Zejuan Li

Zejuan Li, MD, PhD, FACMG

Associate Professor of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Academic Institute
Associate Clinical Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College

Zejuan Li Lab


Zejuan Li, MD, PhD, serves as the Associate Medical Director of the Houston Methodist Hospital Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory and is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at the Houston Methodist Academic Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College. Prior to joining Houston Methodist in 2018, Dr. Li was an Assistant Professor of Human Genetics and Assistant Director of the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Chicago. Dr. Li is board certified in Clinical Molecular Genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Dr. Li’s research interest is in understanding the pathological mechanisms of leukemia and lymphoma development and the identification of biomarkers for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment prediction of leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumors. Her research has been published in high-impact journals, including Cancer Cell, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nature Communications, Blood, Leukemia, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Genome Research, and Cancer Research. Dr. Li has received awards and funding from the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research.

Dr. Li’s clinical interest is in translating knowledge from basic research to clinical diagnosis. In particular, Dr. Li is interested in developing and implementing cutting-edge technologies to incorporate advanced sequencing platforms, materials, and techniques to improve the genetic and genomic services available to patients. Dr. Li has led the validation and implementation of next-generation sequencing panels and clinical exome sequencing for hereditary cancers and tumors.

Dr. Li serves on the editorial boards of several journals and is an active member of the Association for Molecular Pathology, the American College of Medical Genetics, and the American Society of Hematology. She also serves on the ClinGen Myeloid Malignancy Variant Curation Expert Panel.

Description of Research

Dr. Li’s laboratory research focuses on two areas. One is the discovery of novel genetic and epigenetic biomarkers for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of cancer patients. The other is the delineation of the underlying pathological mechanisms of leukemia and lymphoma through in vitro and in vivo studies exploring the roles of protein-coding and non-coding genes.

Areas Of Expertise

Epigenetics Biomarkers Leukemia Molecular genetics Cancer genetics

Classification of Acute Myeloid Leukemia by Cell-Free DNA 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine
Shao, J, Shah, S, Ganguly, S, Zu, Y, He, C & Li, Z 2023, , Genes, vol. 14, no. 6, 1180. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14061180

Cell-free DNA 5-hydroxymethylcytosine as a marker for common cancer detection
Shao, J, Bernicker, EH, He, C & Li, Z 2022, , Clinical and Translational Discovery, vol. 2, no. 4, e136. https://doi.org/10.1002/ctd2.136

Revision of RUNX1 variant curation rules
the Myeloid Malignancy Variant Curation Expert Panel 2022, , Blood Advances, vol. 6, no. 16, pp. 4726-4730. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2022008017

Exome sequencing identifies PD-L2 as a potential predisposition gene for lymphoma
Shao, J, Gao, L, Leung, ML, Gallinger, B, Inglese, C, Meyn, MS, Del Gaudio, D, Das, S & Li, Z 2022, , Hematological Oncology, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 475-478. https://doi.org/10.1002/hon.3033

Cell-free DNA 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is an emerging marker of acute myeloid leukemia
Shao, J, Wang, S, West-Szymanski, D, Karpus, J, Shah, S, Ganguly, S, Smith, J, Zu, Y, He, C & Li, Z 2022, , Scientific Reports, vol. 12, no. 1, 12410, pp. 12410. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-16685-3

Prognostic value of KIT and other clonal genetic mutations in core-binding factor acute myeloid leukemia
Wu, TM, Xue, SL, Li, Z, Yu, JQ, Wang, J, Wang, BR, Wan, CL, Shen, XD, Qiu, QC, Bao, XB & Wu, DP 2021, , Zhonghua xue ye xue za zhi = Zhonghua xueyexue zazhi, vol. 42, no. 8, pp. 646-653. https://doi.org/10.3760/cma.j.issn.0253-2727.2021.08.006

