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Cuiling Li, Ph.D.

Scientific Focus Areas: Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Stem Cell Biology

Professional Experience

  • Biologist, Genetics of Development and Disease Branch, NIDDK, NIH, 2015-present
  • Biologist, Mammalian Genetics Section, GDDB, NIDDK, NIH, 2006-2015
  • Research Associate, Contractor, Mammalian Genetics Section, GDDB, NIDDK, NIH, 2004-2006
  • BIO-TRAC training course: Transgenic Technology: Method and Application, FAES Graduate School at NIH, 2000
  • Research Fellow, GDDB, NIDDK, NIH, 1998-2004
  • Visiting Fellow, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Metabolism, NIDDK, NIH, 1996-1998
  • Certificate, Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1993
  • Research Assistant, School of Pharmacy, Medical University, 1992-1994
  • B.S., Shanghai Medical University, School of Pharmacy, 1992

Current Research

Our facility supports NIDDK intramural researchers in their efforts to generate genetically modified mice. We have replaced the original way to modify genes through targeting in ES cells, with CRISPR/Cas9 technology to achieve the same goals in a much quicker fashion (time is shortened from about 6 months to 6 weeks). This new technology is rapidly being improved and we are implementing the latest advancements. The facility will superovulate donor mice, harvest single cell embryos and inject CRISPR reagents. Surviving embryos will be implanted into pseudopregnant females. Tail biopsies from the pups will be given to the investigator for genotyping to identify potential founder mice.

Select Publications

SIRT4 has tumor-suppressive activity and regulates the cellular metabolic response to DNA damage by inhibiting mitochondrial glutamine metabolism.
Jeong SM, Xiao C, Finley LW, Lahusen T, Souza AL, Pierce K, Li YH, Wang X, Laurent G, German NJ, Xu X, Li C, Wang RH, Lee J, Csibi A, Cerione R, Blenis J, Clish CB, Kimmelman A, Deng CX, Haigis MC.
Cancer Cell (2013 Apr 15) 23:450-63. Abstract/Full Text
SIRT2 maintains genome integrity and suppresses tumorigenesis through regulating APC/C activity.
Kim HS, Vassilopoulos A, Wang RH, Lahusen T, Xiao Z, Xu X, Li C, Veenstra TD, Li B, Yu H, Ji J, Wang XW, Park SH, Cha YI, Gius D, Deng CX.
Cancer Cell (2011 Oct 18) 20:487-99. Abstract/Full Text
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Research in Plain Language

Mice, humans, and most mammals—including dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and apes—have roughly the same number of nucleotides in their genomes: about 3 billion base pairs. This comparable DNA content implies that all mammals contain more or less the same number of genes. Inherited human diseases can be caused by a single alteration in one DNA molecule, leading to inheritance of sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, breast cancer, and many other diseases.

Because mouse and humans share about 85 percent of the same genes, we can idendify the gene in a mouse model, modify it (or create mutations), then transfer that mutation from generation to generation of study mice. By targeting these modified genes in mouse models, scientists can study human diseases safely and learn how to treat or prevent certain illnesses.