Directory Profile

Song Li, MD, PhD

Office: 313 Salk Pavilion, 335 Sutherland drive, Pittsburgh PA 15261

Phone: 412-383-7976

Fax: 412-648-1664


Dr. Li is a Professor at Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences , and Director of the Center for Pharmacogenetics, for the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China, and pursued his postdoctoral training with Dr. Leaf Huang. He became a faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 2000.

Dr. Li has broad knowledge in medicine, biology, and drug and gene delivery and is the author or co-author of over 150 peer-reviewed articles and 32 review articles or book chapters. Dr. Li is an Associate Editor for Journal of Gene Medicine and also serves on the editorial boards of several other journals. He frequently serves on the review panels of NIH, DOD and other funding agencies.

Research in Dr. Li’s lab has been continuously supported by grants from various funding agencies including NIH, DOD, and American Heart Association (AHA).

Dr. Li’s research is mainly focused on the development of lipid- and polymer-based nanodelivery systems for targeted delivery of various types of therapeutics including nucleic acids (genes, siRNA, and peptide nucleic acids), proteins, and small molecules (e.g., anticancer agents and antioxidants). Emphases are placed on the development of strategies to overcome cellular and in vivo barriers. Another research project in Dr. Li’s group is farnesoid X receptor (FXR)-mediated gene regulation in vascular cells and hepatic stellate cells.

Sun, J., Chen, Y., Xu, J., Song, X., Wan, Z., Du, Y., Ma, W., Li, X., Zhang, L., and Li, S. High loading of hydrophobic and hydrophilic agents via small immunostimulatory carrier for enhanced tumor penetration and combinational therapy. Theranostics 2020; 10: 1136-1150.

Xu, J., Sun, J., Ho, P.Y., Luo, Z., Ma, W., Zhao, W., Rathod, S., Fernandez, C., Venkataramanan, R., Xie, W., Ai-Ming Yu, A.M., and Li, S. Creatine based polymer for codelivery of bioengineered microRNA and chemodrugs against breast cancer lung metastasis. Biomaterials 2019; 210: 25-40. (PMID: 31054369).

Wan, Z., Sun, J., Xu, J., Moharil, P., Chen, J., Xu, J., Zhu, J., Li, J., Huang, Y., Xu, P., Ma, X., Xie, W., Lu, B., and Li, S. Dual functional immunostimulatory polymeric prodrug carrier with pendent indoximod for enhanced cancer immunochemotherapy. Acta Biomaterialia 2019; 90: 90: 300-313. (PMID: 30930305).

Chen, Y., Sun, J., Huang, Y., Liu, Y., Liang, L., Yang, D., Lu, B., and Li, S. Targeted codelivery of doxorubicin and IL-36γ expression plasmid for an optimal chemo-gene combination therapy against cancer lung metastasis. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine 2018: 15: 129-141. (PMID: 30308300).

Xu, J., Zhao, W., Sun, J., Huang, Y., Wang P., Wenkataramanan, R., Yang, D., Ma, X., Rana, A., and Li, S. Novel glucosylceramide synthase inhibitor based prodrug micelles for delivery of anticancer agents. Journal of Controlled Release 2018; 288: 212-226. (PMID: 30223045).

Chen, Y., Xia, R., Huang, Y., Zhao, W., Li, J., Zhang, X., Wang, P., Venkataramanan, R., Fan, J., Xie, W., Ma, X., Lu, B., and Li. S. An immunostimulatory nanocarrier that improves cancer immunochemotherapy. Nature Communication 7: 13443, 2016. (PMID: 27819653).

Zhao, M., Huang, Y., Chen, Y., Xu, J., *Li, S., and *Guo, X. PEG-Fmoc-ibuprofen conjugate as a dual functional nanomicellar carrier for paclitaxel. Bioconjugate Chemistry 27: 2198-2205, 2016. (PMID: 27532881).

Sun, J., Chen, Y., Li, K., Huang, Y., Zhang, X., Fu, X., Zhao, W., Wei, Y., Xu, L., Zhang, P., Venkataramanan, R., and Li, S. A prodrug micellar carrier assembled from polymers with pendant farnesyl thiosalicylic acid moieties for improved delivery of paclitaxel. Acta Biomaterialia 43: 282-291, 2016 (PMID: 27422196).

