Welcome to Isaac Li's Research Group @ UBC Okanagan

We study the biophysics of cells at the single molecule and single cell levels. Our studies address fundamental cell biology questions that have many practical applications from smart DNA-based biomaterials to cell screening technology. Our research focuses on the following areas:

  • Techniques to manipulate individual molecules and individual cells
  • Nano-biotechnology of DNA-based smart biosensors and biomaterials
  • Mechano-biology at the single-molecule level
  • Cell screening technology

Our research is highly interdisciplinary, we work at the interface of cell biology, physical chemistry, biophysics, nanotechnology, and engineering. Talents from all backgrounds are welcomed!





We are looking for highly motivated PhD and undergraduate students. (see positions)


Two Work-Study summer projects open:
1. Development of a Nanoparticle Sizing System
2. Development of a Robust 3D-Printed Opto-mechanical System

Deadline: April. 15
To apply: email your coverletter, resume, and transcript to isaac.li@ubc.ca

We received Mitacs Globalink support to host Zhongyi Dai this summer. Welcome to the lab Zhongyi!

Welcome Adam Yasunaga to the lab, and congradulations on getting the Undergraduate Research Award (URA)!

We are hosting the first Western Canada Biophysics Conference (WCBC) at UBC Okanagan on Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2017. All are welcome to attend

Our cell rotation tracking and molecular footprinting paper accepted to Sci Rep!

Welcome Sara Tasnim, the second MSc student to join the lab! And congratulations on receiving the GDES!

We received another work-study program funding!

We received the UBC Internal Research Fund!

We got infrastructure matching fund from BCKDF!

Welcome Nolan Frymire to join the lab.

Work-Study research opportunity open for 2016 Fall - Computational Modelling of Cancer Cell Adhesion in Microfluidics, application deadline Aug.31.

Welcome Yousif Murad, the first MSc student to join the lab.

Sophia Ng, Victor Sun, and Christine Furrer will join the lab for undergraduate thesis, welcome!
Cameron Inglis, Dawei Gu, Katya Plimley, and Sabrina Slade joins the lab for summer research, welcome!

We got funded by Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)!

Manuscript on single molecule tension sensor construction is published in Scientific Report!

Dr. Li joins Department of Chemistry at UBC Okanagan!

Our manuscript on how osmolyte influence hydrophobic interaction is published in PNAS!

Our manuscript on the role of single molecular force dictating integrin based cell spreading is published in Integrative Biology!