Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research


Scanning electron micrograph of the dendrites of a cerebellar Purkinje cell - Hausser Lab


Professor Huiliang Li

Cellular and molecular neuroscience

Huiliang Li Photo

Tel: 020 7679 6360
Email: huiliang.li@ucl.ac.uk

The Central Nervous System (CNS) is made up of diverse types of neurons and glial cells. Glia (literally 'glue') have proven to be much more than a passive support matrix for neurons. In fact, mounting evidence indicates that glia are highly complex cells engaged in a plethora of brain activities. 

Employing transgenic approaches, we aim to find answers to the following questions:

  1. how do Neural Stem Cells (NSCs) choose glial versus neuronal fate? 
  2. what are the molecular mechanisms behind gliogenesis?
  3. what are the causes and consequences of glial dysfunction?    
Academic Career

· 2012-date Professor. Division of Medicine 

· 2013-2022 Senior Lecturer, Division of Medicine

· 2012-date Group Leader, WIBR, UCL

· 2002-2012 Research Fellow, WIBR, UCL

· 2000 CMB Visiting Scholar, American Type Culture Collection

· 1998-2001 PhD Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College

· 1995-1998 MSc Chinese National laboratory of Experimental Hematology

· 1991-1995 BSc Nankai University 


Zhang, G.-Y., Lv, Z.-M., Ma, H.-X., Chen, Y., Yuan, Y., Sun, P.-X., Feng, Y.-Q., Li, Y.-W., Lu, W.-J., and Yu-Dong, Y. (2021) Chemical approach to generating long-term self-renewing pMN progenitors from human embryonic stem cells. Journal of Molecular Cell Biology mjab076

Kohnke, S., Buller, S., Nuzzaci, D., Ridley, K., Lam, B., Pivonkova, H., Bentsen, M. A., Alonge, K. M., Zhao, C., and Tadross, J. (2021) Nutritional regulation of oligodendrocyte differentiation regulates perineuronal net remodeling in the median eminence. Cell Reports 36, 109362

Ju, J., Yang, X., Jiang, J., Wang, D., Zhang, Y., Zhao, X., Fang, X., Liao, H., Zheng, L., and Li, S. (2021) Structural and Lipidomic Alterations of Striatal Myelin in 16p11. 2 Deletion Mouse Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 318

An, J., Zhang, Y., Fudge, A. D., Lu, H., Richardson, W. D., and Li, H. (2021) G proteincoupled receptor GPR37like 1 regulates adult oligodendrocyte generation. Developmental neurobiology 81, 975-984

Li, K., Wei, S., Hu, L., Yin, X., Mai, Y., Jiang, C., Peng, X., Cao, X., Huang, Z., and Zhou, H. (2020) Protection of fecal microbiota transplantation in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Mediators of Inflammation 2020

Kasuga, Y., Fudge, A. D., Zhang, Y., and Li, H. (2019) Characterization of a long noncoding RNA Pcdh17it as a novel marker for immature premyelinating oligodendrocytes. Glia 67, 2166-2177

Jolly, S., Bazargani, N., Quiroga, A. C., Pringle, N. P., Attwell, D., Richardson, W. D., and Li, H. (2018) G proteincoupled receptor 37like 1 modulates astrocyte glutamate transporters and neuronal NMDA receptors and is neuroprotective in ischemia. Glia 66, 47-61

Xiao, L., Ohayon, D., McKenzie, I. A., Sinclair-Wilson, A., Wright, J. L., Fudge, A. D., Emery, B., Li, H., and Richardson, W. D. (2016) Rapid production of new oligodendrocytes is required in the earliest stages of motor-skill learning. Nature neuroscience 19, 1210

Marques, S., Zeisel, A., Codeluppi, S., van Bruggen, D., Falcão, A. M., Xiao, L., Li, H., Häring, M., Hochgerner, H., and Romanov, R. A. (2016) Oligodendrocyte heterogeneity in the mouse juvenile and adult central nervous system. Science 352, 1326-1329

Li, H., and Richardson, W. D. (2016) Evolution of the CNS myelin gene regulatory program. Brain research 1641, 111-121

McKenzie, I. A., Ohayon, D., Li, H., De Faria, J. P., Emery, B., Tohyama, K., and Richardson, W. D. (2014) Motor skill learning requires active central myelination. Science 346, 318-322

Tsai, H.-H., Li, H., Fuentealba, L. C., Molofsky, A. V., Taveira-Marques, R., Zhuang, H., Tenney, A., Murnen, A. T., Fancy, S. P., and Merkle, F. (2012) Regional astrocyte allocation regulates CNS synaptogenesis and repair. Science 337, 358-362

Li, H., de Faria, J. P., Andrew, P., Nitarska, J., and Richardson, W. D. (2011) Phosphorylation regulates OLIG2 cofactor choice and the motor neuron-oligodendrocyte fate switch. Neuron 69, 918-929

Li, H., and Richardson, W. D. (2009) Genetics meets epigenetics: HDACs and Wnt signaling in myelin development and regeneration. Nature neuroscience 12, 815-817

Li, H., Lu, Y., Smith, H. K., and Richardson, W. D. (2007) Olig1 and Sox10 interact synergistically to drive myelin basic protein transcription in oligodendrocytes. Journal of Neuroscience 27, 14375-14382

Further publication information can be viewed at https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=HLIXX97



2022-2024       BBSRC Research Grant, Co-I, Metabolic and behavioural phenotyping platform for obesity, diabetes, aging and exercise studies in mouse (BB/W020009/1 with Prof. Stefan Trapp and others)

2021-2023       Royal Society Cost Share Grant, PI, Collaborative Study of the Effects of Natural Molecules on Reactive Astrocytes (IEC\NSFC\201134)

2019-2023       BBSRC Research Grant, Co-PI, Control of oligodendrocyte development by Olig2 and chromatin remodelling complexes (with Prof. Bill Richardson, BB/S008934/1)

2019-2022       Newton International Fellowship Grant, UK-PI, Towards CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene correction for inherited retinal disease (NIF\R1\181649 with Dr Jing An)

2018-2022       BBSRC Research Grant, PI, Cholesterol esters of oligodendrocytes in developmental and ageing brain (BB/S000844/1)

2018-2020       Newton International Fellowship Grant, UK-PI, Improving the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells for Alzheimer's disease treatment (NIF003\1003 with Dr Yajun Wang)

2017-2019       Alzheimer's Research UK Pilot Grant, PI, Cholesterol esters in oligodendrocytes and the implications for Alzheimer’s disease (ARUK-PPG2017B-013)

2016                British Council Researcher Links Grant, PI, Collaborative strategies to study myelin and fight against multiple sclerosis and other white matter diseases. (227225126)

2015-2018       Newton Advanced Fellowship Grant, UK-PI, Towards rapid and efficient production of oligodendrocyte precursors from human pluripotent stem cells (with Dr Wenlin Li)

2014-2017       BBSRC Research Grant, PI, Transgenic approaches to understanding astrocyte heterogeneity (BB/L003236/1)