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MCOM Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs

PhD Students & Faculty

Ji Li, PhD, FAHA U4640-6095

Ji Li, PhD, FAHA

Professor, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine

Contact Info 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.,
MDC 110 (Office: MDC 4106B)
Tampa FL 33612

Academic Email:

Academic Phone:8139744917


  • Postdoc Fellow, Cardiovascular Physiology, Yale School of Medicine, 2002
  • Visiting Fellow, Molecular Medicine, NIH/National Institute on Aging, 2000
  • PhD, Cell Biology, Lanzhou University, 1998

Academic Philosophy

"Explore the Mysteries of the Unknown World"

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Biomedical Engineering & Nanomedicine
  • Cardiovascular Sciences
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Metabolic Regulation and Disorders
  • Neurodegenerative Disease

Research Interests

  • We primarily seek to understand the molecular mechanisms of coronary artery disease (CAD) and neurodegenerative disease the common cause of age-related diseases.
  • Our group studies the signaling mechanisms underlying the reduced tolerance elderly patients' hearts show to stress from restricted blood flow (ischemia) and the restoration of normal blood flow (reperfusion) and also from pressure-induced hypertension.
  • The goal is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for activation of an energy sensor, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), identify novel downstream AMPK targets, and develop therapeutic techniques that target the enzyme to prevent and treat myocardial ischemia, cardiac hypertrophy, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

Recent Publications

  • Krause-Hauch M, Fedorova J, Zoungrana LI, Wang H, Fatmi MK, Li Z, Iglesias M, Slotabec L, Li J. Targeting on Nrf2/Sesn2 Signaling to Rescue Cardiac Dysfunction during High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity. Cells. 11: 2614, 2022.
  • Dai X, Wang K, Fan J, Liu H, Fan X, Lin Q, Chen Y, Chen H, Li Y, Liu H, Chen O, Chen J, Li X, Ren D, Li J, Conklin DJ, Wintergerst KA, Li Y, Cai L, Deng Z, Yan X, Tan Y. Nrf2 transcriptional upregulation of IDH2 to tune mitochondrial dynamics and rescue angiogenic function of diabetic EPCs. Redox Biology. 56: 102449, 2022.
  • Kim M, Nikouee A, Zou R, Ren D, He Z, Li J, Wang L, Djukovic D, Raftery D, Purcell H, Promislow D, Sun Y, Goodarzi M, Zhang QJ, Liu ZP, Zang QS. Age-Independent Cardiac Protection by Pharmacological Activation of Beclin-1 During Endotoxemia and Its Association With Energy Metabolic Reprograming in Myocardium-A Targeted Metabolomics Study. Journal of the American Heart Association. 11(14) : e025310, 2022.
  • Zoungrana LI, Krause-Hauch M, Wang H, Fatmi MK, Bates L, Li Z, Kulkarni P, Ren D, Li J. The Interaction of and in Neurogenesis and Its Implication in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Cells. 11(13) : 2048, 2022.
  • Zhou H, Li J, Su H, Li J, Lydic TA, Young ME, Chen W. BSCL2/Seipin deficiency in hearts causes cardiac energy deficit and dysfunction via inducing excessive lipid catabolism. Clinical and Translational Medicine. 12(4) : e736, 2022.
  • Murphy J, Le TNV, Fedorova J, Yang Y, Krause-Hauch M, Davitt K, Zoungrana LI, Fatmi MK, Lesnefsky EJ, Li J, Ren D. The Cardiac Dysfunction Caused by Metabolic Alterations in Alzheimer''s Disease. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. 9: 850538, 2022.
  • Zhang J, He Z, Fedorova J, Logan C, Bates L, Davitt K, Le V, Murphy J, Li M, Wang M, Lakatta EG, Ren D, Li J. Alterations in mitochondrial dynamics with age-related Sirtuin1/Sirtuin3 deficiency impair cardiomyocyte contractility. Aging Cell. 20(7) : e13419, 2021.
  • Li X, Lu Q, Qiu Y, do Carmo JM, Wang Z, da Silva AA, Mouton A, Omoto ACM, Hall ME, Li J, Hall JE. Direct Cardiac Actions of the Sodium Glucose Co-Transporter 2 Inhibitor Empagliflozin Improve Myocardial Oxidative Phosphorylation and Attenuate Pressure-Overload Heart Failure. Journal of the American Heart Association. 10(6) : e018298, 2021.
  • Ren D, Fedorova J, Davitt K, Le TNV, Griffin JH, Liaw PC, Esmon C, Rezaie AR, Li J. Activated Protein C Strengthens Cardiac Tolerance to Ischemic Insults in Aging. Circulation Research. 130(2) : 252-272, 2021.
  • Sun X, Han F, Lu Q, Li X, Ren D, Zhang J, Han Y, Xiang YK, Li J. Empagliflozin Ameliorates Obesity-Related Cardiac Dysfunction by Regulating Sestrin2-Mediated AMPK-mTOR Signaling and Redox Homeostasis in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice. Diabetes. 69(6) : 1292-1305, 2020.
  • Xu B, Li M, Wang Y, Zhao M, Morotti S, Shi Q, Wang Q, Barbagallo F, Teoh JP, Raghavender Reddy G, Bayne EF, Liu Y, Shen A, Puglisi JL, Ge Y, Li J, Grandi E, Nieves-Cintrón M, Xiang YK. GRK5 Controls SAP97-Dependent Cardiotoxic β1 Adrenergic Receptor-CaMKII Signaling in Heart Failure Circulation Research. 126, 2020.
  • Han Y, Sun W, Ren D, Zhang J, He Z, Fedorova J, Sun X, Han F, Li J. SIRT1 agonism modulates cardiac NLRP3 inflammasome through pyruvate dehydrogenase during ischemia and reperfusion. Redox Biol. 34: 101538, 2020.
  • Li J, Qi D, Cheng H, Hu X, Miller EJ, Wu X, Russell KS, Mikush N, Zhang J, Xiao L, Sherwin RS, Young LH. Urocortin 2 autocrine/paracrine and pharmacologic effects to activate AMP-activated protein kinase in the heart. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A.. 110(40) : 16133-8, 2013.
  • Wang J, Tong C, Yan X, Yeung E, Gandavadi S, Hare AA, Du X, Chen Y, Xiong H, Ma C, Leng L, Young LH, Jorgensen WL, Li J, Bucala R. Limiting cardiac ischemic injury by pharmacological augmentation of macrophage migration inhibitory factor-AMP-activated protein kinase signal transduction. Circulation. 128(3) : 225-36, 2013.
  • Miller EJ*, Li J*, Leng L, McDonald C, Atsumi T, Bucala R, Young LH (*equal contributions). Macrophage migration inhibitory factor stimulates AMP-activated protein kinase in the ischaemic heart. Nature. 451(7178) : 578-82, 2008.
  • Shi X, Leng L, Wang T, Wang W, Du X, Li J, McDonald C, Chen Z, Murphy JW, Lolis E, Noble P, Knudson W, Bucala R. CD44 is the signaling component of the macrophage migration inhibitory factor-CD74 receptor complex. Immunity. 25(4) : 595-606, 2006.