Qianhong Li, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA

Associate Professor of Medicine

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine


E-mail 502-852-2463

Education and Training

  • M.D.: Xinjiang Medical College
  • Ph.D.: Beijing Medical University, Cardiovascular Molecular Biology
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of Louisville, Molecular Cardiology

Research Interests

For nearly 18 years, Dr. Li has been investigating the mechanisms responsible for myocardial ischemia / reperfusion injury and developing the cardioprotective strategies including gene therapy and stem cell therapy. Dr. Li’s studies have demonstrated for the first time the effect of extracellular superoxide dismutase gene therapy on conscious rabbits against myocardial stunning and infarction, and the cardioprotective effect of inducible nitric oxide synthase gene therapy against myocardial infarction using a mouse model. She has developed a novel recombinant adeno-associated viral vector (rAAV) system, which is currently accepted as the most encouraging among all viral vector systems for clinical gene therapy. Additionally, she has established and developed a non-invasive, cardiac-specific biomarker system to monitor the extent of cardiac damage resulting from myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in vivo using three animal models (mice, rabbits, pigs). Combining the powers of molecular biology and gene transfer with the regenerative capacity of stem cells, Dr. Li and her associates are exploring the potentiation and mechanisms of adult cardiac stem cells to repair damaged myocardium. As a pioneer in this area, Dr. Li has procured NIH funding to create an adult cardiac stem cell system in the mouse. So far, this system has more than 30 cell populations.


Techniques in Use

  • Molecular Biology- DNA cloning and gene expression, RT-PCR, microRNA profiles, real-time PCR, Western immunoblotting, ELISA, Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis on gene promoter.
  • Cell Biology - Cell line culture (293, H9C2, COS7, and smooth muscle cells); primary isolation and culture of neonatal cardiac myocytes from rat; isolation, sorting, expansion, and analysis of adult cardiac stem cells.
  • Virology and Gene Transfer- Design, construction, propagation, and analysis of rAd5 and rAAV vectors. Gene delivery mediated by rAd5 or rAAV in vivo (rabbits and mice), or by lipofectamine in vitro.
  • Pathology - Preparation and section of frozen OCT blocks and paraffin blocks, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescent staining, trichrome staining, and microscope image analysis.

Featured Publications

For a complete listing, please visit: https://publons.com/researcher/AAJ-7643-2020/

  • Li Q, Dasari C, Li D, Arshia A, Umer AM, Abouzid MRA, Guo Y, Bolli R. Effects of Heme Oxygenase-1 on c-Kit-Positive Cardiac Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Dec 15;22(24):13448. doi: 10.3390/ijms222413448. PMID: 34948245; PMCID: PMC8704354.
  • Nong Y, Guo Y, Gumpert A, Li Q, Tomlin A, Zhu X, Bolli R. Single dose of synthetic microRNA-199a or microRNA-149 mimic does not improve cardiac function in a murine model of myocardial infarction. Mol Cell Biochem. 2021 Nov;476(11):4093-4106. doi: 10.1007/s11010-021-04227-w. Epub 2021 Jul 21. PMID: 34287784; PMCID: PMC8478849.
  • Guo Y, Li Q, Xuan YT, Wu WJ, Tan W, Slezak J, Zhu X, Tomlin A, Bolli R. Exercise-induced late preconditioning in mice is triggered by eNOS-dependent generation of nitric oxide and activation of PKCε and is mediated by increased iNOS activity. Int J Cardiol. 2021 Oct 1;340:68-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2021.08.021. Epub 2021 Aug 14. PMID: 34400167; PMCID: PMC8453107.
  • Bolli RA, Dasari C, Arshia A, Devadoss D, Guo Y, Ashraf U, Li Q. Physiological Oxygen Tension Enhances Competence and Functional Properties of Murine Cardiac Mesenchymal Cells. Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2021 Jun;17(3):900-910. doi: 10.1007/s12015-020-10106-6. Epub 2021 Jan 3. PMID: 33389682; PMCID: PMC8274526.
  • Bolli RAR, Arshia A, Hassan SA, Dasari C, Nong Y, Guo Y, Tomlin AA, Li Q. Cardiac Mesenchymal Cells Cultured at Physiologic Oxygen Tension Have Superior Therapeutic Efficacy in Heart Failure Caused by Myocardial Infarction. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 May 26;9:662415. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2021.662415. PMID: 34124043; PMCID: PMC8189180.
  • Nong Y, Guo Y, Tomlin A, Zhu X, Wysoczynski M, Li Q, Bolli R. Echocardiography-guided percutaneous left ventricular intracavitary injection as a cell delivery approach in infarcted mice. Mol Cell Biochem. 2021 May;476(5):2135-2148. doi: 10.1007/s11010-021-04077-6. Epub 2021 Feb 5. PMID: 33547546; PMCID: PMC8252912.
  • Guo Y, Nong Y, Li Q, Tomlin A, Kahlon A, Gumpert A, Slezak J, Zhu X, Bolli R. Comparison of One and Three Intraventricular Injections of Cardiac Progenitor Cells in a Murine Model of Chronic Ischemic Cardiomyopathy. Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2021 Apr;17(2):604-615. doi: 10.1007/s12015-020-10063-0. Epub 2020 Oct 28. PMID: 33118146; PMCID: PMC8043991.
  • Li Q, Guo Y, Nong Y, Tomlin A, Gumpert A, Zhu X, Hassan SA, Bolli R. Comparison of Repeated Doses of C-kit-Positive Cardiac Cells versus a Single Equivalent Combined Dose in a Murine Model of Chronic Ischemic Cardiomyopathy. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 19;22(6):3145. doi: 10.3390/ijms22063145. PMID: 33808720; PMCID: PMC8003463.
  • Guo Y, Nong Y, Tukaye DN, Rokosh G, Du J, Zhu X, Book M, Tomlin A, Li Q, Bolli R. Inducible cardiac-specific overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) confers resistance to ischemia/reperfusion injury. Basic Res Cardiol. 2019 Jul 5;114(5):32. doi: 10.1007/s00395-019-0741-2. PMID: 31278427.
  • Mehra P, Guo Y, Nong Y, Lorkiewicz P, Nasr M, Li Q, Muthusamy S, Bradley JA, Bhatnagar A, Wysoczynski M, Bolli R, Hill BG. Cardiac mesenchymal cells from diabetic mice are ineffective for cell therapy-mediated myocardial repair. Basic Res Cardiol. 2018 Oct 23;113(6):46. doi: 10.1007/s00395-018-0703-0. PMID: 30353243; PMCID: PMC6314032.