Prognostic value of KIT and other clonal genetic mutations in core-binding factor acute myeloid leukemia
Wu, TM, Xue, SL, Li, Z, Yu, JQ, Wang, J, Wang, BR, Wan, CL, Shen, XD, Qiu, QC, Bao, XB & Wu, DP 2021, , Zhonghua xue ye xue za zhi = Zhonghua xueyexue zazhi, vol. 42, no. 8, pp. 646-653. https://doi.org/10.3760/cma.j.issn.0253-2727.2021.08.006

R-2-hydroxyglutarate attenuates aerobic glycolysis in leukemia by targeting the FTO/m6A/PFKP/LDHB axis
Qing, Y, Dong, L, Gao, L, Li, C, Li, Y, Han, L, Prince, E, Tan, B, Deng, X, Wetzel, C, Shen, C, Gao, M, Chen, Z, Li, W, Zhang, B, Braas, D, ten Hoeve, J, Sanchez, GJ, Chen, H, Chan, LN, Chen, CW, Ann, D, Jiang, L, Müschen, M, Marcucci, G, Plas, DR, Li, Z, Su, R & Chen, J 2021, , Molecular Cell, vol. 81, no. 5, pp. 922-939.e9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2020.12.026

Identifying possible germline variants from tumor-only sequencing of hematological malignancies
Shao, J, Subedi, S, Pepper, K, Badgett, S, Christensen, PA, Hendrickson, HL, Thomas, JS, Olsen, RJ & Li, Z 2021, , Leukemia and Lymphoma, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 482-485. https://doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1832665

Germline variants drive myelodysplastic syndrome in young adults
Feurstein, S, Churpek, JE, Walsh, T, Keel, S, Hakkarainen, M, Schroeder, T, Germing, U, Geyh, S, Heuser, M, Thol, F, Pohlkamp, C, Haferlach, T, Gao, J, Owen, C, Goehring, G, Schlegelberger, B, Verma, D, Krause, DS, Gao, G, Cronin, T, Gulsuner, S, Lee, M, Pritchard, CC, Subramanian, HP, del Gaudio, D, Li, Z, Das, S, Kilpivaara, O, Wartiovaara-Kautto, U, Wang, ES, Griffiths, EA, Döhner, K, Döhner, H, King, MC & Godley, LA 2021, , Leukemia, vol. 35, no. 8, pp. 2439-2444. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01137-0

Telomere biology disorder prevalence and phenotypes in adults with familial hematologic and/or pulmonary presentations
Feurstein, S, Adegunsoye, A, Mojsilovic, D, Vij, R, West DePersia, AH, Rajagopal, PS, Osman, A, Collins, RH, Kim, RH, Gore, SD, Greenberg, P, Godley, LA, Li, Z, Del Gaudio, D, Subramanian, HP, Das, S, Walsh, T, Gulsuner, S, Segal, JP, Husain, AN, Gurbuxani, S, King, MC, Strek, ME & Churpek, JE 2020, , Blood Advances, vol. 4, no. 19, pp. 4883-4886. https://doi.org/10.1182/BLOODADVANCES.2020001721

Targeting FTO Suppresses Cancer Stem Cell Maintenance and Immune Evasion
Su, R, Dong, L, Li, Y, Gao, M, Han, L, Wunderlich, M, Deng, X, Li, H, Huang, Y, Gao, L, Li, C, Zhao, Z, Robinson, S, Tan, B, Qing, Y, Qin, X, Prince, E, Xie, J, Qin, H, Li, W, Shen, C, Sun, J, Kulkarni, P, Weng, H, Huang, H, Chen, Z, Zhang, B, Wu, X, Olsen, MJ, Müschen, M, Marcucci, G, Salgia, R, Li, L, Fathi, AT, Li, Z, Mulloy, JC, Wei, M, Horne, D & Chen, J 2020, , Cancer Cell, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 79-96.e11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2020.04.017

Development and validation of Houston Methodist Variant Viewer version 3: Updates to our application for interpretation of next-generation sequencing data
Christensen, PA, Subedi, S, Pepper, K, Hendrickson, HL, Li, Z, Thomas, JS, Wesley Long, S & Olsen, RJ 2020, , JAMIA Open, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 299-305. https://doi.org/10.1093/jamiaopen/ooaa004

