Lixin Li

  • Position:  Associate Professor
  • Department: Physician Assistant Program
  • Campus Address: Health Professions Building 1241
  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Phone: (989) 774-3039
  • Email:
  • Area(s) of Expertise: Type 2 Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, Obesity, Glucagon Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1), Metabolic Syndrome, Adipogenesis
  • Scientific Basis of Medicine I (PHA 633)
  • Scientific Basis of Medicine II (PHA 634)
  • Scientific Basis of Medicine III (PHA 635)
  • Clinical Medicine II (PHA 609)
  • Clinical Medicine III (PHA 610)
  • History & Physical Exam II (PHA 661)
  • History & Physical Exam III (PHA 662)
  • Crit App Literature & Evidence Based Medicine (PHA 645) 

Degrees and Universities

Dr. Lixin Li received her Medical Degree from College of Medicine, Southeast University, China and obtained her Ph.D. degree from Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine and her fellowship training in Endocrinology in Harbin Medical University, China. She passed the Canada Medical licensing exams and the United States medical licensing exams. Dr. Li did her Postdoctoral training in the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto. Her research interests have been focused on the underlying mechanism of pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes with a specific focus on β-cell dysfunction as well as the molecular mechanism of obesity-associated insulin resistance. Her major research interest also includes the proglucagon-derived peptides, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its role in regulating growth and function of the beta-cell. Her current research is studying the protective effect of GLP-1 agonist against diet-induced obesity.

Honors and Awards

Timeposters Award; Williams S. Fenwick Fellowship and the Chisholm Memorial Fellowship, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto 2005

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Diabetes Association 2002-2005

Hugh Sellers Postdoctoral Fellowship, Banting and Best Diabetes Centre University of Toronto 2002-2005

Banting and Best Diabetes Centre/Toronto Diabetes Association Annual Trainee Award competition, 2003 (2nd place Prize winner) 2004 (Honorable mention)

Postgraduate Fellowship, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto 2003-2005

Trainee Travel Award, Banting and Best Diabetic Centre, University of Toronto 2003-2006

Selected Recent Publications

     Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals:

