Yuanpei Li

image of Yuanpei Li

Assistant Professor


Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine

Offices and Labs

2700 Stockton Blvd, Oak Park Research Building, Suite 2405, Sacramento Campus

Profile Introduction

Nanomedicine and Biomaterials Laboratory

Research Contribution

A series of novel multifunctional nano-theranostic agents have been developed for early cancer detection, effective cancer therapy and minimizing the side-effects of chemotherapeutic drugs. These nano-theranostics represent a new generation of smart multifunctional nanoparticles for convenient integration of a broad range of “intelligent” imaging and therapeutic functions for precision medicine.

Research Interests

1. Development of novel nano-medicine platforms, biomaterials and microfluidic devices

The Nanomedicine and Biomaterials Laboratory aims to 1) develop next generation nano-medicine platforms, biomaterials and microfluidic devices by learning from nature and clinical practice, 2) obtain fundamental knowledge on how these subjects interact with biological systems, and 3) apply them to solve complex medical problems that are associated with cancer and other diseases. Our research projects integrate recent advances in interdisciplinary fields, such as nanotechnology, material sciences, chemistry, engineering and biology, to create innovative technologies and therapeutics. Significant efforts have also been devoted to the rapid “bench to bed side” translation of these innovative technologies and therapeutics that can tremendously benefit the health of human and companion animals. We are particularly interested in the following research area:

1. Targeting and programmable drug/gene delivery

2. Theranostics

3. New biomaterials/bio-inspired materials

4. Enabling technology for immunoengineering

5. Integration of nanotechnology/biomaterials in microfluidics


2. Exosomes/oncosomes and stem cells

We are interested in new isolation, drug discovery & development, targeting delivery and engineering technologies that are related to stem cells and exosomes/oncosomes from clinical patients


U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) PCRP Fellowship Award

Department and Center Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center


World Molecular Imaging Society
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Controlled Release Society (CRS)

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Specialties / Focus

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cancer Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Stem Cell Biology

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Pharmacology and Toxicology (PTX)


Li Lab
  • Dr. Xiangdong Xue (Postdoctoral scholar)
  • Dr. Hao Wu (Postdoctoral scholar)
  • Dr. Gaomai Yang (Postdoctoral scholar)
  • Dr. Zhao Ma (Postdoctoral scholar)
  • Yee Huang (Visiting graduate student)
  • Yixuan He (Visiting student)
  • Zhongyi (Johnny) Huang (Undergraduate)
  • Zicheng Zhao (Undergraduate)


2/1/2018 11:05:24 AM
  • 47. Xue X, Huang Y, Wang X, Wang Z, Carney RP, Li X, He Y, Lin T, Li Y*(corresponding author), Self-Indicating, fully active pharmaceutical ingredients nanoparticles (FAPIN) with laser triggered trimodality therapy for tumour ablation, Biomaterials, 2018, In press

  • 46. Long Q, Lin T, Huang Y, Ma A, Zhang H, Carney RP, Airhart S, Lam KS, deVere White RW, Chong-xian Pan C, Li Y*(corresponding author), Imaging-guided photo-therapeutic nanoporphyrin synergized HSP90 inhibitor in patient-derived xenograft bladder cancer model, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2018, In press

  • 45. Luo Y, Wu H, Feng C, Xiao K, Yang X, Liu Q, Lin T, Zhang H, Walton JH, Ajena Y, Hu Y, Lam KS, Li Y*(corresponding author), “One-Pot” Fabrication of Highly Versatile and Biocompatible Poly(vinyl alcohol)-porphyrin-based Nanotheranostics. Theranostics, 2017, 7(16): 3901-3914

  • 44. Wang Z, Qiao R, Tang N, Lu Z, Wang H, Zhang Z, Xue X, Huang Z, Zhang S, Zhang G, Li Y*(corresponding author), Active targeting theranostic iron oxide nanoparticles for MRI and magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound ablation of lung cancer, Biomaterials, 2017,127, 25–35

  • 43. Xiao W, Suby N, Xiao K, Lin T, Awwad NA, Lam KS, & Li Y*(corresponding author), Extremely long tumor retention, multi-responsive boronate crosslinked micelles with superior therapeutic efficacy for ovarian cancer, Journal of Controlled Release, 2017, 264, 169-179