ClinGen Myeloid Malignancy Variant Curation Expert Panel recommendations for germline RUNX1 variants
Luo, X, Feurstein, S, Mohan, S, Porter, CC, Jackson, SA, Keel, S, Chicka, M, Brown, AL, Kesserwan, C, Agarwal, A, Luo, M, Li, Z, Ross, JE, Baliakas, P, Pineda-Alvarez, D, DiNardo, CD, Bertuch, AA, Mehta, N, Vulliamy, T, Wang, Y, Nichols, KE, Malcovati, L, Walsh, MF, Rawlings, LH, McWeeney, SK, Soulier, J, Raimbault, A, Routbort, MJ, Zhang, L, Ryan, G, Speck, NA, Plon, SE, Wu, D & Godley, LA 2019, , Blood Advances, vol. 3, no. 20, pp. 2962-2979. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000644

Somatic mutation panels: Time to clear their names
Trottier, AM, Cavalcante de Andrade Silva, M, Li, Z & Godley, LA 2019, , Cancer Genetics, vol. 235-236, pp. 84-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cancergen.2019.04.065

Targeted exome analysis identifies the genetic basis of disease in over 50% of patients with a wide range of ataxia-related phenotypes
Sun, M, Johnson, AK, Nelakuditi, V, Guidugli, L, Fischer, D, Arndt, K, Ma, L, Sandford, E, Shakkottai, V, Boycott, K, Chardon, JW, Li, Z, del Gaudio, D, Burmeister, M, Gomez, CM, Waggoner, DJ & Das, S 2019, , Genetics in Medicine, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 195-206. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41436-018-0007-7

Frequency of germline mutations in cancer susceptibility genes in malignant mesothelioma
Panou, V, Gadiraju, M, Wolin, A, Weipert, CM, Skarda, E, Husain, AN, Patel, JD, Rose, B, Zhang, SR, Weatherly, M, Nelakuditi, V, Johnson, AK, Helgeson, M, Fischer, D, Desai, A, Sulai, N, Ritterhouse, L, Røe, OD, Turaga, KK, Huo, D, Segal, J, Kadri, S, Li, Z, Kindler, HL & Churpek, JE 2018, , Journal of Clinical Oncology, vol. 36, no. 28, pp. 2863-2871. https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2018.78.5204

RNA N6-methyladenosine modification in cancers: current status and perspectives
Deng, X, Su, R, Weng, H, Huang, H, Li, Z & Chen, J 2018, , Cell Research, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 507-517. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-018-0034-6

Erratum: Publisher Correction: miR-196b directly targets both HOXA9/MEIS1 oncogenes and FAS tumour suppressor in MLL-rearranged leukaemia (Nature communications (2012) 3 (688))
Li, Z, Huang, H, Chen, P, He, M, Li, Y, Arnovitz, S, Jiang, X, He, C, Hyjek, E, Zhang, J, Zhang, Z, Elkahloun, A, Cao, D, Shen, C, Wunderlich, M, Wang, Y, Neilly, MB, Jin, J, Wei, M, Lu, J, Valk, PJM, Delwel, R, Lowenberg, B, Le Beau, MM, Vardiman, J, Mulloy, JC, Zeleznik-Le, NJ, Liu, PP, Zhang, J & Chen, J 2018, , Nature Communications, vol. 9, 16192, pp. 16192. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms16192

Molecular characterization of HDAC8 deletions in individuals with atypical Cornelia de Lange syndrome
Helgeson, M, Keller-Ramey, J, Knight Johnson, A, Lee, JA, Magner, DB, Deml, B, Deml, J, Hu, YY, Li, Z, Donato, K, Das, S, Laframboise, R, Tremblay, S, Krantz, I, Noon, S, Hoganson, G, Burton, J, Schaaf, CP & Del Gaudio, D 2018, , Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 349-356. https://doi.org/10.1038/s10038-017-0387-6