Women fighting COVID-19 with science: Spotlight on Alex Li

Throughout 2021, we brought you stories of women scientific researchers at Clarivate delivering invaluable contributions to innovation and customer success.

Over the past two years, these women have done essential work in addressing COVID-19 and in helping to create a more equitable STEM field post-pandemic. Learn more.

These colleagues have earned recognition and awards for excellence in their achievements in many different and specialist fields of scientific research. Many have had their work cited and showcased in widely-respected scientific and academic publications.

In this interview, we speak with Alex Li, Associate Epidemiologist at Clarivate. One of the most-cited researchers in her field in 2020-2021, Alex has more than 10 references on risk factors, research on treatments and more on various cancers, diabetes and other diseases and conditions.

Alex is based in Boston, United States, working remotely from her home office.


Tell us a little about your background.

I was a surgeon specialized in general surgery and received my Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) degree in Epidemiology from the University of South Carolina, and my PhD in Epidemiology from Indiana University.

Before I joined Clarivate in 2020, I was a post-doctoral researcher at Brown University focusing on skin cancer research.

Tell us about your research work at Clarivate.

I work on providing epidemiological analysis and disease forecasting across a range of diseases, such as oncology, chronic diseases, hospital infectious diseases, and more.

How have Clarivate data and solutions been helpful in researching and understanding COVID-19? 

The global pandemic has driven researchers to work together for the solution and improvement to the situation COVID-19 has brought.

As a member of the Epidemiology team in Clarivate, I have been working closely with researchers from different companies. We also have COVID-19 disease and vaccine research published on our COVID-19 dashboard. We continuously update the content so that we can provide customers and other stakeholders with our most up-to-date research. 

How have the events of the past year impacted your ways of working, including the pandemic, quarantines, shifts to remote work and other macro social and economic trends?

I joined Clarivate during the pandemic, and we have been holding our meetings and conducting our communication via the internet since then. Thanks to the advanced technology we have today, working from home now is quite convenient!

As a global company with offices located in different continents, communications via the internet had been playing an important role at Clarivate even before the pandemic.

Luckily it did not take me long to get used to remote working. However, after the pandemic is over, I do look forward to meeting my colleagues in person finally.

What advice would you give to women and girls interested in entering your field?

Science and medicine are based on facts, and they are only determined and affected by the data and mechanisms underlying them – so if this reflects your approach, and you have interests and motivations, go for it!

Do you see women’s leadership role in COVID-19 research and response as a springboard for a more equitable future and recovery post-pandemic?

Yes, absolutely. There are many women epidemiologists in our team who have been contributing to COVID-19 research in leadership roles. In a broader view, many female health worker and researcher leaders have been playing crucial roles especially during the pandemic.

See the new video that features Alex Li among other colleagues, in which they share their stories and messages for other women in STEM.


In continued celebration of women’s achievements and leadership, read all the interviews with Clarivate women leaders, researchers and scientists.

Learn more about Coronavirus (COVID-19) insights from Clarivate.

Learn about our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

To find out more about life at Clarivate and current career opportunities, visit https://careers.clarivate.com/.