AAPI Spotlight: Dr. Hongli Wu

May 30, 2023 • Uncategorized

Meet Hongli Wu, PhD, BPharm

Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Faculty Advisor, Asian Pharmacists AssociationHongli Wu Profile Photo

Hometown: Urumqi, Xinjiang, China


What does Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month mean to you?

As a faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month holds profound significance for me. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the substantial contributions of AAPI individuals to the fields of pharmacy, medicine and biomedical sciences. Furthermore, it offers a time to reflect upon and address the challenges and invisible barriers faced by AAPI students and professionals within healthcare and academic communities. This month highlights the importance of my role as an educator to inspire, support and nurture a diverse generation of pharmacy professionals.


How are you inspired by your heritage in your work, studies or endeavors?

My work and endeavors as a faculty member are significantly inspired by the values I grew up with — knowledge, discipline and a holistic approach to health. These principles are integral to my teachings; for instance, I use the concept of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’ as a relatable metaphor for explaining pharmacological dynamics such as the interplay between agonists and antagonists or the balance between oxidative damage and antioxidant protection. My aim is to broaden students’ comprehension of health and wellness, echoing traditional Chinese perspectives that regard medicine as an integrative process. In my role as the faculty advisor for the Asian Pharmacists Association, I am privileged to uplift and support a community of student pharmacists who share a common root and cultural heritage. This role allows me to champion diversity and inclusivity, thereby enriching the next generation of pharmacists.


What is your proudest moment in your career?

The proudest moment in my career thus far has been witnessing the graduation of our first cohort of pharmacy students in 2017. This event marked a significant milestone, not only for the students, but also for myself and the entire team at the College of Pharmacy. It represented the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and our shared journey. Seeing them transform from student trainees into fully-qualified pharmacists, ready to save lives and make their mark in the field, was a deeply gratifying and unforgettable experience.