Li Lab

Li Lab

Dr. Li’s research focuses on disabling blood vessels surrounding gynecologic cancers. The growth and spread of cancer cells depend on blood supply. Destroying the blood vessels around cancer is one of the strategies to treat cancer. DLL4, a key player coordinating vascular formation and maturation, is a promising target for disturbing vascular formation. Dr. Li is interested in manipulating DLL4 expression by virtue of natural regulatory mechanisms.

In upstream of DLL4 gene, there is a regulatory genomic region generating long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA). The lncRNA appears in the same cells as DLL4 does. Preliminary functional studies demonstrate that the lncRNA modulates DLL4’s expression and effects. This conclusion is being reinforced by multiple methodologies and different models in Li’s lab. The lab uses genetic and molecular methods to dissect the underlying mechanisms by which the lncRNA modifies DLL4 expression. That benefits pharmaceutical intervention of DLL4 level. Translating DLL4 regulation by lncRNA into clinical application is the long term goal of this lab.

Meet Dr. Li