Zhang, P., Li, J., Ghazwani, M., Zhao, W., Huang, Y., Zhang, X., Venkataramanan, R., and Li, S. Effective co-delivery of doxorubicin and dasatinib using a PEG-Fmoc nanocarrier for combination cancer chemotherapy. Biomaterials 67: 104-114, 2015. (PMID: 26210177).

Lu, J., Liu, C., Wang, P., Ghazwani, M., Xu, J., Huang, Y., Ma, X., Zhang, P., and Li, S. The self-assembling camptothecin-tocopherol prodrug: an effective approach for formulating camptothecin. Biomaterials 62: 176-187, 2015.

Zhang, X., Huang, Y., Ghazwani, M., Zhang, P., Li, J., Thorne, S.H., and Li, S. Tunable pH-responsive polymeric micelle for cancer treatment. ACS Macro Letters 4: 620-623, 2015. (PMID: 25325795).

Zhang, P., Huang, Y., Kwon, Y.T., and Li, S. PEGylated Fmoc-amino acid conjugates as effective nanocarriers for improved drug delivery. Molecular Pharmaceutics 12: 1680-1690, 2015. (PMID: 25816914)

Zhang, X., Huang, Y., Zhao, W., Liu, H., Marquez, R., Lu, J., Zhang, P., Zhang, Y., Li, J., Gao, X., Venkataramanan, R., Xu, L., and Li, S. Targeted delivery of anticancer agents via a dual function nanocarrier with an interfacial drug-interactive motif. Biomacromolecules 15: 4326-4335, 2014 (PMID: 25325795).

Lu, J., Zhao, W., Liu, H., Marquez, R., Huang, Y., Zhang, Y., Li, J., Xie, W., Venkataramanan, R., Xu, L., and Li, S. An improved D-α-tocopherol-based nanocarrier for targeted delivery of doxorubicin with reversal of multidrug resistance. Journal of Controlled Release 196: 272-286, 2014. (PMID: 25456831)

Zhang, X., Huang, Y., Zhao, W., Chen, Y., Zhang, P., Li, J., Venkataramanan, R., and Li, S. PEG-farnesyl thiosalicylic acid telodendrimer micelles as an improved formulation for targeted delivery of paclitaxel. Molecular Pharmaceutics 11: 2807-2814, 2014. (PMID: 24987803)

Zhang, X., Liu, K., Huang, Y., Xu, J., Li, J., Ma, X., and Li, S. Reduction-sensitive dual functional nanomicelles for improved delivery of paclitaxel. Bioconjugate Chemistry 25: 1689-1696, 2014. (PMID: 25121577)

Zhang, P., Huang, Y., Liu, H., Marquez, R., Lu, J., Zhao, W., Zhang, X., Gao, X., Li, J., Venkataramanan, R., Xu, L., Li, S. A PEG-Fmoc conjugate as a nanocarrier for paclitaxel. Biomaterials 35: 7146-7156, 2014. (PMID: 24856103)

Lu, J., Huang, Y., Zhao, W., Li, J., Gao, X., Venkataramanan, R., and Li, S. Design and characterization of PEG-derivatized vitamin E as a nanomicellar formulation for delivery of paclitaxel. Molecular Pharmaceutics 10: 2880-2890, 2013. (PMID: 23768151)

Zhang, X., Lu, J., Huang, Y., Zhao, W., Chen, Y., Li, J., Gao, X., Venkataramanan, R., Sun, M., Stolz, D., Zhang, L., and Li, S. PEG-farnesylthiosalicylate conjugate as a nanomicellar carrier for delivery of paclitaxel. Bioconjugate Chemistry 24: 464-472, 2013. (PMID: 23425093)

Gao, X., Huang, Y., Makhov, A.M., Epperly, M., Lu, J., Grab, S., Zhang, P., Rohan, L., Xie, X.Q., Wipf, P., Greenberger, J., and Li, S. Nano-assembly of surfactants with interfacial drug-interactive motifs as tailor-designed drug carriers. Molecular Pharmaceutics 10: 187-198, 2013. (PMID: 23244299)

Lu, J., Huang, Y., Zhao, W., Marquez, R.T., Meng, X., Li, J., Gao, X., Venkataramanan, R., Li, S. PEG-derivatized embelin as a novel nanomicellar carrier for targeted delivery of paclitaxel to breast and prostate cancers. Biomaterials 34: 1591-1600, 2013. (PMID: 23182923)

