Li Lab

Gang Li, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Cardiology

Our lab seeks to understand how disease-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) contribute to susceptibility for age-related diseases including cancers, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.

Gang Li Lab

Lab Focus

To reveal the signaling pathways and mechanisms that activate and regulate disease- associated, p16INK4a-dependent cellular senescence.

What question I’d like to answer

Can we use human genetics to develop novel therapeutic strategies for age-related diseases?

For more information: ganglilab.pitt.edu

Faculty Bio

Gang developed his current research projects based on his knowledge and technical expertise in molecular biology, immunology, genetics, genomics, GWAS, functional studies, and high-throughput screens. Gang received his PhD in molecular biology from Brown University in Providence, RI where he studied in the lab of Dr. Eric Hendrickson focusing on human somatic cell gene targeting. Part of his PhD work was published in PNAS in 2002. Gang completed his first postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School working with Dr. Frederick Alt, where he concentrated on generating a murine model for human severe combined immunodeficiency disorders. This work was published in PNAS (2007) and Molecular Cell (2008).

After completion of his postdoctoral training, Gang accepted a staff scientist position in Dr. Robert Plenge’s lab at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During this period, Gang acquired additional training in human genetics. He also collaborated with Dr. George Church’s lab to identify rare variants by using exon sequencing (exon-seq), with Dr. Stephen Elledge’s lab to identify autoantigens by using phage immunoprecipitation sequencing (PhIP-seq), and with the Broad Institute to analyze gene expression signatures using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). In 2018, Gang joined the Aging Institute with the ultimate goal of applying human genetics and functional genomics to understand complex diseases. His lab has championed the development of novel high throughput functional genomic strategies leading to multiple new technologies including SNP-seq (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism-sequencing), Reel-seq (Regulatory element-sequencing), FREP-MS (Flanking Restriction Enhanced DNA Pulldown-mass spectrometry), SDCP-MS (SNP-specific DNA Competition Pulldown-mass spectrometry), and AIDP-Wb (Allele-Imbalanced DNA Pulldown-Western blot).

Read more: Department of Medicine Faculty Profile

Selected Publications

Li G (co-corresponding author), Martínez-Bonet M, Wu D, Yang Y, Cui J, Nguyen HN, Cunin P, Levescot A, Bai M, Westra HJ, Okada Y, Brenner MB, Raychaudhuri S, Hendrickson EA, Maas RL, Nigrovic PA. High-throughput identification of noncoding functional SNPs via type IIS enzyme restriction. Nat Genet. 2018 Aug;50(8):1180-1188. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0159-z. Epub 2018 Jul 16. PMID: 30013183; PMCID: PMC6072570.

Zhao Y, Wu D, Jiang D, Zhang X, Wu T, Cui J, Qian M, Zhao J, Oesterreich S, Sun W, Finkel T, Li G. A sequential methodology for the rapid identification and characterization of breast cancer-associated functional SNPs. Nat Commun. 2020 Jul 3;11(1):3340. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17159-8. PMID: 32620845; PMCID: PMC7334201.

Zou M, Jiang D, Wu T, Zhang X, Zhao Y, Wu D, Sun W, Cui J, Moreland L, Li G. Post-GWAS functional studies reveal an RA-associated CD40-induced NF-kB signal transduction and transcriptional regulation network targeted by class II HDAC inhibitors. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 May 28;30(9):823-835. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddab032. PMID: 33517445; PMCID: PMC8161515.

Wu T, Jiang D, Zou M, Sun W, Wu D, Cui J, Huntress I, Peng X, Li G. Coupling high-throughput mapping with proteomics analysis delineates cis-regulatory elements at high resolution. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Oct 11:gkab890. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkab890. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34634809.

Danli Jiang*, Wei Sun*, Ting Wu, Meijuan Zou, Sathish Babu Vasamsetti, Xiaoyu Zhang, Yihan Zhao, Julie A. Phillippi, Sina Tavakoli, Partha Dutta, Jonathan Florentin, Stephen Y. Chan, Di Wu, Jing Cui, Ian Huntress, Xinxia Peng, Toren Finkel, and Gang Li. Post-GWAS functional analysis of the CDKN2A/B locus identifies CUX1 as a regulator of p16INK4a expression and cellular senescence. Nature Aging, 2021 (in press).

Current Lab Members

Ting Wu, BS, Medical Graduate Student
Micheal Ewing, MS, Research Technician

Research Support