Songjun William (Will) Li, MD, PhD, is a psychiatry resident in Yale’s Neuroscience Research Training Program. He graduated from Emory University with a bachelors degree double majoring in music performance as well as neuroscience and behavioral biology. There, he studied the neurobiological basis of relational memory formation in the Rhesus macaque model under the guidance of Dr. Beth Buffalo. After college, he joined Dr. Leslie Ungerleider’s lab at the NIMH to investigate facial processing using as a post-bacc fellow. Will then moved to Boston, where he continued his studies at the Boston University School of Medicine, and completed his PhD dissertation with Dr. Ziv Williams at Mass General Hospital evaluating single-neuronal responses during complex social decision making in mice. His research has, thus far, revealed a putative executive mechanism in the prefrontal cortical network that allows animals to evaluate social information about others that can adaptively influence pro-social decisions, competitive effort, and sociability.
Will's current research interests aim to build upon our understanding of how the brain processes and encodes socially motivated behaviors, uncovering the mechanisms that go awry in psychosocial disorders using rodent models, and exploring novel treatment options – such as neuromodulation and psychedelics – to restore behavioral function. He is also interested in optimizing digital tools and wearable technologies to detect and track psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD.