Biomedical Research, Oncology, Cancer Research, Liquid Biopsy
Fields of Research (FoR)Cancer Cell Biology, Cancer Diagnosis, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy, Medical Biochemistry: Proteins and Peptides (incl. Medical Proteomics), Protein Targeting and Signal Transduction, Molecular Targets, Oncology and Carcinogenesis
Dr Li is the Professor (Conjoint) in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney; a Principal Scientific Officer at St George Hospital, the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD); and Director of Cancer Research Laboratory at Cancer Care Centre. He is an established cancer researcher, with expertise in cancer biomarker discovery, cancer biology, radiation biology, targeted cancer therapy and cancer metastasis. He was awarded an NHMRC...view more
Dr Li is the Professor (Conjoint) in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney; a Principal Scientific Officer at St George Hospital, the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD); and Director of Cancer Research Laboratory at Cancer Care Centre. He is an established cancer researcher, with expertise in cancer biomarker discovery, cancer biology, radiation biology, targeted cancer therapy and cancer metastasis. He was awarded an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (Level 2) in 2010-2014.
Professor Li obtained his Bachelor of Medicine (B.M) degree in 1987 and Master of Science (MSc) degree in 1992 from the Henan Medical University, China. He obtained his PhD. degree in Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia, in 2000. After two years of Postdoctoral study at UNSW, he was awarded the US Department Defence Prostate Cancer Research New Investigate Award in 2003 and then became an independent investigator.
Professor Li has a career total of 140 publications in peer-reviewed journals (5367 Scopus citations, 6600 google citations) since 1999. His publications include the high impact journals, such as “Blood”, “Journal of Biological Chemistry”, “Clinical Cancer Research”, “Medicinal Research Reviews”, “Cancer and Metastasis Reviews”, “British Journal of Cancer” and “International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics”, “Theranostics”, "Advanced Materials" and Advanced Science". He is the senior/corresponding author in most of his publications. 130 conference abstracts have been presented at international and national conferences. His Scopus h-index is 40 and Google i10 index is 80.
Professor Li has attracted 7.2 million AU$ from different funding sources including NHMRC, ARC, US Department Defence, Cancer Institute NSW, and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Prostate and Breast Cancer Foundation (PBCF) as the principal investigator. Noticeably, he was awarded the best Biomedical Research Award-NHMRC Achievement Award in 2010. He currently serves on the Associate Editor of World Journal of Cancer Research (USA), and on the editorial board of the Open Biomarker Journal (USA). and the Board member of Journal of National Cancer Centre.
Professor Li has supervised 15 PhD students as the principal supervisor (12) or co-supervisor (3). He has supervised 11 PhD students to completion. He has successfully supervised 7 ILP/Honor students. His PhD students have published in leading international peer-reviewed journals (65 papers) and presented at national and international conferences (70). His PhD students have been awarded 12 travel grants, 3 international scholarships and 6 UNSW research excellence awards.
He is an active member of American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (USA), Chemistry in Cancer Research (USA), Cancer Metastasis Society (USA), International Cancer Microenvironment Society (USA), Australian Society of Medical Research, and Australian Prostate Cancer Collaboration as well as Member of postgraduate review committee at St George Clinical School. He is the Honorary President of Australian Association of Chinese Biomedical Scientists (AACBS) since 2015. He is an adjunct Professor in Zhengzhou University, China since 2018.
His current interest research areas include: a) To investigate novel biomarkers from extracellular vesicles (EVs) of human body fluids and tissues, cancer cell lines and animal models for cancer diagnosis and monitoring cancer progression (prostate and breast cancer) using liquid biopsy; b). To investigate the mechanisms of prostate and breast cancer metastasis and chemo/radio-resistance associated with tumour microenvironment, cancer stem cells and EMT and signaling pathways; c): To use targeted cancer therapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and combination therapy to control metastatic prostate cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Broad Research Areas:
Cancer, Proteomics, Genomics, Lipidomics, Extracellular Vesicles, Liquid biopsy, Cancer Stem Cells, Tumour Microenvironment, Radiation Biology, Cancer Biology, Urology, Cancer biochemistry, Immunotherapy
BM, MSc, MD, PhD
Society Memberships & Professional Activities:
American Association for Cancer Research, Member of Chemistry in Cancer Research, USA, Member of Cancer Metastasis Society, USA, Australian Society of Medical Research, Fellow of the Cancer Institute NSW, Genitourinary Oncology Group, Australian Prostate Cancer Collaboration, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Cure Cancer Australia Foundation Teaching & Supervision
Specific Research Keywords:
Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Cancer stem cell, Metastasis, Biomarker, Radiation treatment, Combination therapy, Radioresistance, Chemoresistance, Animal model, Liquid biopsy, Oncology, Exosome, Immunotherapy
1. Yong Li. Control of micrometastatic prostate cancer using multiple alpha targeted therapy. New Investigator Award. 2004-2007. 300,000 $. US army Defense of Department, USA (W81XWH-04-1-004).
