Associate Professor Rachel Li

Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Research Unit, ANU Medical School

Dr Li is a molecular pharmacologist and osteoimmunologist with interests in understanding the processes that control a ‘foreign body reaction or response’ initiated by biomaterials implanted into bone or exposed to human bone cells. Dr Li worked as a senior liver diseases specialist at China Medical University (CMU). She led a number of clinical trials in anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs and successfully transferred an intellectual property to pharmaceutical industry. Dr Li completed her PhD at Southern Cross University and gained her NIH postdoctoral fellowship in molecular pharmacology and Bioengineering at John A Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii. Dr Li established the Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Unit Laboratory (TORU Lab) which pioneered basic orthopaedic research at the ACT region. She is currently leading her team with research focuses on osteoimmunology, biomaterials and 3D printing for orthopedic implants. She has made some major research contributions to the fields of osteoimmunology and also great contribution to medical education as a senior lecturer in CMU and Associate Professor (pharmacology) in University of Canberra.


  • Orthopaedic & Trauma Research
  • Orthopaedic Surgery

Research interests

  • Orthopaedics110314
  • Biomaterials090301
  • Rheumatology And Arthritis110322
  • Pharmacology And Pharmaceutical Sciences1115
  • Immunology Not Elsewhere Classified110799
  • Ratnadiwakara, M, Rooke, M, Ohms, S et al 2019, 'The SuprMam1 breast cancer susceptibility locus disrupts the vitamin D/ calcium/ parathyroid hormone pathway and alters bone structure in congenic mice', Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, vol. 188, pp. 48-58.
  • Lee, S, Mastronardi, C, Li, R et al 2019, 'Short-term antidepressant treatment has long-lasting effects, and reverses stress-induced decreases in bone features in rats', Translational Psychiatry, vol. 9, no. 10, pp. 1-12.
  • Song, M, Zeng, R, Ding, Y et al 2019, 'Recent advances in biodegradation controls over Mg alloys for bone fracture management: A review', Journal of Materials Science and Technology, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 535-544pp.
  • Smith, P, Yang, Y, Weiss, S et al 2018, 'Surgical technique for establishment of a multiple-organ ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury model in rat [IN PRESS]', Journal of Orthopedics and Muscular System Research, vol. Online.
  • Li, R 2018, 'Natural Products Targeting Inflammation Processes and Multiple Mediators', in C M Subhash (ed.), Natural Products and Drug Discovery: An Integrated Approach, Elsevier, Netherlands, pp. 277-308pp.
  • Chai, Y, Li, R, Perriman, D, Chen, S, Qin QH, et al 2018, 'Laser polishing of thermoplastics fabricated using fused deposition modelling', International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, vol. 96, no. 9-12, pp. 4295-4302.
  • Chen, W, Foo, S, Zaid, A et al 2017, 'Specific inhibition of NLRP3 in chikungunya disease reveals a role for inflammasomes in alphavirus-induced inflammation', Nature Microbiology, vol. 2, no. 10, pp. 1435-1445.
  • Chen, S, Lee, C, Li, R, Smith, P, Qin QH, 2017, 'Modelling osteoblast adhesion on surface-engineered biomaterials: optimisation of nanophase grain size', Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, vol. 20, no. 8, pp. 905-914.
  • Ding, Y, Li, R, Nakai, M et al 2016, 'Osteoanabolic Implant Materials for Orthopedic Treatment', Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol. 5, no. 14, pp. 1740-1752pp..
  • Chen, W, Foo, S, Li, R et al 2014, 'Osteoblasts from osteoarthritis patients show enhanced susceptibility to Ross River virus infection associated with delayed type I interferon responses', Virology Journal, vol. 11, no. 189, pp. 189-189.
  • Li, R, Patel, H, Perriman, D et al 2014, 'MICRORNA PROFILING IN WEAR PARTICLE ASSOCIATED OSTEOLYSIS', Bone and Joint Journal, vol. 96-B, no. SUPP 11 43.
  • Chen, W, Foo, S, Rulli, N et al 2014, 'Arthritogenic alphaviral infection perturbs osteoblast function and triggers pathologic bone loss', PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 111, no. 16, pp. 6040-6045.
  • Li, R, Kirkland, N, Truong, J et al 2014, 'The influence of biodegradable magnesium alloys on the osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells', Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A, vol. 102, no. 12, pp. 4346-4357.
  • Chen, X, Nisbet, D, Li, R et al 2014, 'Controlling initial biodegradation of magnesium by a biocompatible strontium phosphate conversion coating', Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 1463-1474.
  • Lee, S, Mastronardi, C, Li, R et al 2013, 'Understanding the Long Term Effect of Weight Gain Induced By Short Term Exposure of Antidepressants', Endo 2013, The Endocrine Society, Chevy Chase, Maryland, pp. 1pp.
