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Yan-Chun Li

Yan-Chun Li, MD, PhD

Research Assistant Professor


Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy

Education

  • PhD in Physiology - School of Medicine, Shandong University (2006)
  • MS in Physiology - School of Medicine, Shandong University (2003)
  • MD - Shandong Medical University (1998)

Awards & Honors

  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2010
  • Outstanding Graduate Student of Shandong Province given by Education Department of Shandong province, 2006
  • Outstanding Graduate Student of Shandong University given by Shandong University, China, 2006
  • Excellent Graduate Student Leader, Shandong University, China, 2004
  • Zhang Xi-Jun Excellent Paper Award in the 9th Chinese Young Physiologist Conference, China, 1996

Dr. Li is a research assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research

Research Summary

Dopamine innervations to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) constitute a major modulatory system that regulates normal cognitive processes, particularly working memory functions. Dysfunction of cortical dopamine causes cognitive impairment that has been implicated in numerous neurobiological diseases. Dr. Li is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying dopaminergic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity in the PFC. For the past several years she has been using in vitro whole cell patch clamp, cell culture, immunostaining, and molecular techniques to explore the role of several novel neuronal signaling pathways in cortical DA modulation, such as Src- and Fyn-PLC, AKT-GSK-3β.

Biography

Dr. Li came to the College of Medicine in 2006. She served as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy until 2011, then a research associate until 2012. She has worked in the lab of Wen-Jun Gao, PhD, since then, first as a research instructor (from 2012 to 2016) and now as a research assistant professor.

Her work is currently supported by an NIH R03 grant entitled "AKT deficiency alters dopamine sensitivity in the prefrontal cortex." The grant provides $100,000 in direct costs, and ends in March 2016.

Publications

"Treatment with a Clinically-Relevant Dose of Methylphenidate Alters NMDA Receptor Composition and Synaptic Plasticity in the Juvenile Rat Prefrontal Cortex"
Kimberly R. Urban, Yan-Chun Li, and Wen-Jun Gao
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 101:65-74, 2013

"Group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist LY379268 regulates AMPA receptor trafficking in prefrontal cortical neurons"
Min-Juan Wang, Yan-Chun Li, Melissa A. Snyder, Huai-Xing Wang, Feng Li*, Wen-Jun Gao*
PLoS One, 8(4):e61787, 2013

"Hyperdopaminergic Modulation of Inhibitory Transmission Is Dependent on GSK-3β Signaling-Mediated Trafficking of GABAA Receptors"
Yan-Chun Li, Min-Juan Wang, and Wen-Jun Gao
Joural of Neurochemistry, 122(2):308-20, 2012

"Overexpression of D2 Receptors in the Striatum Leads to Alterations of Synaptic Transmission and Dopamine Sensitivity in the Prefrontal Cortex of Mice"
Yan-Chun Li, Christoph Kellendonk , Eleanor H. Simpson, Eric R. Kandel, Wen-Jun Gao
PNAS; 108(29): 12107-112, 2011

"Group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist ameliorates MK-801-induced dysfunction of NMDA receptors via Akt/GSK-3 pathway"
Dong Xi*, Yan-Chun Li*, Melissa A. Snyder*, Ruby Y. Gao, Alicia E. Adelman, Wentong Zhang, Jed S. Shumsky, and Wen-Jun Gao
Neuropsychopharmacology; 36:1260-74, 2011
(*These authors contributed equally.)

"GSK-3β activity and hyperdopamine-dependent behaviors"
Li YC, Gao WJ.
Neurosci Biobehav Rev; 35(3):645-54, (Epub 2010 Aug 18) Jan 2011

"Dopamine D1 receptor-mediated NMDA receptor insertion depends on Fyn but not Src kinase pathway in prefrontalcortical neurons"
Hu JL*, Liu G*, Li YC*, Gao WJ, Huang YQ
Mol Brain; 3:20, Jun 22, 2010
(*These authors contributed equally.)

"Dopamine D(1) receptor-mediated enhancement of NMDA receptor trafficking requires rapid PKC-dependent synapticinsertion in the prefrontal neurons"
Li YC, Liu G, Hu JL, Gao WJ, Huang YQ
J Neurochem;114(1):62-73, July 2010

"Activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta is required for hyperdopamine and D2 receptor-mediated inhibition of synaptic NMDA receptor function in the rat prefrontal cortex"
Li YC, Xi D, Roman J, Huang YQ, Gao WJ
J Neurosci; 29(49):15551-63, Dec 9, 2009

"Modulation of the Hering-Breuer Reflex by Raphe Pallidus in Rabbits"
Yanchun Li, Gang Song, Ying Cao, Heng Zhang
Neuroscience Letters; 397(3):259-62, Apr 24, 2006

"Effect of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and Non-NMDA Glutamate Receptors Located in the Nucleus Tractus Solitarii Neuron in the Peripheral Chemosensitive Afferent Inputs Caused by Acute Hypoxia"
Di Tang, Qin Li; MingHua Zhang, Yanchun Li
Shandong Medical Journal;46(4):6-8, 2006

"Protein Tyrosine Kinase in NTS Neurons Modulates Hypoxic Chemoreflex Response"
Yanchun Li, Hui Wang, Ying Cao, Guimin Wang, Heng Zhang
Faseb Journal; 719 (5): A1641-A1641 Part 2 Suppl, 2005

Presentations

"Conditional knockout of gsk-3ß in D1 versus D2 receptor-expressing neurons exhibits differential effects on PFC function"
Yan-Chun Li, Bo Xing,  Nihkil M. Urs Marc G.Caron and Wen-Jun Gao
Society for Neuroscience Abstract (2014)

"Disruption of AKT alters dopamine sensitivity to inhibitory synaptic transmission in the rat prefrontal cortex"
Yan-Chun Li and Wen-Jun Gao
Society for Neuroscience Abstract (2013)

"AKT deficiency alters dopamine sensitivity in the prefrontal cortex"
Yan-Chun Li, Wen-Jun Gao
International Conference for Schizophrenia Abstract (2012)

"AKT deficiency is involved in dopamine sensitivity in the prefrontal cortex"
Yan-Chun Li, Wen-Jun Gao
Society for Neuroscience Abstract (2012)

"Dopaminegic Depression of Inhibitory Transmission is Dependent on GSK-3β Signaling Mediated Trafficking Mechanisms"
Yan-Chun Li, Min-Juan Wang, Wen-Jun Gao
Society for Neuroscience Abstract (2011)

"The effects of a mGluR2/3 agonist on expression of AMPA receptors in the prefrontal neurons and in a MK-801 model of schizophrenia"
Min-Juan Wang, Yan-Chun Li, Melissa A. Snyder, Huai-Xing Wang, Feng Li, Wen-Jun Gao
Society for Neuroscience Abstract (2011)

"Akt-GSK-3β Signaling in Hyperdopaminegic Modulation of Inhibitory Transmission"
Yan-Chun Li, Wen-Jun Gao
Society for Neuroscience Abstract (2010)

"Age-Dependent Effects of Clinically-Relevant Dose of Methylphenidate on Neuronal Excitability and Synaptic Transmission in the Rat Prefrontal Cortex"
Kimberly Urban, Yan-Chun Li, Barry Waterhouse, and Wen-Jun Gao
Society for Neuroscience Abstract (2010)


Contact Information


Research Office

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Phone: 215.991.8473
Fax: 215.843.9082