Lixin Li

  • Position: Professor
  • Department: Physician Assistant Program
  • Campus Address: Health Professions Building 2084
  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Phone: 989-774-3039
  • Email:
  • Area(s) of Expertise: Human physiology, pathophysiology, immunology, genetics, molecular biology, clinical skills, endocrinology, medical simulation, diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance.
  • PHA 633: Scientific Basis of Medicine I
  • PHA 634: Scientific Basis of Medicine II 
  • PHA 635: Scientific Basis of Medicine III 
  • PHA 660: History & Physical Exam I 
  • PHA 661: History & Physical Exam II
  • PHA 662: History & Physical Exam III
  • PHA 645: Crit App Literature & Evidence-Based Medicine

Degrees and Universities:

Dr. Lixin Li received her Medical Degree from the College of Medicine, Southeast University, and completed her residency training and specialized in Endocrinology in China. She obtained her Ph.D. degree from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and continued her postdoctoral training at the Department of Physiology, University of Toronto. Dr. Li worked at St. Michel’s hospital, a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto before she joined Central Michigan University.

Research Interests:

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 weight loss and anti-inflammation. Her current research is studying the protective effect of liraglutide (a long-acting GLP-1 agonist) on diet-induced obesity and its potential role in preventing the development of Alzheimer's disease in patients with diabetes.

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. Poudel A, Zhou J, Mekala N, Welchko R, Rosca M, Li L. Berberine protects against cytokine-induced inflammation through multiple pathways in undifferentiated C2C12 myblast cells. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2019 Apr 26. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2018-0653.
  2. Zhou J, Massey S, Story D, Li L. Metformin, an old drug with new applications. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19 (10), 2863.
  3. Poudel A, Zhou JY, Story D, Li L. Diabetes and Associated Cardiovascular Complications in American Indians/Alaskan Natives. A Review of Risks and Prevention Strategies. J Diabetes Res. 2018 Sep 13. 2018-2742565. doi: 10.1155/2018/2742565.
  4. Li L, Xu C, Wang KS. Response to the letter to the editor regarding "Smoking and coronary heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellius. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2017 Sep 21. pii: S0168-8227(17)31490-0.
  5. Zhou Y, Xu B, Lopes J, Blamoun J, Li L. Hashimoto encephalopathy: literature review. Acta Neurol Scand. 2017 Mar. 135 (3):285-290.
  6. Li L, Gong S, Xu C, Zhou JY, Wang KS. Sleep duration and smoking are associated with coronary heart disease among US adults with type 2 diabetes: Gender differences. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2017 Feb, 124:93-101.
  7. Li l, Lopes J, Xu B. Integrating medical simulation in the physician assistant education  physiology curriculum, Journal of Physician Assistant Education, 2016 Dec; 27(4):156-161.
  8. 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.
  9. Zhou J.Y, Li L. MicroRNA in brown adipogenesis   BBA molecular and cell biology of Lipid. 2014 Nov; 1841(11):1590-1595.
  10.  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.
  11. Hager L, Li L*, Liu L Ng DS. Lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency protects against cholesterol-induced hepatic endoplasmic reticulum stress in mice.  J Biol Chem 2012 Jun 8; 287 (24):20755-68. (*indicates equal co-first authorship).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14.  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.
  15.  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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18.  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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 oversupply. Endocrinology, 2002, 143(4): 1371-7.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Li L, Shi S. 2 cases of apathetic thyroid storm. Chinese Journal of Metabolism and Endocrinology, 1993, 9(2): 86-89.
  25. 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. Integrate medical simulation in physician assistant curriculum. Session 6-2: Medical and Health Education in World Education Day 2018 (WED-2018). Jinan, China, September 28-30, 2018.
  2. Berberine, a potential drug in treating obesity. 16th Annual Congress of International Drug Discovery Science and Technology (IDDST-2018), Session: Immunology & Endocrinology in Drug Discovery. Boston, August 16-18, 2018.
  3. Liraglutid, a potential medication in treating metabolic syndrome. St. Mary's Hospital Grand ground, Saginaw, April 27, 2017.
  4. 13th Global Diabetes conference and Medicare Expo, August 8-10, 2016, Birmingham, UK. Keynote speaker, Fat against fat, a potential medication in treating obesity.
  5. Liraglutide protects diet induced obesity though induction of brown adipogenesis in mice. The 2016 Obesity Summit, Apil 12-14, 2016, London, UK.
  6. Liraglutide protects high fat high sucrose diet induced obesity through elevation of energy expenditure. Weight Loss and Fitness Expo, July 13-15, 2015 Philadelphia.
  7.  Targeting diabetes and obesity, Fat fights against fat. College of Medicine, Central Michigan University. Feb 7, 2015.
  8. 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.
  9. Mitochondrial disorders as causes of the Disease May 18, 2002, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  10. Pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, May 17, 2002.

Academic Membership and Associations:

  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Physiology Association
  • American Physician Assistant Association
  • Endocrinology Association

Educational Activities:

I am open to accepting honor students, graduate students, Postdoc fellows, and visiting scholars.