Xian Chang Li

Xian Chang Li, MD, PhD

Max and Lillie Frosch Centennial Chair in Transplant Research, Immunobiology & Transplant Science Center
Professor of Transplant Immunology in Surgery, Academic Institute
Full Member, Research Institute
Director, Immunobiology & Transplant Science Center
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


Dr. Xian C. Li is professor of immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University in New York and director of the Immunobiology & Transplant Science Center at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston Texas. He also serves as the vice chair of research in the department of surgery and holds the Max Lillie Frosch Centennial Chair in transplant research at Houston Methodist. Dr. Li has an excellent academic credential; he completed his medical training in China and then joined the Multi-organ Transplant Program in London Health Science Center at University of Western Ontario in Canada, where Dr. Li further obtained his PhD degree in pathology. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Boston Massachusetts where he held faculty appointments at Harvard till 2013. Before moving to Houston Methodist, Dr. Li was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Deputy Director of the Transplant Research Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Li has a long track record of excellence in transplant research. He has published extensively in areas of immunology and transplantation, with over 170 original research papers, review articles and book chapters published, and some of the papers are published in high impact journals, which include Science, Nature Medicine, Nature Immunology, Immunity, Cell Reports, Nature Communications, J Exp Med, J Clin Invest, Nature Reviews, PNAS, Blood, Immunol Reviews, Trends in Immunology, etc. Dr. Li has made substantial contributions to the transplant community. He has been an organizer, chair, and speaker of numerous scientific meetings and he is routinely invited to speak about his research at leading institutions nationally and internationally. He has received many awards in recognition of his contributions to transplant research, which include American Society of Transplantation (AST) Young Investigator Award, AST/Wyeth Basic Science Investigator Award, and AST/Wyeth Achievement Award.

Dr. Li is an active member of multiple professional societies. He has served as a committee member of the AST Basic Science Advisory council, co-chair of AST composite tissue transplantation committee, chair of AST Grant Executive Committee, chair of American Transplant Congress (ATC) joint executive planning committee, and chair of ATC 2018 in Seattle. Dr. Li is currently a standing member of American Association of Immunologists (AAI) and the transplant society (TTS), a member of Faculty 1000 in immunology. He is also an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), an honorary society for physician scientists in the United States. He has been a standing member of the Cellular and Molecular Immunology (CMI), and Transplantation, Tolerance and Tumor immunology (TTT) study sections at the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense (DOD) and Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) grant review panels. He has also served as an associate editor for the Journal of Immunology and Cell Mol Immunol. He is now an editorial board member for the journal of Transplantation, American Journal of Transplantation.

Description of Research

Dr. Xian C. Li’s research is focused on uncovering the fundamental mechanisms of transplant rejection and transplant tolerance, the goal of his team is to develop new and innovative protocols that allow the immune system to be therapeutically reprogrammed, such that the transplant patients could accept organ transplants without taking life-long immunosuppression drugs.

Areas Of Expertise

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

Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University
MD, Qingdao Medical School, Qingdao, China
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


Identification of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 9 (PARP9) as a noncanonical sensor for RNA virus in dendritic cells
Xing, J, Zhang, A, Du, Y, Fang, M, Minze, LJ, Liu, Y-J, Li, XC & Zhang, Z 2021, , Nature Communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 2681, pp. 2681. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23003-4

The pursuit of regulatory t cells in the induction of transplant tolerance
Arnold, PR & Li, XC 2021, . in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 1278, Springer, pp. 273-287. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-6407-9_14

Neovascularized implantable cell homing encapsulation platform with tunable local immunosuppressant delivery for allogeneic cell transplantation
Paez-Mayorga, J, Capuani, S, Hernandez, N, Farina, M, Chua, YX, Blanchard, R, Sizovs, A, Liu, HC, Fraga, DW, Niles, JA, Salazar, HF, Corradetti, B, Sikora, AG, Kloc, M, Li, XC, Gaber, AO, Nichols, J & Grattoni, A 2020, , Biomaterials, vol. 257, 120232. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2020.120232

Epigenetically modifying the Foxp3 locus for generation of stable antigen-specific Tregs as cellular therapeutics
Chen, S, Zhang, L, Ying, Y, Wang, Y, Arnold, PR, Wang, G, Li, J, Ghobrial, RM, Chen, W, Xiao, X & Li, XC 2020, , American Journal of Transplantation, vol. 20, no. 9, pp. 2366-2379. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajt.15845

