Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research


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


Dr Huiliang Li

Molecular Mechanisms of Neural Development

Huiliang Li Photo

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

· 2013-date 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


Jolly S*, Bazargani A*, Quiroga A, Pringle N, Attwell A*, Richardson WD* and Li H*. Identification and characterization of a glial-specific G-protein-coupled receptor. Glia. 2018; 66(1):47-61.

Xiangkai Zhen, Bowen Li, Fen Hu, Shufeng Yan, Gabriele Meloni, Huiliang Li, and Ning Shi. Crystal structure of the DNA-binding domain of Myelin-gene Regulatory Factor. Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 3696.

Xiao L*., Ohayon, D.*, McKenzie, I.A., Emery, B., Li, H. #, and Richardson, W.D#. Rapid production of new oligodendrocytes is required in the earliest stages of motor-skill learning. Nature Neuroscience. 2016. 19(9):1210-7.

Marques S., Zeisel A., Codeluppi, S., van Bruggen D., Falcão A., Xiao, L., Li H., et. al. …… Oligodendrocyte heterogeneity in the mouse juvenile and adult central nervous system. Science 2016, 10;352(6291):1326-9.

Li H*, Richardson WD. Evolution of the CNS myelin gene regulatory program. Brain Res. 2015. October. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.10.013.

Jolly, S., Fudge, A., Pringle, N., Richardson, W.D.# and Li H.# Combining double fluorescence in situ hybridization with immunolabelling for detection of the expression of three genes in mouse brain sections. JOVE 2015. November

McKenzie, I.A.*, Ohayon, D.*, Li, H., Paes de Faria, J., Emery, B., Tohyama, K. and Richardson, W.D. Motor skills learning requires new central myelination.  Science 2014. 346:318-22.

Paes de FJ, Kessaris N, Andrew P, Richardson WD*, Li H*: New Olig1 null mice confirm a non-essential role for Olig1 in oligodendrocyte development. BMC Neurosci 2014, 15: 12.

Tsai HH, Li H*, Fuentealba LC*, Molofsky AV*, Taveira-Marques R*, Zhuang H et al.: Regional astrocyte allocation regulates CNS synaptogenesis and repair. Science 2012, 337: 358-362.

Clarke LE, Young KM, Hamilton NB, Li H, Richardson WD, Attwell D: Properties and fate of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells in the corpus callosum, motor cortex, and piriform cortex of the mouse. J Neurosci 2012, 32: 8173-8185.

Li H, de Faria JP, Andrew P, Nitarska J, Richardson WD: Phosphorylation regulates OLIG2 cofactor choice and the motor neuron-oligodendrocyte fate switch. Neuron 2011, 69: 918-929. Featured article with preview by Gaber,Z.B., et al. Neuron 69, 906-917; highlighted by Yates, D. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 12, 248-249.

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


Alzheimer's Research UK, Cholesterol esters in oligodendrocytes and the implications for Alzheimer's disease. (ARUK-PPG2017B-013)

Academy of Medical Sciences, Newton International Fellowship, (with Dr Yajun Wang). Improving the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells for Alzheimer's disease treatment.

British Council, Newton Researcher Links Workshop Grant 2016 (with Prof Bin Zhao). Collaborative strategies to study myelin and fight against multiple sclerosis and other white matter diseases.

Academy of Medical Sciences, Newton Advanced Fellowship (with Dr Wenlin Li). Towards rapid and efficient production of oligodendrocyte precursors from human pluripotent stem cells.

BBSRC, Transgenic approaches to understanding astrocyte heterogeneity (BB/L003236/1)