Zong-Ming Li, PhD

Associate Director, the University of Arizona Arthritis Center
William and Sylvia Rubin Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Research
Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Robert G. Volz, MD, Orthopaedic Research Laboratory
Director, Hand Research Laboratory

Dr. Li serves as Associate Director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center and holds the William and Sylvia Rubin Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Research.  He is also Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, along with holding the positions of Vice Chair for Research in the UA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Director of the Robert G. Volz, MD Orthopaedic Research Laboratory and the Director of the Hand Research Laboratory.

Prior to coming to University of Arizona, Dr. Li was a Professor in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and held appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Li was an Adjunct Professor in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at 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 his current position as an Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Research (2019-); Professor and Staff at the Cleveland Clinic in Biomedical Engineering, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (2009-2019); Assistant/Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery, Bioengineering, and Occupational Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh (2001-2009); Assistant Professor in Physical Therapy at Walsh University (1998-2001); doctoral studies in biomechanics at the Pennsylvania State University (1995-1998); research experience in orthopaedic biomechanics at the Shanghai Institute of Orthopaedics and Traumatology of Ruijin Hospital (1992-1995); graduate studies for a Master’s degree in musculoskeletal biomechanics from the Sichuan University (1989-1992); and 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 118 peer-reviewed articles in 51 journals, given 125 invited lectures worldwide, and presented over 330 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 has been 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 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 and has served as an Associate Editor for five additional 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 a standing member of the NIH study section, and as a grant reviewer for many other grant agencies including the 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 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), Co-Chair of the Upper Extremity Topic Committee of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS, 2007-2009), 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 Chairman of Hand and Wrist Biomechanics International (HWBI, 2012-).

PhD: Biomechanics, Pennsylvania State University, 1998
MSc: Musculoskeletal Biomechanics, Sichuan University, China, 1992
BSc: Engineering Mechanics, Southwest Jiaotong University, 1989