Contact Information

John P. Veinot, M.D., F.R.C.P.C (Canada)
Chairman, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Tel: 613-562-5422

Sheila Schnupp
Office and Residency Program Administrator (Anatomical)
Telephone: 613-562-5800 ext. 8342

Manon Levesque Undergraduate Program and Office Coordinator
451 Smyth road,
Room 4155
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 8M5

Tel: 613-562-5422

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Qiao Li

Qiao Li

M.D. (Norman Bethune University of Medical Sciences, China)
Ph.D. (Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden)

Associate Professor / Principle Investigator
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
451 Smyth Road, Room 2537
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 8M5 Canada

Telephone: 613-562-5800 ext. 8491 (Office) / 8488 (Lab)
Fax: 613-562-5442

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Chromatin dynamics and nuclear receptor signaling in stem cell differentiation

We study how nuclear receptor signaling and chromatin dynamics converge to regulate stem cell differentiation using OMICS approaches. Our goal is to develop potential stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of many devastating diseases, including neuromuscular and cardiovascular diseases.

Molecular mechanisms of p300 regulation

Transcriptional coactivator p300 contains an intrinsic histone acetyltransferase activity and is required for a broad array of cellular processes. We decipher the molecular mechanisms by which p300 is regulated with respect to post-translational modification, cellular trafficking and spatial distribution.

Molecular basis for histone deacetylase inhibitor as cancer therapeutics

Among current cancer therapeutics, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors present great promise, as they induce tumor-selective apoptosis. However, the molecular mechanisms of their action and therapeutic potentials in different type of cancers are still unclear. We determine the molecular signatures of HDAC inhibitors as cancer therapeutics to design better strategies for individualized cancer therapies.