  1. Zhou J, Lopes J, Xu B, Li L Integrating medical simulation in the physician assistant education  physiology curriculum, Journal of Physician Assistant Education, 2016 (In press)
  2. Zhou Y, Xu B, Lopes J, Blamoun J, Li L Hashimoto encephalopathy: literature review. Acta Neurol Scand. 2016 Jun 20. doi: 10.1111/ane.12618. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Zhou J, Xu B, Li L    A new role for an old drug: metformin targets microRNAs in treating diabetes and cancer.  Drug Development Research. 2015, 76(6): 295-342
  4. Zhou J.Y, Li L, MicroRNA in brown adipogenesis   BBA molecular and cell biology of Lipid. 2014 Nov;1841(11):1590-1595
  5.  Bashiri A, Tavallaee G, Li L, Ng D Emerging role of cellular cholesterol in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Curr Opin Lipidol  2013, 24:275–276
  6. Hager L, Li L*, Liu L Ng DS Lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency protects against cholesterol-induced hepatic endoplasmic reticulum stress in mice.  J Biol Chem2012 Jun 8; 287 (24):20755-68. (*indicates equal co-first authorship)
  7. Dong L, Kang L, Ding L, Chen Q, Bai J, Gu R, Li L, Xu B. Insulin modulates ischemia-induced endothelial progenitor cell mobilization and neovascularization in diabetic mice. Microvasc Res. 2011 Nov; 82 (3):227-36.
  8. Li L, Tam L. Liu L, Jin T, Ng DS Wnt-signaling mediates the anti-adipogenic action of lysophophatidic acid through cross talking with the Rho/Rho associated kinase (ROCK) pathway.  Biochem Cell Biol 2011 Dec;89(6):515-21.
  9.  Li L, Hossain MA, Sadat SHager LLiu LTam LSchroer SHuogen,  LFantus IG,Connelly PWWoo MNg DS Lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase null mice are protected from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in a gender-specific manner through multiple pathways. J Biol Chem. 2011 May 20; 286(20):17809-20.
  10.  Li LNaples MSong HYuan RYe FShafi SAdeli KNg DS LCAT-null mice develop improved hepatic insulin sensitivity through altered regulation of transcription factors and suppressors of cytokine signaling. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Aug; 293(2): E587-94
  11. Li L, Macdonald PE, Ahn DS, Oudit GY, Backx PH, Brubaker PL. Role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinaseg (PI3-Kg) in the beta-cell: Interactions with glucagon-like peptide-1 Endocrinology 2006  Jul; 147(7): 3318-25
  12. Li L, El-Kholy W, Rhodes C, Brubaker PL.  Role of GLP-1 and PKB in prevention of cytokine–induced apoptosis in INS-1E cells Diabetologia, 2005 Jul; 48(7): 1339-49.
  13.  Li Y, Cao X, Li LBrubaker PLEdlund HDrucker DJ b-cell Pdx1 expression is essential for the glucoregulatory, proliferative, and cytoprotective actions of glucagon-like peptide-1 Diabetes, 2005, 54(2): 482-91
  14. Wang Q, Li L*, Xu E, Wong V, Brubaker PL Glucagon-like peptide-1 regulates proliferation and apoptosis via activation of protein kinase B in pancreatic INS-1 b-cells.(*indicates equal co-first authorshipDiabetologia, 2004, 47(3): 478-87.
  15. Li L Yoshikawa H, Egeberg K, Grill V. Interleukin-1-b swiftly down-regulates UCP-2 mRNA in b-cells by mechanisms not directly coupled to toxicity Cytokine, 2003, 23(4-5): 101-7.
  16. Li L, Skorpen F, Egeberg K, Jørgensen I and Grill V. Induction of UCP-2 mRNA in beta cells is stimulated by oxidation of fatty acids but not by nutrient oversupplyEndocrinology, 2002, 143(4): 1371-7
  17. Li L, Skorpen K, Egeberg K, Jørgensen I and Grill V. Uncoupling protein–2 participates in cellular defense against oxidative stress in clonal b-cells Biochemical and Biophysics Research Communications, 2001, 282: 273-277
  18. Li L, Wang W. The comparative study on CFU-F of human cord blood and normal bone marrow. Chinese Journal of Leukemia. 1997 56 :( 3): 45-53.
  19. Li L, Shi S. 2 cases of apathetic thyroid storm. Chinese Journal of Metabolism and Endocrinology, 1993, 9(2): 86-89.
  20. Li L Shi S. The reports on the treatment of 24 cases of Diabetic Ketoacidosis with small amount of insulin by intravenous drip. HeiLongJiang Medical Journal, 1992, 94(4): 22-25

  Published book chapters

Li L, Lu F, Gao S, et al. The new guidance of managing diabetes, 1997, HeiLong Jiang Scientific and Technology Publication.  First edition, ISBN 7- 5388-3121-5/R.606.

Invited talks

  1. 13th Global Diabetes conference and Medicare Expo, August 8-10, 2016, Birmingham, UK. Keynote speaker, Fat against fat, a potential medication in treating obesity.
  2. Liraglutide protects diet induced obesity though induction of brown adipogenesis in mice The 2016 obesity Summit, Apil 12-14, 2016, London, UK,
  1. Liraglutide protects high fat high sucrose diet induced obesity through elevation of energy expenditure. Weight Loss and Fitness Expo, July 13-15, 2015 Philadelphia
  2.  Targeting diabetes and obesity, Fat fights against fat. College of Medicine, Central Michigan University. Feb 7th, 2015
  3. Glucagon-like peptide and the regulation of beta-cell mass: Role for AKT signaling. Banting and Best Diabetes Center annual meeting, Toronto, May 17, 2004
  4. Mitochondrial disorders as causes of the Disease May 18, 2002, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  5. Pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, May 17, 2002.

