Gene-Wei Li

Gene-Wei Li

Helen Sizer Career Development Assistant Professor

Gene-Wei Li develops quantitative tools to study the regulation and evolution of protein expression at both molecular and systems levels.






Cindy Woolley



Assistant Phone


PhD 2010, Harvard University

Research Summary

Our goals are to derive a set of general principles governing the composition of the proteome, and to elucidate the mechanisms that govern precise protein levels. At the systems level, we want to understand the rationales, if they exist, for the protein expression levels that are observed in nature, and the consequences of proteome dysregulation and imbalance. At the mechanistic level, we want to uncover the molecular events that ensure optimal protein production despite the constant thermal fluctuations in living systems.


  • Pew Biomedical Scholar, 2017
  • Smith Family Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, 2017
  • NIGMS R35 Maximizing Investigator Research Award, 2017
  • Sloan Research Fellowship, 2016
  • Searle Scholar, 2016

Recent Publications

  1. Evolutionary Convergence of Pathway-Specific Enzyme Expression Stoichiometry. Lalanne, JB, Taggart, JC, Guo, MS, Herzel, L, Schieler, A, Li, GW. 2018. Cell 173, 749-761.e38.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.007PMID:29606352
  2. Genome-wide screen for genes involved in eDNA release during biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus. DeFrancesco, AS, Masloboeva, N, Syed, AK, DeLoughery, A, Bradshaw, N, Li, GW, Gilmore, MS, Walker, S, Losick, R. 2017. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 114, E5969-E5978.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1704544114PMID:28674000
  3. Operon mRNAs are organized into ORF-centric structures that predict translation efficiency. Burkhardt, DH, Rouskin, S, Zhang, Y, Li, GW, Weissman, JS, Gross, CA. 2017. Elife 6, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.22037PMID:28139975
  4. Dynamic translation regulation in Caulobacter cell cycle control. Schrader, JM, Li, GW, Childers, WS, Perez, AM, Weissman, JS, Shapiro, L, McAdams, HH. 2016. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 113, E6859-E6867.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1614795113PMID:27791168
  5. How do bacteria tune translation efficiency? Li, GW. 2015. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 24, 66-71.
    doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2015.01.001PMID:25636133
  6. The coding and noncoding architecture of the Caulobacter crescentus genome. Schrader, JM, Zhou, B, Li, GW, Lasker, K, Childers, WS, Williams, B, Long, T, Crosson, S, McAdams, HH, Weissman, JS et al.. 2014. PLoS Genet. 10, e1004463.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004463PMID:25078267
  7. Curation accuracy of model organism databases. Keseler, IM, Skrzypek, M, Weerasinghe, D, Chen, AY, Fulcher, C, Li, GW, Lemmer, KC, Mladinich, KM, Chow, ED, Sherlock, G et al.. 2014. Database (Oxford) 2014, .
    doi: 10.1093/database/bau058PMID:24923819
  8. Quantifying absolute protein synthesis rates reveals principles underlying allocation of cellular resources. Li, GW, Burkhardt, D, Gross, C, Weissman, JS. 2014. Cell 157, 624-35.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.033PMID:24766808
  9. Dynamic imaging of genomic loci in living human cells by an optimized CRISPR/Cas system. Chen, B, Gilbert, LA, Cimini, BA, Schnitzbauer, J, Zhang, W, Li, GW, Park, J, Blackburn, EH, Weissman, JS, Qi, LS et al.. 2013. Cell 155, 1479-91.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.12.001PMID:24360272
  10. rRNA:mRNA pairing alters the length and the symmetry of mRNA-protected fragments in ribosome profiling experiments. O'Connor, PB, Li, GW, Weissman, JS, Atkins, JF, Baranov, PV. 2013. Bioinformatics 29, 1488-91.
    doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt184PMID:23603333