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Xian Chang Li, MD, PhD

Professor of Transplant Immunology in Surgery, Institute for Academic Medicine
Full Member, Research Institute
Director, Immunobiology & Transplant Science Center
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


Dr. Xian C. Li is the director of the Immunobiology & Transplant Science Center at Houston Methodist Research Institute. Dr. Li served as deputy director of the Transplant Research Center at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School before joining Houston Methodist. Dr. Li completed his medical training in China before joining the transplant team at London Health Science Center and the University of Western Ontario in Canada to do his doctoral training in transplant immunology. He then joined the research team at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, serving on the faculty until 2012.

Dr. Xian C. Li’s lab studies the fundamental mechanisms of transplant rejection and transplant tolerance, the goal of his team is to re-educate patients’ immune system to accept organ transplants without taking life-long immunosuppressive drugs.

Dr. Li has published more than 100 original papers, review articles, and book chapters in high impact journals. He is routinely invited to speak and serves on leadership committees for national and international scientific meetings. He has received awards in recognition of his contribution to transplant immunology including the American Society of Transplantation Young Investigator Award, the American Society of Transplantation Wyeth Basic Science Investigator Award, and AST/Wyeth Achievement Award.

Dr. Li is active in professional organizations and has served as a committee member for the basic science advisory council and grants executive committee of the American Society of Transplantation, a standing member of the American Association of Immunologists and The Transplantation Society, a member of Faculty 1000 for Immunology. He is also an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Immunology, and is a standing member of the NIH Transplantation, Tolerance and Tumor Immunology study section. He serves on the editorial boards of Transplantation, Transplantation Research, and Cellular & Molecular Immunology.

Description of Research

Dr. Li’s research program seeks to identify new mechanisms and pathways that control immune activation and immune regulation. His team develops new therapeutic protocols that support transplant survival without life-long immunosuppression. His lab has identified several molecular pathways that are critical to the immune recognition of transplants.

Areas Of Expertise

Transplant Immunology Regulatory cell function Allograft rejection Tolerance induction
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship , Harvard University
MD , Qingdao Medical School, Qingdao, China
Postdoctoral Fellowship , University of Toronto
Research Fellowship , University of Western Ontario
PhD , Western University, London, Canada

Volatile Organic Gases as Bioindicators for Transplant Rejection

Patent Number: US20150031582 A1, Jan 29 2015


Longitudinal Assessment of T Cell Inhibitory Receptors in Liver Transplant Recipients and their association with Post-transplant Infections
Mysore, KR, Ghobrial, RM, Kannanganat, S, Minze, LJ, Graviss, EA, Nguyen, DT, Perez, KK & Li, XC 2017, American Journal of Transplantation. DOI: 10.1111/ajt.14546

Adipocyte adaptive immunity mediates diet-induced adipose inflammation and insulin resistance by decreasing adipose Treg cells
Deng, T, Liu, J, Deng, Y, Minze, LJ, Xiao, X, Wright, V, Yu, R, Li, XC, Blaszczak, A, Bergin, S, DiSilvestro, D, Judd, R, Bradley, D, Caligiuri, M, Lyon, CJ & Hsueh, WA 2017, Nature Communications, vol 8, 15725. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15725

TNF superfamily receptor OX40 triggers invariant NKT cell pyroptosis and liver injury
Lan, P, Fan, Y, Zhao, Y, Lou, X, Monsour, HP, Zhang, X, Choi, Y, Dou, Y, Ishii, N, Ghobrial, RM, Xiao, X & Li, XC 2017, The Journal of clinical investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI91075

Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptors in human diseases: An overview of their distribution, function, and potential application for immunotherapies
Zhang, J, Mai, S, Chen, HM, Kang, K, Li, XC, Chen, SH & Pan, PY 2017, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, vol 102, no. 2, pp. 351-360. DOI: 10.1189/jlb.5MR1216-534R

Modulation of innate immune cells to create transplant tolerance
Zhao, Y, Lan, P & Li, XC 2017, . in B Corradetti (ed.), Immune response to implanted materials and devices. Springer International Publishing, pp. 125-150.

