worldwide

  • 360+ abstract (podium/poster) presentations at professional conferences

  • 150+ trainees

  • 4 research laboratories for directorship