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Faculty Information

Xin Li, PhD
Assistant Professor
Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology
Room 901D Dental Center, 421 First Avenue
Fax: 212-995-4087



2006, PhD., UMDNJ-Rutgers

2001, M.S., Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

1998, B.S., Shandong University, Jinan, China


Research Interests / Professional Overview:

The research focus in Li Lab is on metformin’s molecular mechanisms in mesenchymal and epithelial cells. Metformin is the first-line agent for type-2 diabetes which has been suggested to have anti-neoplasia efficacy and reducing fracture risks. We will study metformin actions in altering gene expression and cell fate using type-2 diabetes and prostate cancer mouse models. Our recent study has revealed that metformin suppress c-MYC oncogene to inhibit prostate tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. We are funded by NCI to explore metformin application and mechanism as a novel chemopreventive agent against prostate cancer.

We also found that metformin can potentiate bone mesenchymal stromal cells and facilitate wound healing in bone. We are intrigued to further reveal its functions in bone microenvironment during various conditions including: hyperglycemic, osteoporosis, fractures, and skeletal metastasis.


Current Funding:

National Cancer Institute (NCI) at National Institutes of Health (NIH)

New York Universitry-University Research Challenge Fund (URCF

Lab Members:

Assistant Research Scientist: Jian Yang PhD. Email:

Assistant Research Scientist: Yuqi Guo, MD, MS.

Visiting scholar: Juncheng Wei, MD, PhD. Email:

NYU undergraduate: Zhilin Wang

NYU Bio-tech Master program: Yushi Wu 


Pub Med Articles:

Li X


Representative Publications:


  1. Wei J, Wang Z, Makarov D, Li X. Current treatments and novel therapeutic targets for castration resistant prostate cancer with bone metastasis. Am J Clin Exp Urol 2013;1(1):30-38.
  2. Akinyeke, Tunde; Matsumura, Satoko; Wang, Xinying; Wu, Yingjie; Schalfer, Eric D; Saxena, Anjana; Yan, Wenbo; Logan, Susan K; Li, Xin. 'Metformin Targets c-MYC Oncogene to Prevent Prostate Cancer'. Carcinogenesis. 2013:1120-1126 
  3. Yan W, Li X. Impact of diabetes and its treatments on skeletal diseases. Front Med. 2013 Feb 2. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:23377889
  4. Soki FN*, Li X*, Berry J, Koh A, Sinder BP, Qian X, Kozloff KM, Taichman RS, McCauley LK. The effects of zoledronic acid in the bone and vasculature support of hematopoietic stem cell niches, Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 2012 [Epub ahead of print] * equal contribution
  5. Pushalkar S, Ji X, Li Y, Estilo C, Yegnanarayana R, Singh B, Li X and Saxena D. Comparison of oral microbiota in tumor and non-tumor tissues of patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. BMC Microbiology. 2012 Jul 20;12(1):144
  6. Park SI, Liao J, Berry JE, Li X, Koh AJ, Michalski MN, Eber MR, Soki FN, Sadler WD, Sud S, Tisdelle SM, Daignault SD, Nemeth JA, Snyder LA, Wronski TJ, Pienta KJ, McCauley LK. Cyclophosphamide Creates a Receptive Microenvironment for Prostate Cancer Skeletal Metastasis. Cancer Research 2012, May 15;72(10):2522-32
  7. Li X, Liao JH, Koh AJ, Sadler WD, Rosol TJ, Pienta KJ and McCauley LK. Drugs Which Inhibit Osteoclast Function Suppress Tumor Growth through Calcium Decrease in Bone. Bone 2011, 48(6):1354-61 PMID:21419883.
  8. Li X, Koh AJ, Wang Z, Soki FN, Park S, Pienta KJ and McCauley LK. Inhibitory Effects of Megakaryocytic cells in Prostate Cancer Skeletal Metastasis. J Bone Miner Res. 2011 Jan;26(1):125-34.
  9. Li X*, Loberg R*, Liao J, Ying C, Snyder LA, Pienta KJ and McCauley LK. A Destructive Cascade Mediated by CCL2 Facilitates Prostate Cancer Growth in Bone. Cancer Research. 2009 Feb 15;69(4):1685-92 (Highlighted Feature)
  10. Li X, McCauley LK. Osteonecrosis of the jaw: Meeting Report from Skeletal Complications of Malignancy V. IBMS BoneKEy. 2008 Aug;5(8):289-293.
  11. Liao J, Li X, Koh AJ, Berry JE, Thudi N, Rosol TJ, Peinta KJ and McCauley LK. Tumor expressed PTHrP facilitates prostate cancer-induced osteoblastic lesions. International Journal of Cancer 2008; Aug 26;123(10):2267-2278.
  12. McCauley LK and Li X. Distinguishing features of the oral cavity and its predisposition to osteonecrosis. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact 2007; 7(4): 356-357.