  • 42. Xiao K, Lin T, Lam KS, Li Y*(corresponding author), A facile strategy for fine-tuning the stability and drug release of stimuli-responsive cross-linked micellar nanoparticles towards precision drug delivery, Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 7765-7770

  • 41. Yang X, Xue X, Luo Y, Lin T, Zhang H, Lac D, Xiao K, He Y, Jia B, Lam KS, & Li Y*(corresponding author), Sub-100 nm, Long Tumor Retention SN-38-Loaded Photonic Micelles for Tri-modal Cancer Therapy, Journal of Controlled Release​, 2017, 261, 297-306

  • 40. Wang X, Kong D, Lin T, Li X, Izumiya Y,  Ding X, Zhang L, Hu X, Yang J,  Gao S, Lam K, Li Y* (corresponding author), A versatile nanoplatform for synergistic combination therapy of esophageal cancer. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 2017, 38, 931–942

  • 39. Bharadwaj G, Viet Nhan V, Yang S, Li X, Narayanan A, Macarenco AA, Shi Yu, Yang D,  Vieira SL,  Xiao W, Li Y & Lam KS, Cholic acid-based novel micellar nanoplatform for delivering FDA-approved taxanes, Nanomedicine (London), 2017, 12(10):1153-1164

  • 38. Hao D, Xiao W, Liu R, Kumar P, Li Y, Zhou P, Guo F, Farmer D, Lam KS, Wang F, Wang A, Discovery and Characterization of a Potent and Specific Peptide Ligand Targeting Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Endothelial Cells for Tissue Regeneration, ACS Chemical Biology, 2017, 12 (4), 1075-1086

  • 37. Zhou F, Shimoda M, Olney L, Lyu Y, Tran K, Jiang G, Nakano K, Davis RR, Tepper CG, Maverakis E, Campbell M, Li Y, Dandekar S & Izumiya Y, Oncolytic Reactivation of KSHV as a Therapeutic Approach for Primary Effusion Lymphoma, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 2017, 16 (11), 2627-2638

  • 36. He W, Felderman M, Evans AC, Geng J, Homan D, Bourguet F, Fischer Li Y, Lam KS, Noy A, Xing L, Cheng HR, Rasley A, Blanchette CD, Kamrud K, Wang N, Gouvis H, Peterson TC, Hubby B, Coleman MA, Cell-free Production of a Functional Oligomeric Form of a Chlamydia Major Outer Membrane Protein (MOMP) for Vaccine Development, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2017, 292(36):15121-15132

  • 35. Lin T, Guo W, Long Q, Ma A, Liu Q, Zhang H, Pan C, Lam KS, Li Y* (corresponding author). HSP90 inhibitor encapsulated photo-theranostic nanoparticles for synergistic combination cancer therapy. Theranostics, 2016, 6(9), 1324-1335

  • 34. Lin T/Li Y (co-first author), Liu Q, Chen J, Zhang H, Lac D, Zhang H, Ferrara KW, Wachsmann-H S, Li T, Airhart S, deVere White R, Pan C, Lam KS, Novel theranostic nanoporphyrins for photodynamic diagnosis and trimodal therapy for bladder cancer. Biomaterials, 2016,104, 339-351

  • 33. Bharadwaj G, Lee JS, Kekessie I, Lam KS, Li Y* (corresponding author). A facile and efficient approach for production of reversible disulfide cross-linked micelles. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2016,  e54722-e54722

  • 32. Pan A, Zhang H, Li Y, Lin T, Wang F, Lee J, Cheng M, Dall’Era M, Li T, deVere White R, Pan C and Lam KS, Disulfide-crosslinked nanomicelles confer cancer-specific drug delivery and improve efficacy of paclitaxel in bladder cancer. Nanotechnology,  2016,  27, 425103

  • 31. Orbay H, Li Y, Xiao W, Cherry SR, Lam KS, Sahar DE, Developing a Nanoparticle-Delivered High-Efficacy Treatment for Infantile Hemangiomas Using a Mouse Hemangioendothelioma, Model. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2016, 138(2), 410-417

  • 30. Xiao K/Li Y (co-first author), Wang C, Ahmad S, Vu M, Kuma K, Cheng Y, Lam KS, Disulfide cross-linked micelles of novel HDAC inhibitor thailandepsin A for the treatment of breast cancer. Biomaterials, 2015, 67,183-193, PMID: 26218744 

