Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Psychiatry Dept
Associate Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Faculty Affairs Office


Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Psychiatry Dept

Associate Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Faculty Affairs Office


Area of Study / Keywords

mental health depression schizophrenia white matter neurostimulation computational psychiatry


Dr. Xin-Min Li is a prominent academic psychiatrist and clinician-scientist with an impressive track record in the field. He earned his MD in 1982 and PhD in 1987 in China before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Saskatchewan and a fellowship at Harvard Medical School. After finishing a clinical residency in Psychiatry, he served as the Director of the Neuropsychiatry Research Unit from 2000 to 2007. Dr. Li then moved to the University of Manitoba, where he held several leadership positions, including Professor and Ruth Hurd Research Chair, Medical Director of the International Medical Graduate Program, Director of the Neuroscience Research Program, and Assistant Dean of International Medical Education. In 2013, Dr. Li joined the University of Alberta as Chair of Psychiatry and AHS Chair in Mental Health Research. He is recognized for his pioneering work on the protective function of antipsychotics on brain white matter changes observed in schizophrenia and depression. He is also exploring innovative uses of cerebral low-field magnetic stimulation and ultrasound for treating resistant depression. Dr. Li provides leadership in academic health sciences training of clinician-scientists and allied research scientists and is currently leading international academic health program development and partnerships for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. In recognition of his contributions to the field, Dr. Li was elected as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2022.


In the realm of biological psychiatry and neuropharmacology, I function as a clinician scientist at the forefront of propelling the theory of white matter dysfunction and neurodegeneration within psychiatric disorders.

Within my laboratory, we approach mental health disorders through the lens of neurodegenerative processes. Our investigation revolves around determining whether impairments in central white matter are capable of eliciting the behavioral symptoms and brain pathology observed in experimental animal models of schizophrenia or depression.

Our research extends to exploring the potential of antipsychotics and antidepressants in averting white matter damage or expediting recovery. This exploration not only unveils novel roles for these treatments but also unveils fresh avenues for future drug development.

Taking the lab's trajectory in a new direction, we are now delving into the realm of neurostimulation as a prospective treatment for depression. By employing a mouse model of depression, we dissect the impacts of interventions like ultrasound or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on both brain physiology and behavior.

Featured Publications

Liu Y.S., Kiyang L., Hayward J., Zhang Y., Metes D., Wang M., Svenson L.W., Talarico F., Chue P., Li X.M., Greiner R., Greenshaw A.J., Cao B.


Obuobi-Donkor G., Eboreime E., Bond J., Phung N., Eyben S., Hayward J., Zhang Y., MacMaster F., Clelland S., Greiner R., Jones C., Cao B., Brémault-Phillips S., Wells K., Li X.M., Hilario C., Greenshaw A.J., Agyapong V.I.O.

JMIR Research Protocols. 2022 April; 11 (4):e30680 10.2196/30680

Wang H., Wang K., Xue Q., Peng M., Yin L., Gu X., Leng H., Lu J., Liu H., Wang D., Xiao J., Sun Z., Li N., Dong K., Zhang Q., Zhan S., Fan C., Min B., Zhou A., Xie Y., Song H., Ye J., Liu A., Gao R., Huang L., Jiao L., Song Y., Dong H., Tian Z., Si T., Zhang X., Li X., Kamiya A., Cosci F., Gao K., Wang Y.

Brain. 2022 March; 145 (1):83-91 10.1093/brain/awab252

Cao B., Liu Y.S., Selvitella A., Librenza-Garcia D., Passos I.C., Sawalha J., Ballester P., Chen J., Dong S., Wang F., Kapczinski F., Dursun S.M., Li X.M., Greiner R., Greenshaw A.

Scientific Reports. 2021 October; 11 (1) 10.1038/s41598-021-99534-z

Sun Z.Y., Gu L.H., Ma D.l., Wang M.Y., Yang C.C., Zhang L., Li X.M., Zhang J.W., Li L.

BRAIN RESEARCH BULLETIN. 2021 September; 174 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2021.06.007

Wang Z., Baharani A., Wei Z., Truong D., Bi X., Wang F., Li X.M., Verge V.M.K., Zhang Y.

CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL PHARMACOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY. 2021 August; 48 (8):1090-1102 10.1111/1440-1681.13490

Guo H., Baker G., Hartle K., Fujiwara E., Wang J., Zhang Y., Xing J., Lyu H., Li X.M., Chen J.

Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering. 2021 May; 59 (5):1099-1110 10.1007/s11517-021-02351-9

Sawalha J., Cao L., Chen J., Selvitella A., Liu Y., Yang C., Li X., Zhang X., Sun J., Zhang Y., Zhao L., Cui L., Zhang Y., Sui J., Greiner R., Li X.m., Greenshaw A., Li T., Cao B.

JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS. 2021 March; 282 10.1016/j.jad.2020.12.046

Agyapong V.I.O., Shalaby R., Hrabok M., Vuong W., Noble J.M., Gusnowski A., Mrklas K., Li D., Snaterse M., Surood S., Cao B., Li X.M., Greiner R., Greenshaw A.J.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021 February; 18 (4):1-13 10.3390/ijerph18042157