Chia’s passion for neuroscience began with her undergraduate research experience in the behavioral neuropharmacology lab with Dr. Rick Bevins at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Biology, and Psychology. During this time, her work focused on learning theories behind motivational behaviors in drugs of abuse such as Nicotine and Cocaine. Chia continued to explore her interest in neuropharmacology and obtained her doctorate from the Neurobiology Curriculum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Under the guidance of Dr. Thomas Kash, she probed neural networks and nuclei surrounding the extended amygdala in the midbrain using ex vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, chemogenetics and behavioral assays. Her work focused on the effects of stress, alcohol and opioids on neural signaling and their mechanisms. Before becoming a staff Scientist at Department of Endocrinology, Obesity Branch at NIDDK, Dr. Li’s postdoctoral work under the guidance of Dr. Michael Krashes investigated hypothalamic networks and their functional roles involving feeding, showing one of the first evidences of cell-type specific connectivity between the Arcuate Nucleus and the Paraventricular Nucleus of the Hypothalamus. As a staff scientist, Dr. Li continues to explore hypothalamic networks and their involvement in motivational and orthogonal behaviors associated with feeding, incorporating neural imaging techniques such as photometry. Outside of research, Chia enjoys hiking with her dog and family, eating and cooking, making soap and upcycling materials for craft, and any excuse to use power tools.