C. C. Li

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Ching Chun Li (Chinese: 李景均; pinyin: Lǐ Jǐngjūn; October 27, 1912 – October 20, 2003) was a Chinese-American population geneticist and human geneticist. He was known for his research and the book An Introduction to Population Genetics.


Ching Chun Li was born on October 27, 1912, in Taku, Tianjin, China. He received his BS degree in agronomy from the University of Nanking in 1936 and a PhD in plant breeding and genetics from Cornell University in 1940. He worked as post-doctorate fellows at Columbia University and North Carolina State University from 1940 to 1941.

Li returned to China at the age of 30 and became the Professor of Genetics and Biometry at University of Nanking, his alma mater, in 1943. After World War II, he moved to Beijing for a Professorship of Agronomy at Peking University in 1946, where he finished An Introduction to Population Genetics in 1948. The book was the first notable publication where a combination of the ideas of Ronald Fisher, Sewall Wright, and J. B. S. Haldane about population genetics was brought to and made understandable to the academia.[1]

Li became persona non grata for publishing and teaching theory of genes following the 1949 establishment of a Communist government in Mainland China. In 1950, Li fled with his family to Hong Kong, where he was trapped without documentation of citizenship and unable to obtain a visa. Friends and colleagues, particularly Nobel laureate H. J. Muller and sixth Surgeon General of the United States T. Parran assisted Dr. Li's emigration to US.[2] Li joined newly founded Pitt's School of Public Health (GSPH) in 1951, became the professor of biometry in 1960, and headed the biostatistics department of GSPH from 1969 to 1975. He also served as the president of the American Society of Human Genetics in 1960.[3] After his official retirement in 1982, he still published another 25 papers and continued to go to his office every day until a few months before his death in 2003.[4]


Original reports[edit]

  • Li, C.C. (1953). "On an equation specifying equilibrium populations". Science. 117: 378–379. doi:10.1126/science.117.3041.378.
  • Li, C.C. (1953). "Some general properties of recessive inheritance". Am J Hum Genet. 5: 269–279. PMC 1716474. PMID 13080252.
  • Li, C.C. (1958). "An introduction to genetic statistics". Am J Hum Genet. 10: 72–75. PMC 1931876.
  • Li, C.C. (1960). "Biometrics". McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. 1. pp. 223–232.
  • Li, C.C. (1962). "Methodology in human genetics". Science. 138: 807–808. doi:10.1126/science.138.3542.807-a.
  • Li, C.C. "Environment changes: The implications for health from the viewpoint of a geneticist". National Health Forum. 1964: 79–83.


  • Li, C.C.: Introduction to Population Genetics National Peking University Press. 1948.
  • Li, C.C.: Population Genetics University of Chicago Press. 1955.
  • Li, C.C.: Human Genetics Principles and Methods McGraw-Hill Book Co. 1961.


  1. ^ Chakravarti, Aravinda (2004). "Ching Chun Li (1912–2003):A Personal Remembrance of a Hero of Genetics". Am J Hum Genet. 74 (5): 789–792. doi:10.1086/420857. PMC 1181974.
  2. ^ Clara & C.C. Li establish GSPH endowment University Times, University of Pittsburgh, March 7, 2002
  3. ^ CURRICULUM VITAE of C.C. Li The Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh
  4. ^ C.C. Li Information Hub Department of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh

External links[edit]