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Dr. Hua Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

Dr. Hua Li, joined the Center of Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) Translational Research Program as a Staff Scientist in August, 2009. Dr. Hua Li’s current research focuses on elucidation of hormone dysregulation mechanisms leading to castration resistance and metastasis of prostate cancer, as well as discovery of differential genetic signatures of prostate cancer patients from various ethnic background.

Dr. Li received his M.D. degree from Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China in 1995. Then, Dr. Li earned his Master degree in Pathology and Pathophysiology from same medical university in 1998. For his Ph. D. thesis, Dr. Li explored the regulation mechanisms of retinoic acid and its nuclear receptors on the biological phenotype and signal transduction pathway in rat hepatic stellate cells in vitro under the mentorship of Dr. Jingsheng Zhang in Department of Pathology at Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Dr. Li obtained his Ph.D. degree in Pathology and Pathophysiology in 2002.

In 2003, Dr. Hua Li joined Dr. James DiRenzo’s lab as postdoc fellow in Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, to continue his research work in cancer biology. Dr. Li’s successfully identified nestin as a distinct diagnostic biomarker for the most aggressive basal/myoepithelial breast cancer subtype. Dr. Li also investigated the biological mechanism of retionic acid and TP63 on the self-renewal regulation process of the mammary stem cells. He collaborated with Dr. Ethan Dmistrovsky and Dr. David Robbins, to study the anti-tumor effects of micro-RNA and chemotherapy drugs on lung cancer, the hedgehog signaling in carcinogenesis of bladder cancer and skin cancer. Dr. Li was granted with Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Multidisciplinary Postdoc Award in March 2005, to support his reach on identification of novel biomarkers for diverse breast cancer subtypes and evaluate their clinically diagnostic and prognostic value.

Since joining CPDR in 2009, Dr. Li identified the various isoforms of PMEPA1, the androgen and TGF-beta responsive gene and characterized their unique biofunctions contributing the aggressive disease progression via manipulating the androgen and TGF-beta signaling in prostate cancer cells. Additionally, Dr. Li validated the higher frequencies of deletion of CHD1 and LSAMP gene as well as their robust correlation to worst clinical outcomes such as biochemical recurrence (BCR) and metastasis in African American (AA) prostate cancer patients via histological/pathological technologies including immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, laser-captured micro-dissection.

Dr. has generated over 30 high quality publication in peer-reviewed journals such as Cancer Research, Stem Cells, Clinical Cancer Research, Oncogene, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Oncotarget, E-biomedicine, Cancers and Frontier in Oncology.


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