Office: Hawaii Loa Campus, AC 250
Phone: (808) 236-3547

Yongli Chen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry


  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Ph.D. Biophysics, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • M.S. Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • B.Eng. (Honors) Chemistry, Central South University, Changsha, China
    Minor: Computer Science

Courses Taught:

  • CHEM 4030 Biochemistry I
  • CHEM 4031 Biochemistry I Lab
  • CHEM 4032 Biochemistry II
  • CHEM 4033 Biochemistry II Lab
  • CHEM 4095 Biochemistry seminar
  • CHEM 4910 Senior Seminar

Professional Interests:

Ligand-gated neurotransmitter receptors (ion channels) and their modulation by small organic compounds

Teaching Interests/Research:

My principle research interest is to study the functional modulation of neurotransmitter receptors.  Neurotransmitter receptors are responsible for communication between billions neurons of mammalian central nervous system.  My current research is focusing on glutamate receptor and GABAA receptors, the primary excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor, respectively. They are involved in many neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson, epilepsy etc.

I work closely with our undergraduate students. Currently, I have five undergraduate and one master graduate students working in the lab.