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Research Investigator Profile
Xueyi Li, MD, PhD
Dr. Li studies molecular mechanisms of endosomal recycling, a process utilized by mammalian cells to retrieve internalized cell surface proteins for reuse, and explores strategies to harness endosomal recycling for therapeutic intervention in neurological disorders. Dr. Li’s early work at MIND uncovered that the causative mutation of Huntington’s disease compromises the function of Rab11, a critical modulator of endosomal recycling, and showed that augmentation of Rab11 function protects Huntington’s disease neurons die from causes triggered intrinsically or by exposure to harmful stimuli. His studies implicate that enhancing the function of Rab11 has great potential for treating Huntington’s disease. Dr. Li also investigates whether and how endosomal recycling is involved in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders, e.g., autism spectrum disorders. Ongoing studies directed by Dr. Li involve validation of Rab11 as a therapeutic target for developing Huntington’s disease therapy and creation of new animal models of autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. Li is also a member of Dr. Marian Difiglia's Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory.
Endosome dynamics, protein trafficking, drug discovery, animal behaviors
Gene targeting, microscopic imaging, RNAi, cell culture, protein trafficking assays
Huntington’s disease and autism spectrum disorders
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