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Prof Wei-Li Di
Room 649, Main ICH Building
30 Guilford Street
Tel: 02079052369
Fax: 020 78138494
Prof Wei-Li Di profile picture
  • Professor of Skin Biology
  • Infection, Immunity & Inflammation Dept
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Wei-Li Di is working in the Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Research and Teaching Department at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (GOS ICH). Wei-Li was trained initially in medicine at Shanghai Medical University in China before undertaking a PhD at Queen Mary, University of London. She was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at CRUK and Barts and Queen Mary, London, before coming to GOS ICH as a Lecturer in 2004 and she was promoted to Senior Lecture in 2014 and Professor of Skin Biology in 2020. Wei-Li’s research interests are focused on skin diseases and she has been developing gene therapies and small molecular therapy for skin conditions. She has been the non-clinical lead for two phase 1 gene therapy trials for genetic skin disorders.

Research Summary

My research interests have been focused on skin diseases and their treatment. My main research target is to discover cures for genetic skin conditions through gene therapy. We have been developing a gene therapy platform for recessive genetic skin conditions using genetically modified epithelial sheets and cells and conducted phase I gene therapy trials for Netherton syndrome and dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. We have also been developing alternative gene therapy strategies for dominant skin conditions by using allele specific siRNA, and more recently adapting the newest technology CRISPR/Cas9-base editing for both recessive and dominant genetic skin diseases. Apart from therapy for rare genetic skin diseases, we have been developing a small molecule treatment for eczema. Furthermore, I have established an in-vivo human:murine chimeric skin graft model in my lab. As this model is generated using normal or patients' cells, the grafted skin can be grown to normal or disease skin architecture similar to that seen in vivo. It is, therefore, an ideal pre-clinical model for testing therapeutic strategies for skin diseases. The long-term goal of my research is to build on our progress in gene therapy to develop more reliable and feasible therapeutic platforms for rare genetic and common skin conditions.

Teaching Summary

Academic Background
1996   Doctor of Philosophy Queen Mary College, University of London
1983   Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery Shanghai Medical University
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