Macrophages as effector cells in acute and chronic rejection.
Liu, Y, Kloc, M & Li, XC 2016, Topical Collection on Immunology, no. 4, vol. 3, vol. 3, Springer International Publishing. DOI: 10.1007/s40472-016-0130-9

Identification of a role for TRIM29 in the control of innate immunity in the respiratory tract
Xing, J, Weng, L, Yuan, B, Wang, Z, Jia, L, Jin, R, Lu, H, Li, XC, Liu, Y-J & Zhang, Z 2016, Nature Immunology, vol 17, no. 12, pp. 1373-1380. DOI: 10.1038/ni.3580

Dissonant response of M0/M2 and M1 bone-marrow-derived macrophages to RhoA pathway interference
Liu, Y, Chen, W, Minze, LJ, Kubiak, JZ, Li, XC, Ghobrial, RM & Kloc, M 2016, Cell and Tissue Research, pp. 1-14. DOI: 10.1007/s00441-016-2491-x

Graft-Infiltrating Macrophages Adopt an M2 Phenotype and Are Inhibited by Purinergic Receptor P2X7 Antagonist in Chronic Rejection
Wu, C, Zhao, Y, Xiao, X, Fan, Y, Kloc, M, Liu, W, Ghobrial, RM, Lan, P, He, X & Li, XC 2016, American Journal of Transplantation, vol 16, no. 9, pp. 2563-2573. DOI: 10.1111/ajt.13808

The Costimulatory Receptor OX40 Inhibits Interleukin-17 Expression through Activation of Repressive Chromatin Remodeling Pathways
Xiao, X, Shi, X, Fan, Y, Wu, C, Zhang, X, Minze, L, Liu, W, Ghobrial, RM, Lan, P & Li, XC 2016, Immunity, vol 44, no. 6, pp. 1271-1283. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.05.013

The Emerging Role of Nanotechnology in Cell and Organ Transplantation
Tasciotti, E, Cabrera, FJ, Evangelopoulos, M, Martinez, JO, Thekkedath, UR, Kloc Stepkowska, M, Ghobrial, RM, Li, XC, Grattoni, A & Ferrari, M 2016, Transplantation. DOI: 10.1097/TP.0000000000001100

Mouse macrophage polarity and ROCK1 activity depend on RhoA and non-apoptotic Caspase 3
Liu, Y, Minze, LJ, Mumma, L, Li, XC, Ghobrial, RM & Kloc Stepkowska, M 2016, Experimental Cell Research, vol 341, no. 2, pp. 225-236. DOI: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2016.02.004

ROCK inhibition impedes macrophage polarity and functions
Liu, Y, Tejpal, N, You, J, Li, XC, Ghobrial, RM & Kloc, M 2016, Cellular Immunology, vol 300, pp. 54-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2015.12.005

Efficacy and cost-effectiveness of voriconazole prophylaxis for prevention of invasive aspergillosis in high-risk liver transplant recipients
Balogh, J, Gordon Burroughs, S, Boktour, M, Patel, S, Saharia, A, Ochoa, RA, McFadden, R, Victor, DW, Ankoma-Sey, V, Galati, J, Monsour, HP, Fainstein, V, Li, XC, Grimes, KA, Gaber, AO, Aloia, T & Ghobrial, RM 2016, Liver Transplantation, vol 22, no. 2, pp. 163-170. DOI: 10.1002/lt.24365

Hepatocellular carcinoma: a review
Balogh, J, Victor, III, DW, Asham, EH, Burroughs, SG, Boktour, M, Saharia, A, Li, X, Ghobrial, RM & Monsour, HP 2016, Journal of hepatocellular carcinoma, vol 3, pp. 41-53. DOI: 10.2147/JHC.S61146

AST Transplant Immunology
Li, XC 2015, . Wiley-Blackwell.

Li, XC & Jevnikar, AM 2015, . in Transplant Immunology. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. xiv. DOI: 10.1002/9781119072997

Transplant Immunology
Li, XC & Jevnikar, AM 2015, . Wiley-Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781119072997

Type 1 diabetes and T regulatory cells
Elessawy, B & Li, XC 2015, Pharmacological Research, vol 98, pp. 22-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.phrs.2015.04.009

Porous Silicon Microparticle Potentiates Anti-Tumor Immunity by Enhancing Cross-Presentation and Inducing Type I Interferon Response
Xia, X, Mai, J, Xu, R, Perez, JET, Guevara, ML, Shen, Q, Mu, C, Tung, HY, Corry, DB, Evans, SE, Liu, X, Ferrari, M, Zhang, Z, Li, XC, Wang, RF & Shen, H 2015, Cell Reports, vol 11, no. 6, pp. 957-966. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.04.009