Li, J., Ghazwani, M., Zhang, Y., Lu, J., Li, J., Fan, J., Gandhi, C.R., and Li, S. miR-122 regulates collagen production via targeting hepatic stellate cells and suppressing P4HA1 expression. Journal of Hepatology 58: 522-528, 2013. (PMID: 23178710)

Huang, Y., Lu, J., Gao, X., Li, J., Zhao, W., Sun, M., Stolz, B.D., Venkataramanan, V., Rohan, L.C., and Li, S. PEG-derivatized embelin as a dual functional carrier for the delivery of paclitaxel. Bioconjugate Chemistry 23: 1443-1451, 2012. (PMID: 22681537)

Zhang, Y., Huang, Y., Zhang, P., Gao, X., Gibbs, R.B., and Li, S. Incorporation of a selective sigma-2 receptor ligand enhances uptake of liposomes by multiple cancer cells. International Journal of Nanomedicine 7: 4473-85, 2012. (PMID: 22927761)

Li, J., Zhang, Y., Kuruba, R., Gao, X., Gandhi, C.R., Xie, W., and Li, S. Roles of miR-29a in the antifibrotic effect of FXR in hepatic stellate cells. Molecular Pharmacology 80: 191-200, 2011. (PMID: 21511916)

Li, J., Wilson, A., Gao, X., Kuruba, R., Liu, Y.H., Poloyac, S., Pitt, B., Xie, W., and Li, S. Coordinated regulation of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-1 and cationic amino acid transporter-1 by farnesoid X receptor in mouse liver and kidney and its implication in the control of blood levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 331: 234-243, 2009. (PMID: 19605523)

Gao, X., Kuruba, R., Achary, D.K., Day, B.W., Liu, D., and Li, S. Polyhydroxylalkyleneamines: a class of hydrophilic polymer-based gene transfer agents. Journal of Controlled Release 137: 38-45, 2009. (PMID: 19332088)

Zhang, Q., He, F., Kuruba, R., Gao, X., Wilson, A., Li, J., Billiar, T.R., Pitt, B.R., Xie, W., and Li, S. FXR-mediated regulation of angiotensin type 2 receptor expression in vascular smooth muscle cells. Cardiovascular Research 77: 560-569, 2008. (PMID: 18006431)

Li, J., Wilson, A., Kuruba, R., Zhang, Q., Gao, X., He, F., Zhang, L.M., Pitt, B.R., Xie, W., and Li, S. FXR-mediated regulation of eNOS expression in vascular endothelial cells. Cardiovascular Research 77: 169-177, 2008. (PMID: 18006476)

He, F., Li, J., Mu, Y., Kuruba, R., Ma, Z., Wilson, A., Alber, S., Jiang, Y., Stevens, T., Watkins, S., Pitt, P., Xie, W., and Li, S. Downregulation of endothelin-1 by farnesoid X receptor in vascular endothelial cells. Circulation Research 98: 192-199, 2006. (PMID: 16357303)

Wilson, A., Zhou, W., Champion, H., Alber, S., Tang Z.-L., Kennel, S., Watkins, S., Huang, L., Pitt, B., and Li, S. Targeted delivery of oligodeoxynucleotides to mouse lung endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo. Molecular Therapy 13: 510-518, 2005. (PMID: 15953766)

Banerjee, R., Tyagi, P., *Li, S., and *Huang, L. Anisamide-targeted stealth liposomes: a potent carrier for targeting doxorubicin to prostate cancer cells. International Journal of Cancer 112: 693-700, 2004 (*co-correspondence author). (PMID: 15382053)

Yang, L., Li, J., Zhou, W., Yuan, X., and Li, S. Targeted delivery of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides to folate receptor-overexpressing tumor cells. Journal of Controlled Release 95: 321-331, 2004. (PMID: 14980780)

R01CA216410 Developing Nano Technology for HER2 Directed Therapy
PI: Ajay Rana (contact PI) & Song Li (co-PI)

R01CA219399 Immunostimulatory Nanocarrier for Breast Cancer Immunochemotherapy
PI: Song Li

R01CA223788 Nanotherapeutics for Synergistic Targeting of Myc in Prostate Cancer
PI: Song Li

RO1 CA239716 Study of Interleukin 33 as A New Immunotherapy of Lung Cancer
PI: Binfeng Lu (contact PI) & Song Li (co-PI)

RO1AI145034 CD4 T Cell-Targeted Nanoparticle in vivo delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editors for HIV Cure
Subaward with Dr. Wenhui Hu (PI) of Temple University