Tonglei Li

Interim Head, Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, Allen Chao Chair and Professor of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy
Official web page:
Specialization: Solid-state organic chemistry, computational chemistry, formulation, and drug delivery


BS, Chemistry, Nankai University, China, 1988
MS, Comp. Chemistry, Nankai University, China, 1991
MS, Computer Science, Purdue University, 1997
PhD, Pharmaceutics, Purdue University, 1999


Dr. Li's research interests include solid-state chemistry, formulation and drug delivery. He has a long-standing passion for molecular modeling, simulation, and ab initio methods. His recent focus has been on applying electronic calculation methods for describing intermolecular approaches. Combining experimental and computational approaches, his laboratory aims to understand crystal packing and discover molecular mechanisms of crystal growth and other phase transition behaviors. The ultimate goal is to predict physicochemical and mechanical properties and drug action kinetics in humans based on the molecular structure of a drug compound.

Lab Members:

Nicholas J. Huls (Graduate Student with Dr. Tonglei Li)
Yue Li (PULSe Graduate Student with Dr. Tonglei Li)
Shan Lu (Temporary Lab Technician)
Zhengjie Meng (Visiting Scholar with Tonglei Li)
Yueqian Sang (Visiting Scholar with Dr. Tonglei Li)
Xiaoying Wang (Visiting Scholar with Dr. Tonglei Li)
Lei Xing (Post-Doctoral Research Associate with Dr. Tonglei Li)
Na Zhang (Temp Lab Assistant)
Fudan Zheng (PULSe Graduate Student with Dr. Tonglei Li)

Representative Publications

Haichen Nie, Yongchao Su, Mingtao Zhang, Yang Song, Anthony Leone, Lynne S. Taylor, Patrick J. Marsac, Tonglei Li, and Stephen R. Byrn, Solid-State Spectroscopic Investigation of Molecular Interactions between Clofazimine and Hypromellose Phthalate in Amorphous Solid Dispersions, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 13:3964-3975, 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.6b00740

Wei Gao, Yan Chen, David H. Thompson, Kinam Park, and Tonglei Li, Impact of surfactant treatment of paclitaxel nanocrystals on biodistribution and tumor accumulation in tumor-bearing mice, Journal of Controlled Release, 237:168-176, 2016, 10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.07.015

Sihui Long, Mingtao Zhang, Panpan Zhou, Faquan Yu, Sean Parkin, and Tonglei Li Tautomeric Polymorphism of 4Hydroxynicotinic Acid, Crystal Growth & Design, 16:2573-2580, 2016, DOI:10.1021/acs.cgd.5b01639

Mingtao Zhang and Tonglei Li, Intermolecular Interactions in Organic Crystals: Gaining Insight from Electronic Structure Analysis by Density Functional Theory, CrystEngComm, 16:7162-7171, 2014, DOI: 10.1039/c4ce00411f.

Alessandra Mattei, and Tonglei Li, Solution Chemistry and Its Implication on Nucleation of Conformational Polymorphs: A Computational Study of Tolfenamic Acid by Explicit Solvation, Crystal Growth & Design, 14:2709-2713, 2014, DOI:10.1021/cg5000815.

Xi Lu, Yawei Zhang, Mingtao Zhang, Tonglei Li, The Effect of Substituents on the Hydrogenation of an Aldehyde Catalyzed by Knölker's Catalyst, Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 749:69-74, 2014.

Ying Lu, Zhaohui Wang, Tonglei Li, Helen McNally, Kinam Park, and Michael Sturek, Development and evaluation of transferrin-stabilized paclitaxel nanocrystal formulation, Journal of Controlled Release, 176:76-85, 2014.

Hua Zhang, Xueqing Wang, Wenbing Dai, Richard A. Gemeinhart, Qiang Zhang, and Tonglei Li, Pharmacokinetics and Treatment Efficacy of Metastatic Lung Cancer by Camptothecin Nanocrystals, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 11:226-233, 2014.

Sihui Long, Panpan Zhou, Sean Parkin, and Tonglei Li, From Competition to Commensuration by Two Major Hydrogen-Bonding Motifs, Crystal Growth & Design, 14:27-31, 2014.

X. Lu, Y.Zhang, P. Yun, M. Zhang, and T. Li, The Mechanism for the Hydrogenation of Ketones Catalyzed by Knölker's Iron-Catalyst, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 11:5264-5277, 2013.

A. Mattei, X. Mei, A. Miller, and T. Li, Pre-Nucleation Self-Association of Tolfenamic Acid: Solution Chemistry and Implication on Polymorph Formation, Crystal Growth & Design, 13:3303-3307, 2013.

C.P. Hollis, H.L. Weiss, M. Leggas, B.M. Evers, R.A. Gemeinhart, and T. Li, Biodistribution and Bioimaging Studies of Hybrid Paclitaxel Nanocrystals: Lessons Learned of the EPR Effect and Image-Guided Drug Delivery, Journal of Controlled Release, 172:12-21, 2013.

Panpan Zhou, Paul W. Ayers, Shubin Liu, and Tonglei Li, Local Reactivity Descriptors Based on Natural Bond Orbital Occupancy: Natural Orbital Fukui Functions (NOFFs) and their applications in the reaction mechanisms of addition reactions, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 14 (2012): 9890-9896.

Alessandra Mattei and Tonglei Li, Polymorph Formation and Nucleation Mechanism of Tolfenamic Acid in Solution: An Investigation of Pre-Nucleation Solute Association, Pharmaceutical Research, 29:460-470, 2012.

Tonglei Li, Alessandra Mattei, and Panpan Zhou, Electronic Origin of Pyridinyl N Being A Better Hydrogen-Bonding Acceptor Than Carbonyl O, CrystEngComm, 13:6356-6360, 2011.

Rongsheng Zhao, Christin P. Hollis, Hua Zhang, Lili Sun, Richard A. Gemeinhart, and Tonglei Li, Hybrid Nanocrystals: Achieving Concurrent Therapeutic and Bioimaging Functionalities Toward Solid Tumors, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 8:1985-1991, 2011.

Hua Zhang, Christin P. Hollis, Qiang Zhang, and Tonglei Li, Preparation and Antitumor Study of Camptothecin Nanocrystals, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 415:293-300, 2011.

Sihui Long and Tonglei Li, Phase Transition from Two Z’ = 1 Forms to A Z’ = 2 Form of A Concomitant Conformational Polymorphic System, Crystal Growth & Design, 11:414-421, 2011.

Paul W. Ayers, Shubin Liu, and Tonglei Li, Stability Conditions for Density Functional Reactivity Theory: An Interpretation of the Total Local Hardness, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 13:4427-4433, 2011.

Sihui Long and Tonglei Li, Enforcing Molecule’s π-Conjugation and Consequent Formation of the Acid-Acid Homosynthon over the Acid-Pyridine Heterosynthon in 2-Anilinonicotinic Acids, Crystal Growth & Design, 10:2465-2469, 2010.

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