Neuroscience studies the brain which is the most complex system and the most fascinating “last frontier”. Neurological diseases are not only serious public health burdens, but also rare opportunities to explore how the nervous system works.
The Li Laboratory is dedicated to the understanding of how the nervous system works under normal physiological conditions, and how diseases develop under pathological conditions. Currently, we focus on the neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
We use a wide range of investigative tools including molecular biology, genetics, electrophysiology, biochemistry, and behavioral science. We also use a variety of research organisms including cell culture, Drosophila, transgenic mouse and rat models.
The Li Laboratory is a leading group for inventing genetic methods in transgenic mouse and rats, and has used these methods to establish some of the animal models that are most commonly used by academic labs and pharmaceutical industry in neurodegeneration field. These animal models are powerful tools for mechanistic studies as well as drug discoveries. We are also developing transgenic method for non-human primates, Rhesus monkey as the next generation tools.
1. Qing Xu, Sushila Shenoy and Chenjian Li, Mouse Models for LRRk2 Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders 2012, Vol 18, 186-189
2. Kindiya Geghman and Chenjian Li. Practical consideration of genetic rodent models for neurodegenerative disease. Methods in Mol Biol. 2011, 793: 185-193
3. Wencheng Liu, Rebeca Acin-Perez, Kindiya Geghman, Giovanni Manfredi, Bing Wei Lu and Chenjian Li. Pink1 regulates the assembly of oxidative phosphorylation machinery via mitochondrial fission. , Proc Natl Acad Sci.USA, Vol 108, No.31, pp12920-12924, 2011
4. Yanping Li, Wencheng Liu, Tinmarlar F. Oo, Lei Wang, Yi Tang, Vernice Jackson-Lewis, Chun Zhou, Kindiya Geghman, Serge Przedborski, M.Flint Beal Robert Burke and Chenjian Li. BAC transgenic mouse model for LRRK2 recapitulates robust Parkinson’s disease phenotypes. Nature Neuroscience, (2009)12, 826-828
5. Chenjian Li (corresponding author) and M Flint Beal, Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2: a New player with a familiar theme for Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci. USA 2005, Vol 102, No.46, pp16535-16537
6. Xiaofeng Gu, Chenjian Li, Weicheng Wei, Victor Lo, Shiaoching Gong, Shihua Li, TAkuji Iwasato, Shigeyoshi Itohara, XiaoJiang Li, Istvan Mody, Nathaniel Heintz, William Yang, Pathological cell-cell interactions elicited by a neuropathogenic form of mutant huntingtin contribute to cortical pathogenesis in HD mice. Neuron 2005, Vol 46, 433-444
7. Chenjian Li* (corresponding author), Wayne Brake, Russell Romeo, Marisa Gordon, Rodica Buzescu, Patrick Allen, Paul Greengard, Bruce McEwen*, Hippocampal neuron dendritic spine maturation, synaptic proteins immunoreactivity and performance in spatial learning tasks in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci.USA 2004, Vol 101, No.7, 2185-90
8. Shaoching Gong, William Yang, Chenjian Li, Nathaniel Heintz, Highly Efficient Modification of Bacterial Artificial Chromosomes (BACs) Using Novel Shuttle Vectors Containing the R6Kr Origin of Replication. Genome Research 2002, 12: 1992-1998
9. Chenjian Li, Chaoxian Geng, Hung-Tat Leung, Young Seok Hong, Lydia R. Strong, William L. Pak. InaF, a Protein Required For Transient Receptor Potential Ca2+ Channel Function. Proc Natl Acad Sci.USA 1999. Vol 96(23): 13474-13479
10. Chenjian Li. Transgenic animal models for neurodegenerative disease research. In Larry R. Squire, Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Academic Press, Oxford, 2008.