  • 29. Lin T, Rodriguez CO, Li Y, Nanomedicine in Veterinary Oncology, The Veterinary Journal, 2015, 205 (2):189-197, PMID: 25862394

  • 28. Zhang P, Zam A, Jian Y, Wang X, Li Y, Lam KS, Flannery JG, Burns ME, Sarunic MV, Pugh E, Zawadzki R, Compact, wide-field multispectral SLO-OCT in vivo mouse retinal imager: system design, performance and applications, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 2015,  20(12), 126005

  • 27. Chen Y, Su J, Duan L, Li Y, Liu X, Preparation of waterborne polyurethane acrylate (PUA) and application to UV-curing coatings. Journal of Chemical Science and Technology, 2015; 4(1):8-15

  • 26. Li Y* (corresponding author), Xiao K, Zhu W, Deng W, Lam KS*, Stimuli-responsive cross-linked micelles for on-demand drug delivery against cancers. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 2014,  66, 58-73, PMID: 24060922

  • 25. Li Y* (corresponding author), Lin T, Luo Y, Liu Q, Xiao W, Guo W, Lac D, Zhang H, Feng C, Wachsmann-H S, Walton JH, Cherry SR, Rowland DJ, Kukis D, Pan C, Lam KS*, A smart and versatile theranostic nanomedicine platform based on nanoporphyrin. Nature Communications, 2014, 5, 4712, PMID: 25158161, (reported as a Research Highlight by Nature Publishing Group (NPG)) 

  • 24. Jian Z, Han H, Zhang T, Puglisi J, Izu LT, Shaw JA , Onofiok E, Erickson JR, Chen Y, Horvath B, Shimkunas R, Xiao W, Li Y, Pan T, Chan J, Banyasz T, Tardiff JC, Chiamvimonvat N, Bers DM, Lam KS & Chen-Izu Y, Mechanochemotransduction during cardiomyocyte contraction is mediated by localized nitric oxide signaling. Science Signaling, 2014, 7, ra27, PMID: 24643800 (Featured as Cover Image)

  • 23. Zhang H, Li Y, Lin T, Xiao K, Haddad AS, Henderson PT, Jonas BA, Chen M, Xiao W, Liu R, Lam KS, Pan C, Nanomicelle formulation modifies the pharmacokinetic profiles and cardiac toxicity of daunorubicin. Nanomedicine, 2014, 20, 1-14, PMID:24628688

  • 22. Lin T, Li Y, Zhang H, Luo J, Goodwin N, Gao T, White R, Lam KS, Pan C, Tumor-targeting multifunctional micelles for imaging and chemotherapy of advanced bladder cancer. Nanomedicine, 2013, 8(8):1239-1251, PMID: 23199207

  • 21. Guo W, Liu R, Bhardwaj G, Ma A, Changou C, Yang JC, Li Y, Feng C, Luo Y, Mazloom A, Sanchez E, Wang Y, Huang W, Patterson R, Evans CP, Lam KS, Kung HJ, CTA095, a Novel Etk and Src Dual Inhibitor, Induces Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells and Overcomes Resistance to Src Inhibitors. PLoS One, 2013, 8(8), e70910, PMID: 23967135

  • 20. Xiao K, Suby N, Li Y, Lam KS, Telodendrimer-based nanocarriers for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Therapeutic Delivery, 2013, 4 (10), 1279-1292, PMID: 24116912

  • 19. Xiao W, Bononi FC, Townsend J, Li Y, Liu R, Lam KS, Immobilized OBOC combinatorial bead array to facilitate multiplicative screening. Comb Chem High Throughput Screen. 2013, 16: 441-448, PMCID: 23488896

  • 18. Xiao K/Li Y (co-first author), Lee JS, Gonik AM, Dong T, Fung G, Sanchez E, Xing L, Cheng HR, Luo J, Lam KS, "OA02" Peptide facilitates the precise targeting of paclitaxel-loaded micellar nanoparticles to ovarian cancer in vivo. Cancer Research, 2012, 72(8):2100-2110, PMID:22396491 

  • 17. Li Y, Budamagunta M, Luo J, Xiao W, Voss J, Lam KS, Probing of the assembly Structure and dynamics within nanoparticles during interaction with blood proteins. ACS Nano, 2012, 6 (11), 9485-9495, PMID: 23106540 