Selected Publications

  • Hamed M, Khilji S, Dixon K, Blais A, Ioshikhes I, Chen J, Li Q. Insights into interplay between rexinoid signaling and myogenic regulatory factor-associated chromatin state in myogenic differentiation. Nucleic Acids Research. 2017. 45: 11236-1124845
  • Dixon K, Chen J, Li Q. Gene Expression Profiling Discerns Molecular Pathways Elicited by Ligand Signaling to Enhance the Specification of Embryonic Stem Cells into Skeletal Muscle Lineage. Cell & Bioscience. 2017. 7: 23.
  • Chen J, Li Q. Retinoic acid receptor signaling in the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into skeletal muscle lineage. Pluripotent Stem Cells – From the Bench to the Clinic. 2016. 427-444
  • AlSudais H, Aabed K, Nicola W, Dixon K, Chen J, Li Q. Retinoid X receptor-selective signaling in the regulation of Akt/protein kinase B isoform-specific expression. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2016. 291: 3090-3099.
  • Chen J, Li Q. Implication of retinoic acid receptor selective signaling in myogenic differentiation. Scientific Reports. 2016. 6: 18856.
  • Chen J, Wang Y, Hamed M, Lacroix N, Li Q. Molecular basis for the regulation of transcriptional coactivator p300 in myogenic differentiation. Scientific Reports. 2015. 5: 13727.
  • Li Q, Foote M, Chen J. Effects of histone deacetylase inhibitor valproic acid on skeletal myocyte development. Scientific Reports. 2014. 4: 7207.
  • Yilbas A, Hamilton A, Wang Y, Mach H, Lacroix N, Davis, DR, Chen J, Li Q. Activation of GATA4 gene expression at the early stage of cardiac specification. Frontiers in Chemistry. 2014. 2: 12
  • Chen J, Li Q. Enhancing myogenic differentiation of pluripotent stem cells with small molecule inducers. Cell & Bioscience. 2013. 3: 40.
  • Dong S, Jia C, Zhang S, Fan G, Li Y, Shan P, Sun L, Xiao W, Li L, Zheng Y, Liu J, Wei H, Hu C, Zhang W, Chin YE, Zhai Q, Li Q, Liu J, Jia F, Mo Q, Edwards DP, Huang S, Chan L, O'Malley BW, Li X, Wang C. The REGγ proteasome regulates hepatic lipid metabolism through inhibition of autophagy. Cell Metabolism. 2013. 18: 380-91.
  • Li Q, Le May M, Lacroix N, Chen J. Induction of Pax3 gene expression impedes cardiac differentiation. Scientific Reports. 2013. 3: 2498.
  • Hamed M, Khilji S, Chen J, Li Q. Stepwise acetyltransferase association and histone acetylation at the Myod1 locus during myogenic differentiation. Scientific Reports. 2013. 3: 2390.
  • Le May M, Li Q. Analysis of p300 occupancy at the early stage of stem cell differentiation by chromatin immunoprecipitation, Methods in Molecular Biology - Springer. 2013. 977: 315-321.
  • Chen J, Li Q. Use of histone deacetylase inhibitors to examine the roles of bromodomain and histone acetylation in p300-dependent gene expression, Methods in Molecular Biology - Springer. 2013. 977: 353-357.
  • Chen J, Lacroix N, Li Q. Histone deacetylase inhibitor valproic acid as a small molecule inducer to direct the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. Methods in Molecular Biology - Springer. 2013. 977: 359-363.
  • Le May M, Li Q. Retinoid X receptor signaling in the specification of skeletal muscle lineage, Skeletal Muscle – from myogenesis to clinical relations. 2012. 49-72.
  • Francetic T, Le May M, Hamed M, Mach H, Meyers D, Cole PA, Chen J, Li Q. Regulation of Myf5 early enhancer by histone acetyltransferase p300 during stem cell differentiation. Molecular Biology. 2012. 1: 103. doi: 10.4172/ 2168-9547.1000103.
  • Hu C, Zhang S, Gao X, Gao XJ, Xu X, Lv Y, Zhang Y, Zhu Z, Zhang C, Li Q, Wong J, Cui Y, Zhang W, Ma L, Wang C. Roles of Kruppel-associated Box (KRAB)-associated Co-repressor KAP1 Ser-473 Phosphorylation in DNA Damage Response. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2012. 287: 18937-18952.
  • Chen J, Li Q. Life and death of transcriptional c-oactivator p300. Epigenetics. 2011. 6: 957-961 (Cover of the Issue).
  • Le May M, Mach H, Lacroix N, Hou C, Chen J, Li Q. Contribution of retinoid X receptor signaling to the specification of skeletal muscle lineage. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2011. 286: 26806-26212.
  • Francetic T, Li Q. Skeletal myogenesis and Myf5 activation. Transcription. 2011. 2: 109-114 (Issue Highlight).
  • Higazi A, Abed M, Chen J, Li Q. Promoter context determines the role of proteasome in ligand-dependent occupancy of retinoic acid responsive elements. Epigenetics. 2011. 6: 202-211. 
  • Chen J, Ghazawi FM, Li Q. Interplay of bromodomain and histone acetylation in the regulation of p300-dependent genes. Epigenetics. 2010. 5: 509-515. 
  • St-Germain JR, Chen J, Li Q. Involvement of PML nuclear bodies in CBP degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathways. Epigenetics. 2008. 3: 342-349 (Issue Highlight).
  • Chen J, Halappanavar S, Th’ng JPT, Li Q. Ubiquitin-dependent deposition of transcriptional coactivator p300 in cytoplasmic inclusion bodies. Epigenetics. 2007. 2: 92-99 (Issue Highlight).
  • Chen J, Ghazawi FM, Bakkar W, Li Q. Valproic acid and butyrate induce apoptosis in human cancer cells through inhibition of gene expression of Akt/protein kinase B. Molecular Cancer. 2006. 5: 71.
  • Chen J, St-Germain JR, Li Q. B56 regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A mediates valproic acid-induced p300 degradation. Molecular and Cellular Biology. 2005. 25: 525-532.
  • Chen J, Halappanavar SS, St-Germain JR, Tsang BK, Li Q. Role of Akt/protein kinase B in the activity of transcriptional coactivator p300. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 2004. 61: 1675-1683.

The Crazy Nuts

Group photo of Dr Li's team

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Last updated: 2017.11.03