UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Prof Wei-Li Di

Prof Wei-Li Di

Professor of Skin Biology

Infection, Immunity & Inflammation Dept

UCL GOS Institute of Child Health

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2004

Research summary

My research interests have been focused on skin diseases and their treatment. My main research target is to discover cures for genetic skin conditions through gene therapy. We have been developing a gene therapy platform for recessive genetic skin conditions using genetically modified epithelial sheets and cells and conducted phase I gene therapy trials for Netherton syndrome and dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. We have also been developing alternative gene therapy strategies for dominant skin conditions by using allele specific siRNA, and more recently adapting the newest technology CRISPR/Cas9-base editing for both recessive and dominant genetic skin diseases. Apart from therapy for rare genetic skin diseases, we have been developing a small molecule treatment for eczema. Furthermore, I have established an in-vivo human:murine chimeric skin graft model in my lab. As this model is generated using normal or patients' cells, the grafted skin can be grown to normal or disease skin architecture similar to that seen in vivo. It is, therefore, an ideal pre-clinical model for testing therapeutic strategies for skin diseases. The long-term goal of my research is to build on our progress in gene therapy to develop more reliable and feasible therapeutic platforms for rare genetic and common skin conditions.

Teaching summary


Queen Mary College, University of London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1996
Shanghai Medical University
Doctorate, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery | 1983


Wei-Li Di is working in the Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Research and Teaching Department at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (GOS ICH). Wei-Li was trained initially in medicine at Shanghai Medical University in China before undertaking a PhD at Queen Mary, University of London. She was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at CRUK and Barts and Queen Mary, London, before coming to GOS ICH as a Lecturer in 2004 and she was promoted to Senior Lecture in 2014 and Professor of Skin Biology in 2020. Wei-Li’s research interests are focused on skin diseases and she has been developing gene therapies and small molecular therapy for skin conditions. She has been the non-clinical lead for two phase 1 gene therapy trials for genetic skin disorders.