Wei Li


Contact Information

4219 Medical Education Research Facility
375 Newton Rd
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242


Lab maintenance: ordering supplies; maintenance of mouse strains, making media and buffers; routine use and maintenance of laboratory equipment including an anaerobic culture system, centrifuges and PCR thermocyclers.

Molecular biology: purification of both eukaryotic and bacterial genomic DNA; mini prep and maxi prep extractions; DNA electrophoresis; conventional and quantitative PCR; measurement of G+C content in bacteria genomic DNA; plasmid transformation of bacteria.

Cell biology and biochemical analysis: sterile tissue culture; cellular transfection; SDS-PAGE electrophoresis, immunoprecipitation of target proteins from cell lysates; immunoblotting and western blots.

Immunology assays:

  • Familiar with ELISA to detect serum cytokine levels
  • Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining
  • Immunoblotting

Biological assays:

  • in vitro: tumor cell colony forming assay; migration assay; invasion assay; anoikis (programmed cell death) assay; establishment of cancer cell lines from fresh tumor specimens
  • in vivo: injection of tumor cells into mice; measuring tumor growth in mice; tissue dissection; protein extraction from tumors; i.p. drug injection; analysis of metastasis


  1. Lin Zhu, Wei Li and Xiuzhu Dong. Species identification of genus Bifidobacterium based on partial HSP60 gene sequences and proposal of Bifidobacterium thermacidophilum subsp. porcinum subsp. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2003 Sep;53(Pt 5):1619-23.
  2. Lu-Hai Wang, Joseph Chan and Wei Li. Rapamycin together with herceptin significantly increased anti-tumor efficacy compared to either alone in ErbB2 over expressing breast cancer cells. Int J Cancer. 2007 Jul 1; 121(1):2911-8.
  3. Peter Schlosshauer, Wei Li, Kelvin Lin, Joseph Chan, Lu-Hai Wang. Rapamycin by itself and additively in combination with carboplatin inhibits the growth of ovarian cancer cells. Gynecol Oncol. 2009 Sep;114(3):516-22.
  4. Weizhou Zhang, Wei Tan, Xuefeng Wu, Maxim Poustovoitov, Amy Strasner, Wei Li, Nicholas Borcherding, Majid Ghassemian, and Michael Karin. A NIK-IKK module expands ErbB2-induced tumor- initiating cells by stimulating nuclear export of p27/Kip1. Cancer Cell. 2013 May 13;23(5):647-59. PMID: 23602409. PMCID: PMC3981467.
  5. Qing Xie, Julia Klesney-Tait, Kathy Keck, Corey Parlet, Nicholas Borcherding, Ryan Kolb, Wei Li, Lorraine Tygrett, Thomas Waldschmidt, Alicia Olivier, Songhai Chen, Guang-hui Liu, Xiangri Li, Weizhou Zhang. Characterization of a novel mouse model with genetic deletion of CD177. Protein Cell. 2015 Feb;6(2):117-26. PMCID: PMC4312768
  6. Nicholas Borcherding, David Kusner, Ryan Kolb, Qing Xie, Wei Li, Gabriel Velez, Ryan Askeland, Ronald J. Weigel, Weizhou Zhang. Paracrine Wnt5a signaling inhibits the expansion of tumor-initiating cells. Cancer Res. 2015 May 15;75(10):1972-82. PMID: 25769722; PMCID: 4433621.
  7. Ryan Kolb, Liem Phan, Nicholas Borcherding, Yinghong Liu, Fang Yuan, Ann M Janowski, Qing Xie, Kathleen R Markan, Wei Li, Matthew J Potthoff, Enrique Fuentes-Mattei, Lesley G Ellies, Michael Knudsen, Mong-Hong Lee, Sai-Ching Jim Yeung, Cassel L Suzanne, Fayyaz S Sutterwala, Weizhou Zhang. Obesity-associated NLRC4 inflammasome promotes angiogenesis in breast cancer. Nature Communications. 2016. Oct 6;7:13007. Doi: 10.1038/ncomms13007. PMID: 27708283.
  8. Fang Yuan, Ryan Kolb, Wei Li, Lin Sun, Fuyou Liu, Fayyaz S. Sutterwala, Yinghong Liu, Weizhou Zhang. Involvement of NLRC4-inflammasome in diabetic nephropathy. PLoS One. 2016 Oct 5;11(10):e0164135. PMID: 27706238. PMCID: PMC5051905.