  • Li, M, Zhang, Q, Liu, L et al 2013, 'Expression of the Mismatch Repair Gene hMLH1 Is Enhanced in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with EGFR Mutations', PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 8, no. 10, pp. e78500-e78500.
  • Noret, M, Herrero, L, Rulli, N et al 2012, 'Interleukin 6, RANKL, and Osteoprotegerin Expression by Chikungunya Virus-Infected Human Osteoblasts', Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 206, no. 3, pp. 455-U183.
  • Fisher, A, Southcott, E, Li, R et al 2011, 'Serum resistin in older patients with hip fracture: Relationship with comorbidity and biochemical determinants of bone metabolism', Cytokine, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 157-166.
  • Yang, Y, Fu, B, Li, R et al 2011, 'Anterior single screw fixation of odontoid fracture with intraoperative Iso-C 3-dimensional imaging', European Spine Journal, vol. 20, no. 11, pp. 1899-1907.
  • Lin, G, Li, R, Myersc, S et al 2008, 'A method of selecting plants with anti-inflammatory potential for pharmacological study', Natural Product Communications, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 71-76.
  • Pal, N, Quah, B, Smith, PN, Gladkis, LL, Timmers H, Li, RW. 2011. Nano-osteoimmunology as an important consideration in the design of future implants. Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 7, no. 7, pp. 2926-2934.
  • Yang YL, Fu BS, Li RW, Smith PN, Mu WD, Li LX, Zhou DS. 2011. Anterior single screw fixation of odontoid fracture with intraoperative iso-C 3-dimensional imaging. Eur Spine J, Published online, June 04
  • Smith PN, Freeman C, Yu D, Chen M, Gatenby PA, Parish CR, Li RW. 2010. Heparanase in primary human osteoblasts. J Orthop Res, 28:1315-1322.
  • Gladkis LG, Li RW, Scarvell JM, Smith PN, Timmers H. 2009. Exploration of the size, shape and abundance of UHMWPE wear particles using atomic force microscopy. Wear, 267:632-638.
  • Li M, Liu L, Liu Z, Yue S, Zhou L, Zhang Q, Cheng S, Li RW, Smith PN, Lu S. 2009. The status of KRAS mutations in patients with non-small cell lung cancers from mainland China. Oncol Rep, 22:1013-1020.
  • Xu Q, Yuan Y, Sun LP, Gong YH, Xu Y, Yu XW, Dong NN, Lin GD, Smith PN, Li RW. 2009. Risk of gastric cancer is associated with the MUC1 568 A/G polymorphism. Int J Oncol, 35:1313-1320.
  • Li RW, Freeman C, Yu D, Hindmarsh EJ, Tymms KE, Parish CR, Smith PN. 2008. Dramatic regulation of heparanase activity and angiogenesis gene expression in synovium from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum, 58:1590-1600.
  • Lin GD, Li RW, Myers SP, Leach DN. 2008. A method of selecting plants with anti-inflammatory potential for pharmacological study. Nat Prod Commun, 3:71-76.
  • Smith PN, Leditschke A, McMahon D, Sample RR, Perriman D, Prins A, Brussel T, Li RW. 2008. Monitoring and controlling intramedullary pressure increase in long bone instrumentation: a study on sheep. J Orthop Res, 26:1327-1333.
  • Smith, P, Perriman, D, Sample, R et al 2007, 'An Effective Method of Monitoring and Controlling Intramedullary Pressure Increase during Instrumentation', Injury Extra, vol. 38, pp. 422-426.
  • Seely D, Kennedy DA, Myers SP, Cheras PA, Lin D, Li R, Cattley T, Brent PA, Mills E, Leonard BJ. 2007. In vitro analysis of the herbal compound Essiac. Anticancer Res, 27:3875-3882.
  • Li, R, Theriault, A, Au, K et al 2006, 'Citrus polymethoxylated flavones improve lipid and glucose homeostasis and modulate adipocytokines in fructose-induced insulin resistant hamsters', Life Sciences, vol. 79, no. 4, pp. 365-373.
  • Li, R, Lin, D, Leach, D et al 2006, 'Inhibition of COXs and 5-LOX and activation of PPARs by Australian Clematis species (Ranunculaceae)', Journal of ethnopharmacology, vol. 104, pp. 138-143.
  • Li, R, Douglas, T, Maiyoh, G et al 2006, 'Green tea leaf extract improves lipid and glucose homeostasis in a fructose-fed insulin-resistant hamster model', Journal of ethnopharmacology, vol. 104, pp. 24-31.
  • Li, R, Leach, D, Myers, S et al 2004, 'A new anti-inflammatory glucoside from Ficus racemosa', Planta Medica, vol. 70, no. 5, pp. 421-426.
  • Li, R, Myers, S, Leach, D et al 2004, 'Anti-inflammatory activity, cytotoxicity and active compounds of Tinospora smilacina', Phytotherapy Research, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 78-83.
  • Casaschi, A, Maiyoh, G, Rubio, B et al 2004, 'The chalcone xanthohumol inhibits triglyceride and apolipoprotein B secretion in HepG2 cells', Journal of Nutrition, vol. 134, no. 6, pp. 1340-6.
  • Li, R, Lin, D, Myers, S et al 2003, 'Anti-inflammatory activity of Chinese medicinal vine plants', Journal of ethnopharmacology, vol. 85, no. 1, pp. 61-67.
  • Li, R, Myers, S, Leach, D et al 2003, 'A cross-cultural study: anti-inflammatory activity of Australian and Chinese plants', Journal of ethnopharmacology, vol. 85, no. 1, pp. 25-32.
  • Li, R, Lin, G & Myers, S 2001, 'In vitro Cytotoxicity of Anti-inflammatory Vine Plants. P3E26 (abstract)', Toxicology, vol. 164, no. 1-3, pp. 172-3.