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Faculty Information

Xin Li, PHD

Xin Li, PhD

Associate Professor
Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology
Room 901D Dental Center, 421 First Avenue
Phone: 212-992-7009
Fax: 212-995-4087


PhD, Physiology, Rutgers University 2006
MS, Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 2001
BS, Biology, Shandong University 1998


  • 2009 American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Young Investigator Award
  • 2009 ASBMR-Harold M. Frost Young Investigator Award
  • 2009 IX International Cancer and Bone Meeting Young Investigator Award
  • 2011 Outstanding Trainee Presentation, 4th New York Skeletal Biology and Medicine
  • 2015 Young Investigator Award, Society for Basic Urologic Research

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 Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)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. Email:
  • PhD candidate: Tao Yu, MS. Email:
  • NYU undergraduate: Zhilin Wang
  • Current NYU Master students: Liang Luo, Chuyuan Wu, Ruohan Zhang
  • Current DDS student in honors research program: Wonkyu Seo and Susan Koh

Representative Publications

Complete listing available on the NYU Health Sciences Library site.

Search PubMed for articles.

My bibliography

Guo Y, Yu T, Yang J, Zhang T, Zhou Y, He F, Kurago Z, Myssiorek D, Wu Y, Lee P, Li X. Metformin inhibits salivary adenocarcinoma growth through cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Am J Cancer Res. 2015 Nov 15;5(12):3600-11. eCollection 2015.

Li X, Guo Y, Yan W, Snyder MP, Li X. Metformin Improves Diabetic Bone Health by Re-Balancing Catabolism and Nitrogen Disposal. PLoS One. 2015 Dec 30;10(12):e0146152. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146152. eCollection 2015.

Yang J, Wei J, Wu Y, Wang Z, Guo Y, Lee P, Li X. Metformin induces ER stress-dependent apoptosis through miR-708-5p/NNAT pathway in prostate cancer. Oncogenesis. 2015 Jun 15;4:e158. doi: 10.1038/oncsis.2015.18. PubMed PMID: 26075749; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4491613.

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.

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.

Yan W, Li X. Impact of diabetes and its treatments on skeletal diseases. Front Med. 2013 Feb 2. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:23377889.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

Li X, McCauley LK. Osteonecrosis of the jaw: Meeting Report from Skeletal Complications of Malignancy V. IBMS BoneKEy. 2008 Aug;5(8):289-293.

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.

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.