Research Scientist, Kennedy Krieger Institute
Phone: 443-923-9526
Kennedy Krieger Institute

707 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21215
United States


Dr. Yunqing Li is a research scientist at the Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger. She is also an assistant professor 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.


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. 

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Google Scholar Profile

Research Publications

Liu G, Ray Banerjee S, Yang X, Yadav N, Lisok A, Jablonska A, Xu J, Li Y, Pomper MG, van Zijl P (2017). A dextran-based probe for the targeted magnetic resonance imaging of tumours expressing prostate-specific membrane antigen. Nat Biomed Eng. 1, 977-982.

Wu D, Ma T, Ceritoglu C, Li Y, Chotiyanonta J, Hou Z, Hsu J, Xu X, Brown T, Miller MI, Mori S (2016). Resource atlases for multi-atlas brain segmentations with multiple ontology levels based on T1-weighted MRI. Neuroimage. 125, 120-30.

Mendioroz M, Do C, Jiang X, Liu C, Darbary HK, Lang CF, Lin J, Thomas A, Abu-Amero S, Stanier P, Temkin A, Yale A, Liu MM, Li Y, Salas M, Kerkel K, Capone G, Silverman W, Yu YE, Moore G, Wegiel J, Tycko B (2015). Trans effects of chromosome aneuploidies on DNA methylation patterns in human Down syndrome and mouse models. Genome Biol. 16, 263.