Henry James (Xiaotao) Li

Henry James (Xiaotao) Li
Professor of Practice in Biochemistry

Henry James Li is a Professor of Practice in Biochemistry at NYU Shanghai. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and his MD from Chongqing University of Medical Sciences. 

Li was one of the pioneers in the discovery of the first mammalian target of REGγ (a proteasome activator). He remains interested in the biological functions/molecular mechanisms of the REGγ-proteasome pathway, including protein homeostasis in metabolism, neuronal degeneration, and cancer development, and solutions to fight against related human diseases. He has over 70 publications in internationally recognized journals, including Cell, Molecular Cell, PNAS, Cell Metabolism, Autophagy, and Nature Communications with more than 2000 citations.

Li started his academic career as an Assistant Professor of Cell Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to his current appointment, Li was an Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at NYU Shanghai and worked as a Professor of Biochemistry at the East China Normal University, School of Life Sciences, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Regulatory Biology & Institute of Biomedical Sciences.



Select Publications

  • Tan X, Tong L, Li L, Xu J, Xie S, Ji L, Fu J, Liu Q, Shen S, Liu Y, Xiao Y, Gao F, Moses RE, Bardeesy N, Wang Y, Zhang J, Tang L, Li L, Wong KK, Song D, Yang X, Liu J, Li X. Loss of Smad4 promotes aggressive lung cancer metastasis by de-repression of PAK3 via miRNA regulation. Nature Communications. 2021 Aug. 11; 12(1): 4853.

  • Jiao C, Li L, Zhang P, Zhang L, Li K, Fang R, Yuan L, Shi K, Pan L, Guo Q, Gao X, Chen G, Xu S, Wang Q, Zuo D, Wu W, Qiao S, Wang X, Moses R, Xiao J, Li L, Dang Y, Li X. REGγ ablation impedes dedifferentiation of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma and accentuates radio-therapeutic response by regulating the Smad7-TGF-β pathway. Cell Death Differ. 2020 Feb;27(2):497-508.

  • Xu J, Zhou L, Lei Li, Moses RE, O'Malley BW, Li X. The REGgamma-proteasome forms a regulatory circuit with IĸB epsilon and NFκB in experimental colitis. Nature Communications 2016 Feb. 22;7:10761.

  • Li L, Zhao D, Wei H, Yao L, Dang Y, Amjad A, Xu J, Liu J, Guo L, Li D, Li Z, Zuo D, Zhang Y, Liu J, Huang S, Jia C, Wang L, Wang Y, Xie Y, Luo J, Zhang B, Luo H, Donehower LA, Moses RE, Xiao J, O'Malley BW, Li X. REGγ deficiency promotes premature aging via the casein kinase 1 pathway. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 2;110(27):11005-10.

  • Li X., Lonard D., Jung S.Y., Malovannaya A., Feng Q., Qin J., Tsai S. Y., Tsai M-J., and O’Malley B.W.  The SRC-3/AIB1 coactivator is degraded in an ubiquitin- and ATP-independent manner by the REGgamm-proteasome. Cell. 2006 124, 381-392.



  • PhD
    University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • MD
    Chongqing University of Medical Sciences

Research Interests

  • Development and application of inhibitory compounds against the REGγ-proteasome

  • Substrate recognition by the REGγ-proteasome

  • Regulation of the non-canonical proteasome pathways

Courses Taught

  • Biochemistry I 

  • Biochemistry II

  • Integrated Science Capstone

  • Energy and Environment