Virginia C. Li

Virginia C. Li, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA.  Born in China, she received a masters degree in Nutrition from New York University.  As a mother of three preschool children, she returned to graduate school and received her M.P.H. and doctorate in Public Health Education from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. She has held professorships at the University of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Dr. Li's research has focused on cancer prevention including tobacco crop substitution; reproductive health; and rural and community health. She has consulted on health programs in China under the auspices of the World Health Organization, United Nations Development Program, UNESCO, the Ford Foundation, and the World AIDS Foundation. 

She served as honorary professor at the Sun Yat-Sen Medical University, Shantou University College of Medicine, Nanjing College for Population Program Management, and Kunming Medical College.  In addition to over 60 peer-reviewed research articles, she has published a memoir, From One Root Many Flowers.  Dr. Li received the Distinguished Fellow Award from the Society for Public Health Education.  


  • PhD, University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
  • MPH, University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
  • MA, New York University, New York, NY

Areas of Interest

International health emphasizing women’s reproductive health and HIV prevention in China; reproductive health indicators for rural areas of developing countries; and tobacco crop substitution in China.