Zong-Ming Li, PhD

Zong-Ming Li, PhD

Zong-Ming Li, PhD, is currently the Director of the Hand Research Laboratory at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Li is a Professor in Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and holds appointments as a Full Staff in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Li is also an Adjunct Faculty as a Professor in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the Cleveland State University, and a faculty member of the University of Akron / Cleveland Clinic Collaborative Program on Integrated Bioscience. He is also 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 a staff in biomedical engineering, orthopaedic surgery, and physical medicine & rehabilitation (2009-present); (2) assistant and associate professorships in orthopaedic surgery, bioengineering, and occupational therapy at the University of Pittsburgh (2001-2009); (3) assistant professorship in physical therapy at Walsh University (1998-2001); (4) doctoral studies in biomechanics at the Pennsylvania State University (1995-1998); (5) research experience in orthopaedic 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 Chengdu University of Science and Technology (now named Sichuan University, 1989-1992); and (7) undergraduate studies in engineering mechanics and a bachelor’s thesis in sports biomechanics from the Southwest Jiaotong University (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 the National Institutes 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 100 peer-reviewed articles in 40+ journals, resulting in significant impact of his research work. Dr. Li has given 100+ invited lectures worldwide, and his research team has presented over 200 podium and poster presentations in professional conferences. Dr. Li was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), in recognition of his "seminal contributions to hand and wrist biomechanics that impact better outcomes for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.”

As an enthusiastic supporter and contributor to his profession, Dr. Li has served on the editorial boards of 16 journals related to bioengineering and orthopaedics, 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 as an Associate Editor for 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 is currently a standing member of a NIH study section, and has served as a reviewer for many national and international grant agencies including Whitaker Foundation, Aircast Foundation, University Grants Committee (UGC) of Hong Kong, National Health Research Institute (NHRI) of Taiwan, National Medical Research Council (NMRC) of Singapore, and American Society for Surgery of the Hand, among others. He has extensively contributed to organizing national and international conferences related to orthopaedics, 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), and the Co-Chair of the Upper Extremity Topic Committee of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS, 2007-2009). He is currently a member of the Research Management Committee of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH, 2014-), and the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Hand and Wrist Biomechanics International (HWBI, 2012-).


  • Professor, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University
  • Full Staff, Biomedical Engineering, Orthopedic Surgery, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
  • 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 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 & Tendons (ISL&T)
  • Standing Member of NIH Study Section
  • 18 journals with editorial services (1 as Deputy Editor-in-Chief, 1 as Associate Editor-in-Chief, 5 as Associate Editor)
  • 18 professional societies for membership (fellow status, founding member, president etc.)
  • 40+ grant awards from federal agencies and private foundations
  • 30+ years of professional experiences in musculoskeletal field
  • 110+ articles published in 50+ peer-reviewed journals
  • 100+ invited presentations/lectures worldwide
  • 250+ abstract (podium/poster) presentations at professional conferences
  • 120+ trainees