Yunqing Li, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Neurology


Dr. Yunqing Li is a research scientist at the Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger. She is also a faculty member in the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Li pursued her undergraduate and graduate education at the Yunnan University in China. She then held a teaching position at the Kunming Medical College in China before pursuing her doctoral degree in medical genetics from Sichuan University. She came to the United States in 2003 to complete postdoctoral fellowships in the Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and in the Department of Neurology at Kennedy Krieger Institute. In 2005, she was recruited as a faculty member for the Department of Neurology at the University of Virginia. In 2009, she joined the Kennedy Krieger Institute as a faculty member.

Dr. Li is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research. In 2001, she won a Natural Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars in Yunnan, China. In 2005, she was awarded a research fellowship by the American Brain Tumor Association. In 2011, she was awarded a discovery grant. more


  • Assistant Professor of Neurology

Departments / Divisions



  • Ph.D.; Sichuan University (China) (2001)
  • B.Sc.; Yunnan University (China) (1992)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a very aggressive and fatal brain tumor. Despite aggressive therapy, the average median survival of patients with glioblastoma is approximately 15 months. Recently, subpopulations of tumor cells with stem cell-like properties have been identified in glioblastoma. These cells, typically referred to as glioma stem-like cells (GBM SCs) or glioma-initiating cells, are considered to be responsible for the propagation, recurrence, and therapeutic resistance of glioma. Dr. Li’s research focuses on understanding the origin of GBM SCs and the molecular mechanisms orchestrating GBM SCs maintenance. Her research studies the signaling pathways and transcriptional events that mediate GBM SCs growth. The goal of research is to develop new therapeutic strategies based on GBM SC targets. The techniques used are a wide array of state-of-the-art cancer research methods including molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, gene differential expression, gene knock-down and delivery techniques and animal studies.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Li Y, Guessous F, Zhang Y, DiPierro C, Kefas B, Johnson E, Marcinkiewicz L, Jiang J, Yang Y, Schmittgen TD, Lopes B, Schiff D, Purow B and Abounader R. MicroRNA-34a Inhibits Glioblastoma Growth by Targeting Multiple Oncogenes. Cancer Research 69, 7569, September 22, 2009

Li Y*, Angela Li, Martin Glas, Bachchu Lal, Mingyao Ying, Yingying Sang, Shuli Xia, Daniel Trageser, Hugo Guerrero-Cázares, Charles G. Eberhart, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, Bjorn Scheffler, and John Laterra1. C-Met Signaling Induces a Reprogramming Network and Supports the Glioblastoma Stem-Like Phenotype. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011 Jun 14; 108(24):9951-6. PMID: 21628563. Response author

Lopez-Bertoni H, Lal B, Li A, Caplan M, Guerrero-Cázares H, Eberhart CG, Quiñones-Hinojosa A, Glas M, Scheffler B, Laterra J, Li Y. DNMT-dependent suppression of microRNA regulates the induction of GBM tumor-propagating phenotype by Oct4 and Sox2. Oncogene, 2015. 34(30):3994-4004. PMID: 25328136

Tengjiao Ma, Chengchen Hu, Bachchu Lal, Weiqiang Zhou, Yongxin Ma, Mingyao Ying , Panagiotis Prinos , Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, Michael Lim , John Laterra, Yunqing Li* Reprogramming Transcription Factors Oct4 and Sox2 Induce a BRD-Dependent Immunosuppressive Transcriptome in GBM-Propagating Cells. Cancer Res. 2021 May 81(9): 2457-2469.PMID: 33574085

Chengchen Hu, Kimberly Wang, Ceylan Damon, Yi Fu, Tengjiao Ma, Lisa Kratz, Bachchu Lal, Mingyao Ying, Shuli Xia, Daniel P. Cahill, Christopher M. Jackson, Michael Lim, John Laterra and Yunqing Li*. ATRX loss promotes immunosuppressive mechanisms in IDH1 mutant glioma. Neuro Oncol. 2022, Jun 1, 24(6):888-900. PMID: 34951647

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