Biographical Sketch: Ming Lei, Ph.D.

Ming Lei, Ph.D., is director of the Division for Research Capacity Building. He oversees the Institute’s capacity-building programs, which include the Institutional Development Award (IDeA), Support of Competitive Research (SCORE), and Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH), as well as the Science Education Partnerships Awards (SEPA).

Lei joined NIGMS in 2018 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he was deputy director of the Center for Cancer Training and chief of the Cancer Training Branch. Prior to joining NCI as a program director in 2008, Lei was leader of the Genes and Genome Cluster in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the National Science Foundation from 2006-2008, and he was an associate professor of microbiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin from 1999-2008. He served as a research scientist in the Division of Biotechnology at the Monsanto Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1998-1999.

Lei received his Ph.D. and postdoctoral research training in molecular biology from Cornell University.

To contact Lei, send email to

If you’re a reporter wishing to interview Lei, contact the NIGMS Communications and Public Liaison Branch​ at or call 301-496-7301.