Li Yang is a Guerry Professor and the Director of UTC Information Security (InfoSec) Center, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE-IA/CD). Her research interests include network and information security, mobile security, big data analytics, massive data mining, bioinformatics, cybersecurity education, and engineering techniques for complex software system design. She actively involves students into her research. She authored papers on these areas in refereed journal, conferences and symposiums. She has secured over four million external funding from National Science Foundation (NSF), National Security Agency (NSA), National Institute of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

She was the Editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Information Security and Privacy (IJISP) from 2014-2018.