Selected Published Abstracts

  1. Zhou J, Chandramani-shivalingapa P. Poudel A.    Li L , Liaglutide improves insulin sensitivity in diet induced insulin resistance mice through multiple pathways, New Orleans, LA, June 10-14, 2016   76th June 1-5, 75th American Diabetes Association Scientific session, 1922 –P
  2. Zhou J,  Li L, Liraglutide protects diet induced obesity through induction of brown abiogenesis in mice, , New Orleans, LA, June 10-14, 2016   76th June 1-5, 75th American Diabetes Association Scientific session, 1966 –P
  3. Li L, Zhou J, Bahee J. Liaglutide induces brown adipocyte specific genes in mice skeletal muscle tissue, Experimental biology , San Diego, April 2-6, 2016. No: 4883
  4. Zhou J, Li L Liraglutide protects high fat high sucrose diet induced obesity through elevation of energy expenditure Weight Loss and Fitness Expo, July 13-15,2015 Philadelphia,
  5. Zhou J, Bahaee J, Smith A,  Li L Liraglutide protects high fat high sucrose diet induced obesity through elevation of energy expenditure June, 2015 75th American Diabetes Association Scientific session,
  6. Zhou J, Bahaee J, Li L  Glucagon like peptide -1 receptor agonist induces brown fat specific genes in differentiated C2C12 cells Lipid metabolism and metabolic disorder, June, 2015, Suzhou China.
  7. Hager L, Li L, Liu L, Naples M, Ng D Lecithin: Cholesterol Acyltransferase (LCAT) Deficiency protects from cholesterol-induced hepatic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in mice. Canadian Diabetes Association, 2010 Oct.  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  8. Brubaker PL, Talsania T., Dube P.E. and Li L The glucagon-like peptides: pleiotropic regulators of nutrient homeostasis. Reg.Pep. 130: 137A, 2005, September, France.
  9. Li L Ahn D, Oudit G, Backx P and Brubaker P.L  Role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase g  (PI3-Kg) in b-cell growth: interactions with Glucagon-like peptide-1 65th American Diabetes Association (ADA) scientific sessions. 2005 June 10-14, San Diego, California. 233-OR
  10. Li L Oudit G, Backx P and Brubaker P.L The essential role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) in GLP-1-induced b-cell growth and survival. 64h American Diabetes Association (ADA) scientific sessions.2004 June 4-8, Orlando, Florida.
  11. Li L, Rhodes C, Brubaker PL  Role of GLP-1 and PKB in prevention of cytokine induced apoptosis in INS-1E cells.  64h American Diabetes Association (ADA) scientific sessions. 2004 June 4-8, Orlando, Florida.
  12. Li L, Wang Q, Brubaker PL Glucagon-like peptide-1 regulates proliferation and apoptosis via activation of Akt1 in pancreatic (INS-1) b-cells, Banting and Best Diabetes center /Toronto Diabetes Association annual trainee awards competition 2003  (2nd place Prize winner)
  13. Li L, Wang Q, Brubaker PL Role for Akt1 in the stimulation of b- (INS-1) cell proliferation by glucagon-like peptide-1. 63th American Diabetes Association (ADA) scientific sessions. 2003 June 13-17  New Orleans
  14. Li L Skorpen K, Egeberg K, Jørgensen I and Grill V Oxidation of fatty acids in INS-1 cells is tightly coupled to expression of uncoupling protein-2.  The 36th Meeting of the Scandinavian Society for the study of Diabetes (SSSD-01), 2001 May 25-27 Uppsala, Sweden
  15. Li L Skorpen K, Egeberg K, Jørgensen I and Grill V Evidence that Uncoupling protein-2 participates in cellular defense against oxidative stress in b- cells.  61th American Diabetes Association (ADA) scientific sessions. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2001 June 22-26  206-OR
  16. Li L Grill V Evidence that Uncoupling protein 2 regulated energy balance in clonal beta cells.  2nd Workshop of    Islet Research European Network (IREN) 2000, Geneva, Switzerland.
  17. Li L, Grill V Does uncoupling protein–2 participate in the regulation of energy balance in clonal beta cells? A combined islet basic science & transplantation meeting. 2000 September 21-24 Eilat, Israel
  18. Li L, Grill V Role of Uncoupling protein-2 in b-cells – evidence for regulation by energy demands of Insulin secretion. EDBC-99  1999 Oslo, Norway
  19. Li L Grill V Long-term exposure of palmitate induces UCP2 gene expression in INS-1 cell line.  Satellite Conference for Research Fellows in Diabetes in Norway, 1998, Sept. 23-25 Oslo, Norway


Academic membership and associations

American Diabetes Association

American Physiology Association

American Physician Assistant Association

Endocrinology Association


Educational activities

I am opening to accept honor students, graduate students, Postdoc fellows, and visiting scholars.