Li Receives Weintraub Graduate Student Award

Recognition for exceptional achievement during graduate studies in the biological sciences

Photo of Michelle Li with logos for Weintraub Award and Fred Hutch Cancer Center

DBMI's Michelle Li was among 12 recipients of the 2024 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, recently announced by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. The award recognizes exceptional achievement in graduate studies in the biological sciences. It is named for Dr. Harold “Hal” Weintraub, a molecular biologist who helped found the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutch and earned deep respect and admiration as a caring mentor and supportive colleague. He died of brain cancer in 1995 at age 49. 

Award recipients will be honored at a symposium May 3 at Fred Hutch.

Michelle is a PhD candidate in our Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (BIG) PhD Track. The overarching objective of her research is to generate contextualized representations for hard-to-diagnose and hard-to-treat patients via graph representation learning. Concretely, Michelle’s work aims to tackle the challenges of diagnosing patients with rare, or even novel, diseases, identifying patients-like-me using inter-hospital EHR and genomic data, and predicting cancer patients’ likelihood of responding to immune checkpoint blockade therapies.

She was nominated by her DBMI mentor, Assistant Professor Marinka Zitnik, along with Professor Peter Park, Associate Professor Maha Farhat, Director of Education and DEI Programs Lilen Uchima, and Program Manager Cathy Haskell. Park and Farhat are also Director and Associate Director, respectively, of the BIG PhD Track.