Associate Professor , Program in Regenerative Medicine
Education & Training
- Luoyang Medical College, Luoyang, P.R. China
- Second Military Medical University, P.R. China
- Third Military Medical University, P.R. China
- Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK
- Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, PA
Areas of Interests
- Research Interest
- My team and I have developed several novel techniques for molecular, cellular and small animal-based research to focus on two major areas of study: 1) exploring the properties of the dedifferentiation/transform of terminally differentiated cells into adult stem cells for tissue engineering applications, and 2) studying the processes involved with fibrous scar formation in the injured and diseased tissues of the neuromuscular system.
Dr. Yong Li, is an Associate Professor within the Department of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Texas, School of Medicine at Houston. He also is appointed as an Associate Professor in the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Dr. Li completed his MD and PhD training in China and was a general surgeon before he went to London in 1997. His first research position as a postdoctoral fellow was at the Imperial College School of Medicine in the UK (1997-1999), and later as a postdoctoral research associate at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (1999-2002). He was promoted to a research assistant professor in 2002, assistant professor in 2004 (within tenure track system in 2006), and lead his research team to successful approaches in the field of stem cell and anti-fibrosis in regenerative medicine. These projects also include the enlargement and application of adult stem cells (muscle and skin) to repair traumatic injury (muscle, tendon, spinal cord and brain) and congenital diseases (DMD). They also began to study some projects such as the dedifferentiation process within skeletal muscle, cartilage and neuronal system of mammals and related aging research.
As of 2011, Dr. Li has published over 66 refereed journal articles and review papers and five book chapters. He also serves as an associate editor or on the editorial board of five journals, and over five scientific communities including some grant reviewing boards. Dr. Li has won over twenty international awards for his scientific advances, including most recently, the Michael Miller Young Investigator Award at Children’s Hospital of UPMC. He is also a very successful grant-funded faculty member with grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD). He also is a great mentor and supervisor of students, medical residents and research fellows; several of his students and follows have won numerous national and international awards and scholarships including one student who won the 2011 National Goldwater Scholarship. Dr. Li is recognized as a leader in two scientific fields which include dedifferentiation related stem cell studies and fibrosis studies in tissue biomedical engineering.
Within the newly established program in Children’s Regeneration Medicine at UTHealth, Dr. Li and his team has continual interest in investigating the fields of stem cells, fibrosis prevention and tissue engineering by using ground-breaking molecular and cellular biology techniques. Beside basic biomedical studies, Dr. Li will also conduct departmental projects in translational studies and clinical applications for utilizing stem cells and bioengineered tissues to repair congenital diseases of children such as diaphragmatic hernia and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
- Children’s Regenerative Medicine
The project will use various cell sources combined with bioengineering scaffolds to build functional tissues for repair of pediatric defects, such as children’s diaphragmatic hernia
- Dedifferentiation and Stem Cell Populations
The project aims to enlarge the stem cell pool without genetic modification as a cell source for regenerative medicine.
- Adult Embryonic Potential Stem Cells and Application
Obtain natural embryonic potential stem cells from adult tissue for utilization in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
- Fibrosis and Prevention Studies
Investigate the mechanism behind the fibrosis process after injuries and diseases, and seek methods for prevention of fibrous scar tissue formation
Wang W, Pan HY, Murray K, Jefferson M, Li Y,. MMP1 promotes muscle cells migration and differentiation. American J Pathology 2009, 174 (2); 541-549.
Deasy BM, Feduska JM, Payne TR, Li Y,. Huard J. Role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) on the Vascularization and Fibrosis of Regenerating Skeletal Muscle Tissue/ Fibers. Molecular Therapy 2009;17(10):1788-1798.
Mu XD, Wang W, Li Y, .Myoblast transplantation and fibrosis prevention in diseased muscle (invited review). US Musculoskeletal Review, 2009; 4(1):74-77.
Kaar JL, Li Y, Blair HC, Huard J, Russell A. Improve the efficacy of Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 treatment of muscle fibrosis. Acta Biomaterialia 2008 Sep;4(5):1411-20. Epub 2008 Apr 7.