2. Pamela Russell, Yong Li et al. Tissue microarrayer to enable pathological studies of cancer. CINSW equipment grant. 2006-2007. 125,000 $. CINSW.
3. Yong Li, Mark Willcox, Paul Cozzi, Pamela J Russell, Bard Walsh, Zhengjun Zhao. Identification of novel biomarkers in tears for prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis. ARC-linkage grant. 2007-2010. 150,000 $. ARC (LP0774951).
4. Yong Li. Identification of novel urinary biomarkers for prostate cancer. UNSW Gold Star Award. 2009. 40,000 $. UNSW (630586).
5. Yong Li. Using proteomic approaches to identify novel biomarkers in tear and serum to improve diagnosis and monitor progression in prostate cancer. NSW Cancer Institute Career Development Fellowship. 2007-2010. 572,000$. Cancer Institute NSW (06/CEF/1-17).
6. Yong Li, Paul Cozzi. CD44 and CD147 in prostate cancer metastasis and chemoresistance. St George Medical Research Foundation. 2010. 40,000 $.
7. Yong Li, John Kearsley. Investigation of effects of combination therapy with anti-MUC1 antibody and docetaxel on human ovarian cancer. St George Trust Fund. 2010-2012. 120,000 $. Donation.
8. Yong Li, Paul Cozzi, Mark Willcox, Brad Walsh. Proteomic study of urine to discover novel biomarkers for human prostate cancer. ARC-linkage grant, 2010-2013. 150,000 $. (ARCLP110100384).
9. Yong Li, Peter Graham, Brad Walsh. Proteomic study of tears to discover novel biomarkers for human breast cancer. ARC-linkage grant. 2011-2014. 163,940 $. ARC (LP110200467).
10. Yong Li. Identification of novel biomarkers in urine to improve diagnosis and monitor progression in prostate cancer. NHMRC Career Development Fellowship. 2010-2014. 417,000 $. NHMRC (630664).
11. Michael Grimm, Beng Chong, Steven Krilis, David Morris and Yong Li (CIE). Tuttnauer Autoclave, Step One Plus 96 well Auantitative PCR Machine, AKTA Avant 150 FPLC System, Direct Detect Spectrometer. 2014. 353,190 $. Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative grant, UNSW.
12. Jingli Hao, Yong Li , Valeri Wasinger, Peter Graham. Using proteomic approaches to identify novel biomarkers associated with prostate cancer radioresistance in in vivo animal models. New Investigator Award. 2014. 35,000 AU$. St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation.
13. Michael Grimm, Beng Chong, Steven Krilis, David Morris and Yong Li (CIE). FACSAria III cell sorter. 2015. 455,000 $. Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative grant, UNSW.
14. Yong Li. Investigation of cancer stem cells in prostate cancer chemo-/radioresistance. Prostate and Breast Cancer Foundation. 2013-2015. 40,000$.
15. Richard Lock, Maria Kavallaris, Jason Wong, Anthony Don, Belamy Cheung, Nikki Verrills, Yong Li, Nigel Turner. A Shared Mass Spectrometry Facility for Discovery and Quantitative Cancer
Research, Proteomics and Lipidomics. CINSW equipment grant (2016/REG006).100,000$.
16. Michael Grimm, Beng Chong, Yong Li (CIC), David Morris and Emad E. Acquisition of a Nikon A1+ Confocal Microscope. 2016. 448,180 $. Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative grant, UNSW.
17. Peng G, Kwok CY, Ladouceur F, Bartom M, LI Y et al. High Sensitivity Single-Photon Spectroscopy System (SPSS). 2016. 64,750 $. Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative grant, UNSW.
18. Yong Li, Ying Zhu, Peter Reece, Chee Khoon Lee, Raymond Wong. Combining nanoplasmonic profiling with machine learning for non-invasive early detection of ovarian cancer using plasma exosomes. 2020-2021 (GA-2019-13). 134,026$. Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF).
19. Ying Zhu, Yong Li, Phoebe Phillips, Peter J. Reece. Multiparameter analysis of exosomes for non-invasive early detection of pancreatic cancer using a point-of-care nanoplasmonic sensor. 2020-2021. $96,033.30. Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Innovation Grants.
20. Jie Ni, Yong Li, James Thompson, David Malouf, Philip Turner, Joseph Bucci, Peter Graham. A novel liquid biopsy assay of blood exosomal microRNA profiles to improve prostate cancer diagnosis. 2021-2022. $46,000. St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation, Australia.
