2007 Cockerham Lecture – Wen-Hsiung Li

The Statistics Department is honored that Professor Wen-Hsiung Li will to come speak at the Cockerham Lecture which will be held November 8, 2007. There will be a small reception beginning at 3:00pm followed by his presentation from 3:30pm-5:00pm at the Convocation Room (2309) at the College of Textiles Building on Centennial Campus. Please come and meet one of the leading experts in this field of study.

The Professor Wen-Hsiung Li is the James Watson Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. He first studied Engineering (BS 1965) and Geophysics (MS 1968) in Taiwan. He then came to the United States to study Applied Mathematics (PhD 1972) at Brown University. In his second summer at Brown University, Professor Masatoshi Nei introduced him to population genetics. After a year of postdoctoral study with Professor James F. Crow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he joined the Center for Demographic and Population Genetics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 1973. He moved to the University of Chicago in 1998.

Widely regarded as a leader in the study of the molecular evolution of genes and populations, Professor Li has made seminal contributions related to the rates and patterns of DNA sequence evolution and their application to the molecular clock hypothesis. He showed that the rate at which DNA evolves is strongly influenced by generation time. In addition, he and his collaborators have found important evidence in support of the male-driven evolution hypothesis. He also did groundbreaking work on estimating the times since species shared a most recent common ancestor and he helped to pioneer techniques for the statistical inference of evolutionary relationships from DNA sequence data. His statistical methods are among the most applied in the field. Currently, his research interests include the evolution of regulatory modules and duplicate genes.

Professor Li has published four books, more than 270 papers, and 31 book chapters. He has written both the most highly regarded graduate-level and the most highly regarded undergraduate-level textbooks on molecular evolution. He was elected to the Academia Sinica in Taiwan in 1998, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999, to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003, and as president of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution in 2000. In 2003, he was awarded the Balzan Prize for Genetics and Evolution, a highly prestigious honor in sciences and humanities.

The Statistics Department is honored that Professor Li has agreed to come speak at the Cockerham Lecture which will be held November 8, 2007. There will be a small reception beginning at 3:00pm followed by his presentation from 3:30pm-5:00pm at the Convocation Room (2309) at the College of Textiles Building on Centennial Campus. Please come and meet one of the leading experts in this field of study.