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Linheng Li

B.S., Biology, Fudan University
M.S., Molecular and Cellular Biology, New York University Medical School
Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology, New York University Medical School

Portrait of Linheng Li

Stowers provides one of the best support systems for a scientist, not just financially, but also technologically and culturally

Research Areas

Development and Regeneration, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular and Cell Biology

Courses Taught

Laboratory Rotation; Thesis Laboratory



The University of Kansas Cancer Center Director’s William Jewell Team Science Award


The University of Kansas Cancer Center Director’s Outstanding Basic Science Award


Fellow, American Gastroenterological Association


Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science


Basil O’Connor Scholar


Hudson Prize


Award for Excellence in Life Science, Missouri Biotechnology Association

Linheng Li, Ph.D., joined the Stowers Institute in 2000, and is an Investigator and faculty member of the graduate school.

Among the first scientists appointed to the Stowers faculty, Li is an internationally recognized leader on the biology of adult stem cells and the specialized niches that harbor stem cells in many organs and tissues of humans and other mammals.

Li earned a B.S. in biology and genetics from Fudan University in Shanghai and an M.S. and Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from New York University. He completed his postdoctoral training under Leroy Hood, Ph.D., the “father” of automatic DNA sequencing, at the University of Washington. In collaboration with Irv Weissman, Ph.D., at Stanford University, Li explored the mysterious stem cells by investigating specific genes expressed in stem cells via large scale sequencing.

Li is an active member of the Kansas City community. He serves as liaison between the Stowers Institute and The University of Kansas Cancer Center and co-leads the center’s cancer biology program.

Featured Publications

Tumor-initiating stem cell shapes its microenvironment into an immunosuppressive barrier and pro-tumorigenic niche

He X, Smith SE, Chen S, Li H, Wu D, Meneses-Giles PI, Wang Y, Hembree M, Yi K, Zhao X, Guo F, Unruh JR, Maddera LE, Yu Z, Scott A, Perera A, Wang Y, Zhao C, Bae K, Box A, Haug JS, Tao F, Hu D, Hansen DM, Qian P, Saha S, Dixon D, Anant S, Zhang D, Lin EH, Sun W, Wiedemann LM, Li L. Cell Rep. 2021;36:109674.doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109674.

Overcoming Wnt-beta-catenin dependent anticancer therapy resistance in leukaemia stem cells

Perry JM, Tao F, Roy A, Lin T, He XC, Chen S, Lu X, Nemechek J, Ruan L, Yu X, Dukes D, Moran A, Pace J, Schroeder K, Zhao M, Venkatraman A, Qian P, Li Z, Hembree M, Paulson A, He Z, Xu D, Tran TH, Deshmukh P, Nguyen CT, Kasi RM, Ryan R, Broward M, Ding S, Guest E, August K, Gamis AS, Godwin A, Sittampalam GS, Weir SJ, Li L. Nat Cell Biol. 2020;22:689-700

N-Cadherin-Expressing Bone and Marrow Stromal Progenitor Cells Maintain Reserve Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Zhao M, Tao F, Venkatraman A, Li Z, Smith SE, Unruh J, Chen S, Ward C, Qian P, Perry JM, Marshall H, Wang J, He XC, Li L. Cell Rep. 2019;26:652-669 e656.

Retinoid-Sensitive Epigenetic Regulation of the Hoxb Cluster Maintains Normal Hematopoiesis and Inhibits Leukemogenesis

Qian P, De Kumar B, He XC, Nolte C, Gogol M, Ahn Y, Chen S, Li Z, Xu H, Perry JM, Hu D, Tao F, Zhao M, Han Y, Hall K, Peak A, Paulson A, Zhao C, Venkatraman A, Box A, Perera A, Haug JS, Parmely T, Li H, Krumlauf R, Li L. Cell Stem Cell. 2018;22:740-754 e747.

Suppression of m(6)A reader Ythdf2 promotes hematopoietic stem cell expansion

Li Z, Qian P, Shao W, Shi H, He XC, Gogol M, Yu Z, Wang Y, Qi M, Zhu Y, Perry JM, Zhang K, Tao F, Zhou K, Hu D, Han Y, Zhao C, Alexander R, Xu H, Chen S, Peak A, Hall K, Peterson M, Perera A, Haug JS, Parmely T, Li H, Shen B, Zeitlinger J, He C, Li L. Cell Res. 2018. Author Correction: Cell Res 2018:1-14. Published online July 2018.;28:904-917.

The Dlk1-Gtl2 Locus Preserves LT-HSC Function by Inhibiting the PI3K-mTOR Pathway to Restrict Mitochondrial Metabolism.

Qian P, He XC, Paulson A, Li Z, Tao F, Perry JM, Guo F, Zhao M, Zhi L, Venkatraman A, Haug JS, Parmely T, Li H, Dobrowsky RT, Ding WX, Kono T, Ferguson-Smith AC, Li L. Cell Stem Cell. 2016;18:214-228.

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