  • 16. Li Y, Xiao W, Xiao K, Berti L, Luo J, Tseng HP, Fung G and Lam KS, Well-defined, reversible boronate crosslinked nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery in response to pH and cis-Diols. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2012, 51, 2864-2869, PMID:22253091 (Very Important Paper (VIP) (top 5%), highlighted on the inside back cover

  • 15. Lin T, Zhang H, Luo J, Li Y, Gao T, Lara PN, White R, Lam KS, Pan C, Multifunctional targeting micelle nanocarriers with both imaging and therapeutic potential for bladder cancer. International journal of Nanomedicine, 2012, 7:2793-2804, PMID: 22745542

  • 14. Kato J/Li Y (co-first author), Xiao K, Luo J, Lee JS, Toscano J, Lam KS, Reversibly disulfide cross-linked micelles for on-demand vincristine delivery. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2012 9(6):1727-35, PMID:22530955 

  • 13. Zhang H, Luo J, Li Y, Henderson PT, Wachsmann-Hogiu S, Lam KS, Pan C, Characterization of high affinity peptides and their feasibility for use in nanotherapeutics targeting leukemia stem cells. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2012, 8(7):1116-1124, PMID:22197725

  • 12. Li Y, Xiao K, Luo J, Lee JS., Xiao W, Kato J, Lam KS, Well-defined, reversible disulfide cross-linked micelles for on-demand paclitaxel delivery. Biomaterials, 2011, 32 (27) , 6633-6645, PMID:21658763

  • 11. Xiao K, Luo J, Li Y, Lee JS, Lam KS, PEG-oligocholic acid telodendrimer micelles for the targeted delivery of doxorubicin to B-cell lymphoma. Journal of Controlled Release, 2011,155(2), 272-281, PMID:22295849

  • 10. Xiao K/Li Y (co-first author), Luo J, Lee JS, Xiao W, Gonik AM, Agarwal R, Lam KS, The effect of surface charge on in vivo biodistribution of PEG-oligocholic acid based micellar nanoparticles. Biomaterials, 2011, 32(13), 3435-3446, PMID:22295849

  • 9. Li Y, Xiao K, Luo J, Lee J, Pan S, Lam KS, A novel size-tunable nanocarrier system for targeted anticancer drug delivery. Journal of Controlled Release, 2010, 144(3), 314-323, PMID:20211210 

  • 8. Du Z, Pan S, Yu Q, Li Y, Wen Y, Zhang W, Feng M, Wu C, Paclitaxel-loaded micelles composed of folate poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(γ-benzyl L-glutamate) diblock copolymer. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 2010, 353(2-3),140-148

  • 7. Berti L, Woldeyesus T, Li Y, Lam KS, Maximization of loading and stability of ssDNA: iron oxide nanoparticle complexes formed through electrostatic interaction. Langmuir, 2010, 26 (23), 18293-18299, PMID: 21047109

  • 6. Luo J, Xiao K, Li Y, Lee JS, Xing L, Cheng HR, Lam KS, Well-defined, size-tunable, multi-functional micelles for efficient paclitaxel delivery for cancer treatment. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2010, 21(7), 1616-1624, PMID:20536174

  • 5. Xiao K, Luo J; Li Y, Lee JS, Lam KS, The passive targeting of polymeric micelles in various types and stages of tumor models. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters, 2010 2(2), 79-85

  • 4. Li Y, Pan S, Zhang W, Du Z, Novel thermo-sensitive core-shell nanoparticles for targeted paclitaxel delivery, Nanotechnology, 2009, 20, 065104. PMID:17417372

  • 3. Xiao K, Luo J, Fowler W, Li Y, Lee JS, Wang L, Lam KS, A novel self-assembling nanoparticle for paclitaxel delivery in ovarian cancer treatment. Biomaterials, 2009, 30(30), 6006-6016, PMID:19660809

  • 2. Wu G, Li Y, Han M, Liu X, Preparation and characterization of N, N-diethylacrylamide and acryl acid binary monomers-grafted polypropylene films with temperature- and pH-sensitivities. Acta Polymerica Sinica, 2006, 9,10220-1028

  • 1. Wu G, Li Y, Han M, Liu X, Novel thermo-sensitive membranes prepared by rapid bulk photo-grafting polymerization of N,N-diethylacrylamide onto the microfiltration membranes Nylon. Journal of Membrane Science, 2006, 283, 13-20