21. Yong Li, James Thompson, Jie Ni, David Malouf, Joseph Bucci, Peter Graham. Validation of extracellular vesicle protein biomarkers in blood for the personalised treatment decision of prostate cancer patients. 2022-2023. $50,000. St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation, Australia
Bachelor of Medicine;
Master of Science;
Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine
1. Overseas Postgraduate Research Scholarship (OPRS), UNSW, Australia (1996-1999)
2. Nominee of Young Researcher of Year 2002 in Cure Cancer Australia Foundation (2002)
3. New Investigator Award, US army Defence of Department, USA (2003)
4. Travel grant Award, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (2004)
5. Travel Grant Award, 18th Asia Pacific Cancer Conference, South Korea (2005)
6. Infrastructure Grant Award, Cancer Institute of NSW, Australia (2005)
7. ORIA Research Grant Award, the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia (2006)
8. The Best Presentation Award, 4th International Symposium on Targeted Anticancer Therapies 2006, the Netherlands (2006)
9. ARC-Linkage Grant Award, Australian Research Council, Australia (2007)
10. Early Career Development Fellowship, Cancer Institute NSW, Australia (2007)
11. NHMRC Career Development Award, Australia (2009)
12. UNSW Golden Star Award, Australia (2009)
13. Cancer Research Honorary Award, 20th Asia Pacific Cancer Conference (APCC), Japan (2009)
14. NHMRC Achievement Award, Australia (2010)
15. St George Clinical School Research Excellence Award, UNSW, Australia (2010)
16. St George Medical Foundation-Interim Support Grant Award, St George Hospital (2010)
17. ARC-Linkage Grant Award, ARC, Australia (2010)
18. ARC-Linkage Grant Award, ARC, Australia (2011)
19. Overseas distinguished biomedical research expert, Henan Health Board, China (2016)
20. AACBS Long Service Excellence Award (2021)
21. AACBS Excellence in Research Award (2021)
My Research Activities
Professor Yong Li is an independent investigator and responsible for conducting basic and clinical cancer research both personally and as a team leader; preparing and managing project design, finance, performance, paper reviewing and writing in all aspects of major research projects; collaborating with other researchers or academic staff within the UNSW or other intrastate/interstate Universities/ Institutions.
His current research program is aimed at
a): To investigate the mechanisms of cancer metastasis and chemo-/radio-resistance associated with cancer stem cell (CSC)/epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and signalling pathways;
b): To investigate novel biomarkers from human body fluids, cancer cell lines, animal models and human cancer tissues for cancer diagnosis and monitoring cancer progression using proteomics and exosomes by liquid biopsy;
c): To use targeted cancer therapy, combination therapy and immunotherapy for cancer treatment;
d). To develop innovative methods-rapid isolation and analysis of circulating exosomes using label-free nanoplasmonic sensors to create a “liquid biopsy” for non-invasive cancer diagnostics
Professor Yong Li has broad expertise in cancer cell biology, radiation biology, radiation therapy, cancer biomarker discovery and proteomic research, exosome research, in vitro and in vivo cancer animal model development, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, patient recruitments, clinical sample collection and storage and proteomics.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
PhD students, Master students, Honour students, ILP students
- Proteomic and genomics identification of novel biomarkers from human bio-fluids and tissues, cancer cell lines, animal models for cancer diagnosis and monitoring cancer progression
- Validation of a panel of identified potential biomarkers in independent groups of prostate cancer and breast cancer samples
- Investigation of cancer stem cells, EMT and signalling pathways in prostate cancer radioresistance
- Liquid biopsy of of novel exosomal biomarkers in blood to improve diagnosis and monitor progression in prostate cancer for developing personalised medicine
- Investigating metabolite cargo of extracellular vesicles for prostate cancer personalized medicine
- Investigating mechanism of tumour-associated macrophage in prostate cancer radiotherapy
- Investigating the metabolites and lipids in prostate cancer radioresistance
- Development of innovative therapies and combination therapies for in in vitro and in vivo studies
- Investigating the role of long non-coding RNA in regulating triple-negative breast cancer stemness and radioresistance
- Investigation novel combination therapy for MYCN-driven prostate cancer and breast cancer
We are looking for highly motivated postgraduate students pursuing PhD, Master or Honours degree to join the research team. We also welcome the postdoctoral researchers and visiting scholars to explore the opportunities. Please email Dr Yong Li (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your CV.
Postgraduate Scholarship Opportunities
- Domestic Research Scholarship: https://research.unsw.edu.au/domestic-research-scholarships
- International Research Scholarship: https://research.unsw.edu.au/international-research-scholarships
- International Joint Scholarship: https://research.unsw.edu.au/unsw-home-country-joint-scholarships
- UNSW-China Scholarship Council (CSC) Joint Scholarship program. For more details, visit https://research.unsw.edu.au/unsw-home-country-joint-scholarships. To apply CSC, visit http://www.csc.edu.cn/chuguo.
Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities
- Post-doctoral Fellows (3x)
- PhD students (4x)
- ILP/honor students (5x to completion)
- Visiting Fellows (2x)