Pui-Kai (Tom) Li
Associate Professor
Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
338 Parks Hall

Professional Interests

The research area of Dr. Li focuses in the design, synthesis and biochemical testing of steroidal and non-steroidal steroid sulfatase inhibitors as potential agents for the treatment of hormone-dependent cancers. Estrogen levels in breast tumors of post-menopausal women are as much as 10 times higher than estrogen levels in plasma, presumably due to in situ formation of estrogen. The major source of estrogen in breast cancer cells may be conversion of estrone sulfate to estrone by the enzyme estrone sulfatase. One of their goals is to develop potent estrone sulfatase inhibitors as potential agents for the treatment of estrogen-dependent breast cancer. They have synthesized both the steroidal and non-steroidal estrone sulfatase inhibitors.


  • 1997 President's Award for Excellence
  • 1997 School of Pharmacy Award for Excellence in Scholarship
  • 1988 Distinguished Presentation of the 14th annual meeting, Graduate Student Forum
  • 1987 University Graduate Associate Teaching Award
  • 1983-1984 University Fellowship


  • PhD, 1988, The Ohio State University
  • BS, 1983, University of Wyoming

Recent Publications