Principal Investigator

Shyh-Dar Li, BSc (Pharm), PhD
Angiotech Professor in Drug Delivery
Phone: 604-827-0675
Dr. Shyh-Dar Li received a BSc in Pharmacy from National Taiwan University and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After completing his postdoctoral training at University of California, San Diego, he joined Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto as a Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor in 2009. He relocated to the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of British Columbia in 2014 as an Associate Professor. He was promoted to the Angiotech Professor in Drug Delivery at the Faculty in 2019. His research focuses on developing innovative drug delivery technologies to enhance drug targeting with interests in lipid and polymer-based nanoparticles and prodrug technologies. His research program has been supported by federal funding including National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). In addition to contributing scholarly publications in peer-reviewed journals, his team has successfully licensed three drug delivery technologies to industry with one in phase II trials for brain cancer therapy. Dr. Li has trained 12 postdoctoral fellows, 8 graduate students and 41 undergraduate students. He serves in several research funding review panels, including Canadian Cancer Society Impact Grants, CIHR and National Cancer Institute of NIH. He is currently the Chair of the Faculty’s Nanomedicine and Chemical Biology Research and Training Program, and also a Research Management Committee member of the Nanomedicine Innovation Network.


Postdoctoral Fellows


Tejinder Kaur, PhD


Tejinder did her PhD in Biotechnology and Medical engineering from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India. Her doctoral dissertation explored the effect of different dimensional (1D, 2D, 3D) structures of carbon based materials on the osteogenic and mechanical properties of the multi-component composite systems. After PhD, she joined Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi as a postdoctoral fellow where she developed various wound dressings and delivery systems to improve wound healing. Along with her postdoctoral and doctoral research work, she has had the opportunity to work on a number of projects involving 3D printing, micro-patterning, 3D models, and metallic implants while mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. Tejinder is now a postdoc fellow in the Li Lab, Laboratory of Targeted Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine at UBC. She will be working on Lipid nanoparticle delivery systems for mRNA.



Ramya Kannan, PhD


Ramya completed her master’s degree in nanoscience and technology from Anna University, India, where she explored the self-assembly nature of graphene oxide-based composites. She then pursued an interdisciplinary PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, India. Her PhD thesis explored the structural characteristics and biomedical applications of lower-generation dendron-based molecules. In addition to her PhD thesis, she also developed bio-based scaffolds for diabetic wound healing. Post her PhD she worked as a grants advisor at the DBT-Welcome Trust India Alliance, a biomedical funding agency, and later as a chemical and materials research associate for a global organization. Ramya is now a postdoctoral fellow in the Li Lab, Laboratory of Targeted Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine at UBC. At the Li Lab, she will be designing effective lipid-based nanocarriers for nucleic acid delivery.


Jiamin Wu, PhD


Dr. Jiamin Wu completed his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Shyh-Dar Li. Dr. Wu’s research revolutionizes protein drug delivery, addressing medicine adherence and effectiveness. He developed a needle-free platform using cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), enhancing insulin delivery and blood glucose control. His Nano formulations promise breakthroughs in treating chronic conditions by delivery of monoclonal antibodies. He is now a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Shyh-Dar Li’s lab. His research focuses on the clinical translation and commercialization of needle-free platform.

Graduate Students


Po-Han Chao


Po-Han is currently a PhD student under Dr. Li’s advisory in Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. After completing his BSc in Nano Science and Engineering at the National Chiao Tung University, he earned his Master in Biomedical Engineering at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. His research project is to develop lipid-based nanoparticles for targeted therapy against cancer and liver diseases.




Vanessa Chan


Hailing all the way from Vancouver BC, Vanessa moved to Victoria in 2017 to pursue her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry. She graduated with an HBSc in 2022 after completing her Honour’s thesis in Dr. Julian Lum’s lab on the assessment of clinically relevant expansion protocols on CAR T cell function and phenotype. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she completed several internships at Amgen and Regeneron in antibody screening and cancer drug-target discovery through bioinformatics and various wet lab techniques. Vanessa is currently a Master’s student in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences under Dr. Li’s supervision where she will be working on the development of nanomedicines to improve cancer immunotherapies. Outside of the lab she enjoys finding new events around the city, exploring the outdoors, and traveling!




Binh Thanh Tran


Binh attended the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he received his master’s degree in pharmaceutics. He is currently a master’s student in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Under the supervision of Dr. Li, he is working on developing nanomedicines for gene delivery.



April St Pierre


April completed her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at UBC. Throughout her undergrad, she spent over two years in co-op and internship positions at Genevant Sciences, working on optimizing lipid nanoparticle formulations for increased efficacy and stability. She also worked with Dr. Pieter Cullis’ lab at UBC in her final year of undergrad, comparing the efficacy of different mRNAs within LNP formulations for her honours thesis. She is currently a student in the Masters of Pharmaceutical Sciences program under Dr. Li’s supervision.



Volunteer Students


Alex Liang


Alex is a second-year student undergraduate student in the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences. He is interested in the research and design of lipid nanoparticles and how they can impact the treatment of diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Within the Li Lab, Alex hopes to get exposure to a variety of research methods and experiments in hopes of making an impact on the scientific community.


Claire Hung


Claire Hung is a third-year undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences program. She started volunteering in the Li lab in February 2023 to gain experience in research and to learn more about drug delivery. She developed a strong passion towards nucleic acid delivery using nanomedicines after joining the lab. Claire wants to continue her studies in drug delivery and research in the future and to make meaningful impacts through her work.