He F, Zhang Q, Kuruba R, Gao X, Li Y, Gong W, Jiang Y, Xie W, Li S. Upregulation of Decorin by FXR in Vascular Smooth muscle Cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008;372(4):746-751.
Nozaki M, Li Y,, Zhu J, Ambrosio F, Uehara K, Fu FH, Huard J. Improved Muscle Healing After Contusion Injury by the Inhibitory Effect of Suramin on Myostatin, a Negative Regulator of Muscle Growth. American J Sports Med. 2008 Dec;36(12):2354-2362. Epub 2008 Aug 25.
Mu XD, Li Y, Conditional TGF-beta1 treatment increase stem cell-like cells population myoblasts. Journal Cellular Molecular Medicine 2011;15(3): 679-690 [Epub ahead of print 2010 Feb 23].
Li Y, Huard J. Isolating stem cells from soft musculoskeletal tissues. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) 2010 July 4 (41). pii 2011, doi: 10.3791/2011.
Bellayr IH, Gharaibeh H, Huard J, Li Y,. Skeletal muscle-derived stem cells differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells and aid in liver regeneration. Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2010;3(7):681-690.
Bellayr I, Mu XD, Li Y,. Biochemical insights into the role of matrix metalloproteinases in the regeneration: challenges and recent developments. Future Medicinal Chemistry 2009;1(6):1095-1111.
Chen XP, Li Y. Role of matrix metalloproteinases in skeletal muscle: migration, differentiation, regeneration and fibrosis. Cell Adhesion & Migration 2009;3(4):337-41.
Bellayr I, Li Y,. Stem Cells: It’s Good to Have Choices? Journal of the American College of Certified Wound Specialists 2009;1(3):92-95.
Bellayr, IH, Walters, T., & Li Y,. Scarless healing. Journal of the American College of Certified Wound Specialists 2010;2(2)40-43
Mu X.D., Bellayr, I.H., Walters, T., & Li Y,. Mediators Leading to Fibrosis – How to Measure and Control Them in Tissue Engineering. Operative Techniques in Orthopaedics, 2010;20(2)110-118.
Mu XD, Urso M, Murray K, Fu F, Li Y,. Relaxin regulates MMP expression in myogenic cells and promotes satellite cell activation during muscle dealing of both young and aged mice. American J Pathology 2010;177(5)2399-2410
Chirieleison SM, Scelfo CC, Bissell TA, Anderson JE, Li Y,, Koebler D, Deasy BM. Automated live cell imaging systems reveal dynamic cell behavior. Biotechnology Progress. 2011 April 20. doi:10.1002.
Zhu JH, Li Y,, Lu AP, Gharaibeh B, Ma JQ, Quintero A, Huard J. Follostatin improves skeletal muscle healing by blocking TGF-beta like signaling pathway. American J Pathology 2011; 179(2): 915-930.
Mu XD, Peng HR, Pan HY, Huard J, Li Y,. Study of muscle cell dedifferentiation after skeletal muscle injury of mice with a Cre-Lox system. PloS One 2011;6(2): e16699
Mu XD, Xiang GH, Rathbone CR, Pan HY, Bellayr IH, Walter TJ, Li Y,. Slow-adhering stem cells derived from injured skeletal muscle have improved regenerative capacity. American J Pathology 2011;179(2):931-941.
Ma, JQ*, Holden K*, Zhu JH, Pan HY, Li Y,. The Application of Three Dimensional Collagen-Scaffolds Seeded with Myoblasts to Repair Skeletal Muscle Defects. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology 2011;2011:812135. Epub 2011 Dec 12.
Nozaki M, Ota S, Li Y, Uehare K, Gharaiben B, Fu FF, Huard J. Timing of the administration of suramin treatment after muscle injury. Muscle & Nerve 2012; Jan. 6, 08:48AM EST | online: DOI: 10.1002/mus.23280
Xu W, Cox CS, Li Y,. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for peripheral nerve regeneration. Journal of Stem Cell 2011; 6(1):xxxx
Lin B, Kim J, Li YX, Pan HY, Carvajal-Vergara X, Salama G, Cheng T, Li Y, Lo CW, Yang L. High purity enrichment of functional cardiac lineage cells from human iPS cells. Circulation Research (2012, in press)