Jian Li, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral 2017, Northwestern University
PhD 2012, Pennsylvania State University
BS 2005, Peking University, China
The health of proteome is essential for cellular and organismal functions, but is constantly challenged by environmental and genetic perturbations. Loss of proteostasis is a hallmark of aging and age-related diseases. Cells have evolved robust stress responses controlled by conserved stress-responsive transcription factors (TFs) to cope with protein damage and misfolding. These stress-responsive TFs are prominent suppressors of age-related decline of proteostasis. Our lab is interested in understanding the roles of stress-responsive TFs in diverse physiological conditions, and their relevance in human diseases.
Our studies have been focusing on the heat shock transcriptional factor 1 (HSF1), the central regulator of the heat shock response (HSR). Our work and others have indicated that HSF1 is able to drive transcription to regulate development, reproduction, longevity and energy metabolism in manners that are different from the HSR. Conversely, dysregulation of HSF1 underlies age-related neurodegenerative disorders and malignancy. Our current investigations combine genetics and genomics to understand HSF1 in these physiological and pathological conditions in addition to its canonical roles in the HSR. We aim to establish a framework for future studies to ultimately unravel the fundamental mechanisms linking transcription control of proteostasis and other important cellular processes through regulation of master stress-responsive TFs.
Jian Li, Ph.D.
Vibhavari Sail, MS
Stacey Edwards, MS
Senior Research Assistant
Allison Morphis, BS
Lai Wang, Ph.D
Tomek Chamera, Ph.D