Full time faculty

Adjunct professor

Chair professor


Peng Li


Peng Li, Ph.D.

Professor, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fellow of TWAS, Director of the Division of Life Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Chang Jiang Scholar, Recipient of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars


Education and Working experience


BS degree; Undergraduate student, Department of Biology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China



PhD student in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Texas, USA



PhD degree; Ph.D. student in the graduate program of Biomedical Sciences, Medical School, University of California at San Diego, California, USA




Research Fellow, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, National University of Singapore, Singapore




Research Associate, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Texas Southwestern Medical center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA




Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore




Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong




Associate professor (Tenured), Department of Biology, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong


2006.7- 2008.12

Professor (Tenured) and Principle Investigator, Cheung Kong Scholar in 2006, Outstanding Young Talent in 2009, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015, Fellow of TWAS in 2016

School of Life Sciences , Center of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China



Singapore Young Scientist Award in 1999;

Cheung Kong Scholar in 2006;

Outstanding Young Talent in 2009;

Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation prize for Scientific and Technological Progress in Life Sciences in 2012;


Main Research Fields

The molecular mechanisms of metabolic diseases including obesity, diabetes and hepatic steatosis with a special focus on the regulation of lipid storage,secretion and lipolysis in adipocytes, hepatocytes and mammary epithelial cells. We are interested in lipid droplet biogenesis, fusion, growth and its structural and functional interaction with other sub-cellular organelles including endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria.


Selected Publications

  1. Qian H, Chen Y, Nian Z, Su L, Yu H, Chen FJ, Zhang X, Xu W, Zhou L, Liu J, Yu J, Yu L, Gao Y, Zhang H, Zhang H, Zhao S, Yu L, Xiao RP, Bao Y, Hou S, Li P, Li J, Deng H, Jia W, Li P*2017 HDAC6-mediated acetylation of lipid droplet-binding protein CIDEC regulates fat-induced lipid storage. J Clin Invest. 127: 1353-69.
  2. Zhou L, Park SY, Xu L, Xia X, Ye J, Su L, Jeong KH, Hur JH2, Oh H, Tamori Y, Zingaretti CM, Cinti S, Argente J, Yu M, Wu L, Ju S, Guan F,Yang H, Choi CS, Savage DB, Li P*2015Insulin resistance and white adipose tissue inflammation are uncoupled in energetically challenged Fsp27 deficient mice. Nat. Commum. 6, 5949.
  3. Wu L, Xu D, Zhou L, Xie B, Yu L, Yang H, Huang L, Ye J, Deng H, Yuan YA, Chen S, Li P*2014Rab8a-AS160-MSS4 regulatory circuit controls lipid droplet fusion and growth. Dev. Cell 30, 378-93.
  4. Zhang S, Shui G, Wang G, Wang C, Sun S, Zouboulis CC, Xiao R, Ye J, Li W, Li P*(2014) Cidea control of lipid storage and secretion in mouse and human sebaceous Glands, Mol. Cell. Biol. 34, 1827-38.
  5. Sun Z, Gong J, Wu H, Xu W, Wu L, Xu D, Gao J, Wu J, Yang H, Yang M and Li P*2013Perilipin1 promotes unilocular lipid droplet formation through activation of Fsp27 in adipocytes. Nat. Commum. 4, 1594
  6. Xu L, Zhou L, Li P* (2012) CIDE proteins and lipid metabolism, Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 32, 1094-8.
  7. Zhou L, Xu L, Ye J, Li D, Wang W, Li X, Wu L, Wang H, Guan F, Li P*2012Cidea promotes hepatic steatosis by sensing dietary fatty acids. Hepatology 56, 95-107.
  8. Wang W, Lv N, Zhang S, Shui G, Qian H, Zhang J, Chen Y, Ye J, Xie Y, Shen Y, Wenk MR, Li P*2012 Cidea is an essential transcriptional coactivator regulating mammary gland secretion of milk lipids. Nat. Med. 18, 235-43.
  9. Gong J, Sun Z, Wu L, Xu W, Schieber N, Xu D, Shui G, Yang H, Parton RG, Li P*2011Fsp27 promotes lipid droplet growth by lipid exchange and transfer at lipid droplet contact sites. J. Cell Biol. 195, 953-63.
  10. Ye J, Li JZ, Liu Y, Li X, Yang T, Ma X, Li Q, Yao Z, Li P* (2009) Cideb, an ER- and lipid droplet-associated protein, mediates VLDL lipidation and maturation by interacting with apolipoprotein B. Cell Metab. 9, 177-90.
  11. Qi J, Gong J, Zhao T, Zhao J, Lam P, Ye J, Li JZ, Wu J, Zhou HM, Li P* (2008) Downregulation of AMP-activated protein kinase by Cidea-mediated ubiquitination and degradation in brown adipose tissue. EMBO J. 27, 1537-48.
  12. Li JZ, Ye J, Xue B, Qi J, Zhang J, Zhou Z, Li Q, Wen Z, Li P*(2007) Cideb regulates diet-induced obesity, liver steatosis, and insulin sensitivity by controlling lipogenesis and fatty acid oxidation, Diabetes 56, 2523-32.
  13. Zhou Z, Yon Toh S, Chen Z, Guo K, Ng CP, Ponniah S, Lin SC, Hong W, Li P* (2003) Cidea-deficient mice have lean phenotype and are resistant to obesity. Nat. Genetics 35, 49-56.
  14. Chua BT, Volbracht C, Ta KOn, Li R, Yu V and Li P* (2003) Mitochondrial translocation of cofilin is an early step in apoptosis induction. Nat. Cell Biol. 5, 1083-89.
  15. Li P, Nijhawan D, Budihardio I, Srinivasula SM, Ahmad M, Alnemri ES, and Wang X1997 Cytochrome C and dATP-dependent formation of Apaf-1/Caspase-9 complex initiates an apoptotic protease cascade, Cell 91, 478-89.
  16. Li P, Yang X, Wasser M, Cai Y, Chia W1997 Inscuteable and Staufen mediate asymmetric localization and segregation for Prospero RNA during Drosophila neuroblast cell divisions, Cell 90, 437-47.
  17. Xu D, Li Y, Wu L, Li Y, Zhao D, Yu J, Huang T, Ferguson C, Parton RG, Yang H, Li P*(2018) Rab18 promotes lipid droplet (LD) growth by tethering the ER to LDs through SNARE and NRZ interactions. J Cell Biol. 217(3):975-95.

Teaching Course

Molecular basis of human disease (in English)




Tsinghua University,Beijing,China,100084
Tel:+86-10-62788604  Fax:+86-10-62788604  Email:admin-life@biomed.tsinghua.edu.cn