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Joshua (Yifan) Li

Intercalated MBChB/BMedSci(Hons) (UCT)

DPhil Student

I am a 1st year DPhil student in the Toepfer Group in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, generously supported by the Keith Murray Graduate Scholarship and the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Scholarship. 

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed my Intercalated MBChB/BMedSci(Hons) degree at the University of Cape Town in 2018, graduating with First Class Honours. I finished my 2-year medical internship at Worcester Hospital and my year of public service in general surgery at Mahikeng Provincial Hospital, South Africa. I subsequently worked as an emergency medicine registrar in Dublin for 9 months prior to commencing my DPhil in Lincoln College, Oxford. 

Under the supervision of Dr Christopher Toepfer and Professor Hugh Watkins, I am investigating the role of disease-modifying genes in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). My project is a laboratory based functional study guided by the findings from the latest GWAS studies on HCM. I aim to engineer putative gene variants using CRISPR and iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and model the disease both in 2D and 3D models using engineered heart tissues (EHTs). 

Outside the lab, I enjoy salsa dancing, tennis, reading books while sipping coffee at scenic coffee shops, traveling, and playing my violin.