Li-Fan was born in Tianjin, China, in March 1927. He studied biology at the National Central University in Nanjing. After graduation in 1948, he worked as an Assistant Lecturer in physiology at the same university. He was promoted to Lecturer and move to Xi’an in 1954 when the medical school was merged with the Fourth Military Medical University (FMMU). In the 1960s, he established new discipline of aviation physiology at FMMU, and since then he had led its development to a strong scientific research base.
His main research was high altitude physiology and gravitational physiology. He supervised 24 PhD and 22 Masters students, published around 300 papers, and was commended several times by the national science and technology advancement awards.
Li-Fan was also recognised by the international space physiology and space medicine communities. He attended many scientific meetings and conferences since 1980s, especially the International Symposium of Gravitational Physiology (ISGP) series. In 2006 he co-chaired the Sino-German Symposium on Space Life Sciences in Xi’an. In the ??th ISGP in 2009, which was also held in Xi’an, he was awarded the prestigious “Nello Pace Award”. He served as editorial board member for two international journals: News in Physiological Sciences and Journal of Gravitational Physiology.
Very much missed by his widow Jinglan, son, daughter, grandson, and granddaughter.