People->Long-Cheng Li, MD

Long-Cheng Li, MD

Professor, Laboratory of Molecular Medicine
Director, Central Laboratories
Peking Union Medical College Hospital
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
Beijing, China

Tel: +86-10-6915-6281
Email: long {at}


Dr. Li received his medical degree and residency training at Tongji Medical University in China. In 1997 Dr. Li was awarded a fellowship from the Société Internationale d'Urologie to train in basic research and clinical urology at Palermo University's Institute of Urology. Dr. Li completed a postdoctoral fellowship in 2000 in the Department's Urology Research Laboratory at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He then joined DoubleTwist, Inc. as a bioinformatics scientist to work on human genome annotation. Dr. Li became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology in 2007 and an Associate Professor in Residence in 2011. Dr. Li is globally recognized for his groundbreaking work on RNA-mediated gene activation (RNAa), a technology that has advanced into human clinical trial. He has authored or co-authored over 80 publications which have received over 10,000 citations, several book chapters, and software applications, and is the inventors of 4 issued and 2 pending US patents. He received multiple research grants from both government and non-governmental organizations including a NIH Director's Transformative R01 (T-R01) Award in 2009. He is an invited speaker at many national and international conferences, universities and companies around the world

Research Interests

Li’s research is focused on understanding how small RNA molecules function in the nucleus of mammalian cells to regulate gene transcription and epigenetic memory, and the potential implications of such regulatory mechanisms in disease especially cancer. His seminal work on the identification of RNA activation (RNAa) demonstrates that promoter-targeted small RNAs are able to activate gene expression. Ongoing research in Li’s laboratory includes (1) understanding the molecular mechanism of RNAa by using a combination of genomic, bioinformatic, and molecular biology approaches, (2) identifying interactions of small RNA with the genome and analyzing their functional roles in normal cellular processes and in cancer development at a genome-wide scale, (3) exploiting the RNAa mechanism for the treatment of cancer through targeted activation of tumor suppressor genes, and (4) for cell fate reprogramming.