Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Rong Li, Ph.D.

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The primary research interest in my lab is the molecular understanding of major risk factors for breast cancer.  Specifically, we are using molecular, cellular, and genetic approaches to examine the impact of tumor suppressor BRCA1 and its cofactors on estrogen-dependent gene expression and genome instability during normal mammary gland development and tumor progression.  In a parallel research direction, we have been investigating the contribution of adipose stromal cells to obesity-associated breast cancer risk and recurrence. An emerging area of research in the lab is metabolism-related transcriptional regulation in various tissues including myocardium and adipose tissue.

Selected Publications

Yuan B, Cheng L, Chiang H-C, Xu X, Han Y, Su H, Wang L, Zhang B, Li J, Tekmal J, Li X, Xie X, Wang T, Tekmal RR, Curiel TJ, Yuan Z-Y, Elledge R, Hu Y, Ye Q, Li R. (2014) A phosphotyrosine switch determines the antitumor activity of ERĪ². J. Clin. Invest. 124:3378.

Aiyar SE, Sun JL, Blair AL, Moskaluk CA, Lu YZ, Ye QN, Yamaguchi Y, Mukherjee A, Ren DM, Handa H, Li R. Attenuation of estrogen receptor alpha-mediated transcription through estrogen-stimulated recruitment of a negative elongation factor. Genes Dev. 2004 Sep 1;18(17):2134-46.

Ghosh S, Choudary A, Ghosh S, Musi N, Hu Y, Li R. IKKbeta mediates cell shape-induced aromatase expression and estrogen biosynthesis in adipose stromal cells. Mol Endocrinol. 2009 May;23(5):662-70.

Walter M, Liang S, Ghosh S, Hornsby PJ, Li R. Interleukin 6 secreted from adipose stromal cells promotes migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. Oncogene. 2009 Jul 30;28(30):2745-55.

Ghosh S, Ashcraft K, Jahid MJ, April C, Ghajar CM, Ruan J, Wang H, Foster M, Hughes DC, Ramirez AG, Huang T, Fan JB, Hu Y, Li R. Regulation of adipose oestrogen output by mechanical stress. Nat Commun. 2013;4:1821.

Pan H, Qin K, Guo Z, Ma Y, April C, Gao X, Andrews TG, Bokov A, Zhang J, Chen Y, Weintraub ST, Fan JB, Wang D, Hu Y, Aune GJ, Lindsey ML, Li R. Negative Elongation Factor Controls Energy Homeostasis in Cardiomyocytes. Cell Rep. 2014 Mar 18. pii: S2211-1247(14)00128-4.

Molecular Medicine


Ph.D., Molecular Biology, University of California at Berkeley, 1991

BS, Genetics, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 1985



Phone: 210-562-4152

Research Profile
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