The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases

 Yong Li, MD, Ph.D.

Yong Li, MD, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Pediatric Surgery
Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine


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 Stem Cell for Regenerative Medicine at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM), UTHealth. Dr. Li accomplished his MD and PhD training in China, and was a general surgeon before he went to London of United Kingdom in 1997. His first research career as a post-doctor fellow trained in Imperial College School of Medicine in UK (1998-1999), and later as a postdoctoral research associate in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. He was promoted to a research assistant professor in 2002, assistant professor in 2004 (within tenure track system in 2006), and leaded his research team approach success in the field of stem cell, anti-fibrosis in regeneration 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. They also begin to study some pilot projects such as the dedifferentiation process within skeletal muscle, cartilage and neuron system of mammals and related aging research. As in 2011, Dr. Li has published over 66 refereed journal articles and review papers, and five book chapters. He also services as five journals of editorial board or associate editor, and over fifth scientific communities including some of grant reviewer communities.

Dr. Li has won twenty more international awards for his scientific advances, including most recently, he has won the Michael Miller Young Investigator Award at Children’s Hospital of UPMC. He is also a very successful grant-funded faculty member, including grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD). He also is a great mentor and supervisor in students, medical residents and research fellows, several of his students and follows had won numerous of national and international awards, and scholarships include one student won the 2011 National Goldwater Scholarship. Dr. Li is recognized to leading in two scientific fields which include dedifferentiation related stem cell studies and fibrosis study in tissue bio-medical engineering field.

Beside the basic biomedical studies, Dr. Li will also conduct with the departmental projects in translational study and clinical application for using the stem cells and bio-engineered tissues to repair children’s congenital diseases such as Diaphragmatic Hernia and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophin (DMD).

Dr. Yong Li - Click here for additional information.

Publication list (selected from 76 articles)

1. Mu XD, Bellayr I, Choi YH, Pan HY, Li Y. Regeneration of soft tissue is promoted by MMP1 after digit amputation in mice. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59105.

2. 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;46(1):70-79.

3. 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;95(3):327-335.

4. 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 Journal of Pathology 2011;179(2):931-941

5. 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 February 3 ;6(2):e16699, doi:10.1371.

6. Zhu J, Li Y, Lu A, Gharaibeh B, Ma J, Kobayashi T, Quintero AJ, Huard J. Follistatin improves skeletal muscle healing after injury and disease through an interaction with muscle regeneration, angiogenesis, and fibrosis. American Journal of Pathology 2011;179(2):915-930

7. Mu XD, Li Y. Conditional TGF-beta1 treatment increases stem cell-like cell population in myoblasts. Journal of Cellular Molecular Medicine 2011;15(3):679-690

8. Mu X, Urso ML, Murrary K, Fu F, Huard J, Li Y. Relaxin regulates MMP expression in myogenic cells and promotes satellite cell activation during muscle dealing of both young and aged mice. American Journal of Pathology 2010;177(5):2399-410

9. Wang W, Pan HY, Jefferson M, Li Y. MMP1 promotes muscle cells migration and differentiation. American Journal of Pathology 2009;174(2):541-9.

10. 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.

11. Bedair H, Liu TT, Kaar J, Shown B, Russell A, Huard J, Li Y. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) therapy improves muscle healing. Journal Applied Physiology 2007;102(6):2338-45.

12. Li Y, Li J, Zhu J, Sun B, Branca M, Tang Y, Foster W, Xiao X, Huard J. Decorin gene transfer promotes muscle cell differentiation and muscle regeneration. Molecular Therapy 2007;15(9):1616-1622.

13. Zhu J, Li Y, Shen W, Qiao C, Ambrosio F, Lavasani M, Nozaki M, Branca MF, Huard J. Relationships between transforming growth factor-beta1, myostatin, and decorin: implications for skeletal muscle fibrosis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2007;282(35):25852-25863.

14. Shen W, Li Y, Tang Y, Cummins J, Huard J. NS-398, a cyclooxygenase-2-specific inhibitor, delays skeletal muscle healing by decreasing regeneration and promoting fibrosis. American Journal of Pathology 2005;167(4):1105-1117.

15. Li Y, Foster W, Deasy BM, Chan YS, Prisk V, Tang Y, Cummins J, Huard J. TGF-beta1 induces the differentiation of myogenic cells into fibrotic cells in injured skeletal muscle: a key event in muscle fibrogenesis. American Journal of Pathology 2004;164(3):1007-1019.

16. Li Y, Huard J. Differentiation of muscle derived stem cell into myofibroblast in injured skeletal muscle. American Journal of Pathology 2002;161(3):895-907.