Delayed implantation of pumped kidneys decreases renal allograft futility in combined liver-kidney transplantation
Lunsford, KE, Agopian, VG, Yi, S, Nguyen, DTM, Graviss, EA, Harlander-Locke, MP, Saharia, A, Kaldas, FM, Mobley, CM, Zarrinpar, A, Hobeika, MJ, Veale, JL, Podder, H, Farmer, DG, Knight, RJ, Danovitch, GM, Gritsch, HA, Li, XC, Ghobrial, RM, Busuttil, RW & Gaber, AO 2020, , Transplantation, vol. 104, no. 8, pp. 1591-1603. https://doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000003040

PIRs mediate innate myeloid cell memory to nonself MHC molecules
Dai, H, Lan, P, Zhao, D, Abou-Daya, K, Liu, W, Chen, W, Friday, AJ, Williams, AL, Sun, T, Chen, J, Chen, W, Mortin-Toth, S, Danska, JS, Wiebe, C, Nickerson, P, Li, T, Mathews, LR, Turnquist, HR, Nicotra, ML, Gingras, S, Takayama, E, Kubagawa, H, Shlomchik, MJ, Oberbarnscheidt, MH, Li, XC & Lakkis, FG 2020, , Science, vol. 368, no. 6495, pp. 1122-1127. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aax4040

Innate Allorecognition and Memory in Transplantation
Zhao, D, Abou-Daya, KI, Dai, H, Oberbarnscheidt, MH, Li, XC & Lakkis, FG 2020, , Frontiers in immunology, vol. 11, 918. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00918

EphA2 phosphorylates NLRP3 and inhibits inflammasomes in airway epithelial cells
Zhang, A, Xing, J, Xia, T, Zhang, H, Fang, M, Li, S, Du, Y, Li, XC, Zhang, Z & Zeng, M-S 2020, , EMBO Reports, pp. e49666. https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.201949666

T cell exhaustion is associated with antigen abundance and promotes transplant acceptance
Zou, D, Dai, Y, Zhang, X, Wang, G, Xiao, X, Jia, P, Li, XC, Guo, Z & Chen, W 2020, , American Journal of Transplantation, vol. 20, no. 9, pp. 2540-2550. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajt.15870

The many shades of macrophages in regulating transplant outcome
Chen, S, Lakkis, FG & Li, XC 2020, , Cellular Immunology, vol. 349, 104064. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cellimm.2020.104064

T follicular helper and memory cell responses and the mTOR pathway in murine heart transplantation
Xie, A, Yan, H, Fu, J, He, A, Xiao, X, Li, XC & Chen, W 2020, , Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 134-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2019.11.017

Diversity and Emerging Roles of Enhancer RNA in Regulation of Gene Expression and Cell Fate
Arnold, PR, Wells, AD & Li, XC 2020, , Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, vol. 7, 377. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2019.00377

The transcription factor RelB restrains group 2 innate lymphoid cells and type 2 immune pathology in vivo
Zhang, L, Ying, Y, Chen, S, Arnold, PR, Tian, F, Minze, LJ, Xiao, X & Li, XC 2021, , Cellular and Molecular Immunology, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 230-242. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41423-020-0404-0

An unexpected partnership: MHC class II molecules as ligands for NK cells
Wu, C & Li, XC 2020, , Transplantation, pp. 229-230. https://doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000002973

The First Case of Ischemia-Free Kidney Transplantation in Humans
He, X, Chen, G, Zhu, Z, Zhang, Z, Yuan, X, Han, M, Zhao, Q, Zheng, Y, Tang, Y, Huang, S, Wang, L, van Leeuwen, OB, Wang, X, Chen, C, Mo, L, Jiao, X, Li, X, Wang, C, Huang, J, Cui, J & Guo, Z 2019, , Frontiers in Medicine, vol. 6, 276. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2019.00276

Adaptive features of innate immune cells and their relevance to graft rejection
Wang, G, Kong, G & Li, XC 2019, , Current opinion in organ transplantation, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 664-669. https://doi.org/10.1097/MOT.0000000000000707

Identification of the E3 ligase TRIM29 as a critical checkpoint regulator of NK cell functions
Dou, Y, Xing, J, Kong, G, Wang, G, Lou, X, Xiao, X, Vivier, E, Li, XC & Zhang, Z 2019, , Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), vol. 203, no. 4, pp. 873-880. https://doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1900171

Biomarkers for chronic rejection: In angiotensin proteins we trust?
Li, XC 2019, , Transplantation, vol. 103, no. 6, pp. 1082-1083. https://doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000002677

Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of immune tolerance: roles of the NF-?B family members
Zhang, L, Xiao, X, Arnold, PR & Li, XC 2019, , Cellular and Molecular Immunology, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 315-323. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41423-019-0202-8

Coinhibition of mTORC1/mTORC2 and RhoA /ROCK pathways prevents chronic rejection of rat cardiac allografts
Chen, W, Chen, W, Li, XC, Ghobrial, RM & Kloc, M 2018, , Transplantation Reports, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 21-28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tpr.2018.09.002