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Qingshun Li named 2011 Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year


Qingshun Quinn Li
Qingshun Quinn Li, professor of botany, has been named Miami University's Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year for 2011. Li's research focuses on the molecular mechanism of gene expression in plants through messenger RNA processing.

His research team uses genomic tools to study the function of mRNA polyadenylation factors (part of the process of gene expression) in terms of their roles in the regulation of gene expression. He uses bioinformatic approaches and mathematical modeling to investigate alternative polyadenylation in a genome scale.

His research program has been continuously funded since 2003 by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Ohio Plant Biotech Consortium. He has also been involved in securing funding for equipment and infrastructure, including the Choose Ohio First Bioinformatics Scholarships award for undergraduate students.

Li joined Miami in 2001. He has taught courses including introductory biology, genetics, biotechnology, development and advanced molecular biology. He is assistant chair of the department of botany and the director of the cell, molecular and structural biology graduate program. He is also the president of the Dayton Association of Chinese Americans.

Li was honored at the Sigma Xi annual banquet April 25. Awards were also presented to:
  • Mark Fife, Outstanding High School Science Teacher. Fife, a 1979 Miami graduate, teaches Honors AP Biology II and anatomy and physiology at Centerville High School. He founded Centerville Field Studies and served as its director/teacher for 16 years. In this summer program, students learned astronomy, botany, geology and zoology in national parks in the U.S. and Canada. Fife has also been honored three times as Centerville City Schools Teacher of the Year over his 32-year career.
  • Elaine Yung, 11th grade, Turpin High School, Award for Project Excellence at the Science and Engineering Expo. This is the first year for this award, sponsored by Sigma Xi and given to a student presenting at the District 11 science fair, held March 12 at the University of Cincinnati.

Sigma Xi is an international scientific and research honor society supporting original work in science and technology.


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