The Principal Investigator


Yi-Ping Li, PhD

Yi-Ping Li, PhD


- B.S., Zhejiang University, P.R. China
- Ph.D. (Molecular Genetics), Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, the Academy of Sciences of China, P.R. China
- Post-doctoral Research Training (Medical Genetics), Department of Immunology at the Forsyth Institute, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston



About our Research

Dr. Li’s research covers a large scope of topics, including bone biology, osteoimmunology, skeleto-muscular development, brain and craniofacial development, tumorigenesis and cancer metastasis, and anti-cancer drug discovery. Dr. Li’s research specifically focuses on characterizing the roles of bone related genes, including transcription factors, signaling regulators,  and function genes in osteoclasts, chondrocytes and osteoblasts lineage commitment, differentiation, and function. Furthermore, his research also focuses on studying the roles of bone genes in craniofacial development, musculoskeletal development, cancer immunotherapy, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, periodontitis, and endodontic disease.

Our current research interests focus on mouse model studies of pathological and physiological conditions including Rheumatoid arthritis, aging-related osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, endodontic disease, and periodontitis. Further, characterizing the roles of bone related genes including signaling regulators (RGS10, Gα13),  transcription factors (ZNF9, C/EBPα, Cbfβ, Runx1),and function genes (Cathepsin K, ATP6i, MMP9) in cells (fibroblasts, osteoclasts, chondrocytes and osteoblasts) lineage maintenance, differentiation, function, activation, craniofacial development, musculoskeletal development, and osteolytic diseases. Moreover, our research interests also focus on AAV-mediated gene therapy approaches for periodontal tissue and alveolar bone regeneration, and treat other osteolytic and inflammatory diseases via cell therapy, gene therapy, and immunotherapy; as well as studying the Gα13 signaling cascade in OCs by characterization of G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) coupled with Gα13, and characterizing the mechanism underlying the role of Gα13 in RA pathogenesis through analysis of bone erosion and inflammation.

About me

Dr. Yi-Ping Li is a tenured full professor, Director of Division in Cellular and Molecular Medicine in Department of Pathology, Director of the Center for Immunity and Musculoskeletal Diseases in Tulane University School of Medicine, and Dean’s endowed chair professor. During his time at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) he was an endowed Jay McDonald Professor; Co-Director of the Global Center for Craniofacial, Oral and Dental Diseases, UAB; and Associate Director of the NIH T32 Program entitled "Training Program in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases Research" at UAB. He was also an adjunct professor at The Forsyth Institute, which is affiliated with Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Before joining UAB, Dr. Li was a tenured senior member of the staff (Professor) in the Department of Cytokine Biology, at the Forsyth Institute, Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Li received his BS degree from Zhejiang University and his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, the Academy of Sciences of China. Dr. Li then pursued his postdoctoral research training in the laboratory of Dr. Philip Stashenko in the Department of Immunology at the Forsyth Institute.