CHOC Docs :: Provider Profile

Calvin Li, PhD


Research Focus:
Determining the optimal therapeutic windows for the targeted destruction of cancer stem cells

1201 W La Veta
Orange, California 92646
map & directions

Physician / Researcher Bio

Calvin Li, PhD has worked at CHOC since 2005. He is a senior scientist with CHOC Children’s Research Institute. He received his doctorate in biomedical sciences from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, an affiliate of MIT, in molecular cell biology and a research fellowship at Harvard University Medical School in cancer cell biology.


Dr. Li’s research goal is to develop novel cancer therapies by determining the optimal therapeutic windows for the targeted destruction of cancer stem cells. Working with Dr. William Loudon, Dr. Li has taken a systematic approach to uncovering the therapeutic window. By isolating and characterizing cancer stem cells, he tracks the molecular mechanism of the cells’ trafficking as they metastasize and grow in co-culture, three-dimensional microenvironment with tissue and/or synthetic polymer scaffolds. Through this medium, he studies the cellular, molecular, and physiological therapeutic window for targeted destruction.

Dr. Li’s pioneering work is well known. He has had more than 100 published research articles, reviews, chapters, and patents. Dr. Li’s work has been most recently published in journals including the World Journal of Stem Cells, Cell Biology International, Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, and Bioscience Hypotheses. He has been on the editorial boards for the American Journal of Pathology and Journal of Cell Science and Therapy. He has been an ad-hoc reviewer for Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, The Alzheimer’s Society’s Quality Research in Dementia, Nature Medicine, and Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Published Works

Li SC*, Han YP, Dethlefs B, Loudon WG (2010) . Therapeutic Window, a Critical Developmental Stage for Stem Cell Therapies. Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy. (PMID: 20528752, PubMed Medline, June 9, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

Li SC, Jin Y, Loudon WG, Cavenee WK, Weiner L, Zhong JF (2010). Specific Gene Suppression Increases Developmental Plasticity of Human Keratinocytes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. (In revision)

Li SC*, Tachiki L, Luo J, Dethlefs BA, Chen Z, Loudon WG (2010). A biological global positioning system: considerations for tracking stem cell behaviors in the whole body. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, 6 (2): 317-333.

Li SC*, Zhong JF (2009) Twisting immune responses for allogeneic stem cell therapy. World Journal of Stem Cells 2009; 1(1): 30-35.

Li SC*, Wang L, Jiang H, Acevedo J, Chang AC, Loudon WG (2009) (*corresponding author). Stem cell engineering for treatment of heart diseases: Potentials and challenges. Cell Biology International (Official Journal of the International Federation for Cell Biology, Elsevier) 33: 255-267.

Li SC*, Loudon W (2008). A novel and generalizable organotypic slice platform to evaluate stem cell potential for targeting pediatric brain tumors. Cancer Cell International. 8(1):9. P1-11.

Tran N, Li S (2008). Differential proteomic panning analysis of protein from serum and cultured stem cells: An alternative to mass spectrometric methods. Experimental Biology 2008, San Diego, California, April 15, 19. The FASEB Journal. 2008; 22:lb248) © 2008 FASEB

Su Q, Li S* (2008) (*Corresponding author). Small activating mRNA (samRNA): A hypothesis for a specific positive feedback regulation of gene expression. Bioscience Hypotheses Vol 1/1 pp 44-47. DOI information: 10.1016/j.bihy.2008.01.007.

Li S, Okamoto T, Chun M, Sargiacomo M, Casanova J, Hansen SH, Nishimoto I, and Lisanti MP (1995). Evidence for a regulated interaction between hetrotrimeric G proteins and Caveolin. J. Biol. Chem., 270 (26): 15693-15701.

Li S, Seitz R and Lisanti MP (1996). Phosphorylation of Caveolin by Src tyrosine kinases: The alpha-isoform of Caveolin is selectively phosphorylated by v-Src in vivo. J. Biol. Chem., 271(7), 3863-3868.

Li S, Song KS and Lisanti MP (1996). Expression and characterization of recombinant Caveolin: Purification by polyhistidine tagging and cholesterol-dependent incorporation into defined lipid membranes. J. Biol. Chem., 271(1), 568-573.

Li S, Song KS, Koh SS and Lisanti MP (1996). Baculovirus-based expression of mammalian Caveolin in Sf21 insect cells: A model system for the biochemical and morphological study of caveolar biogenesis. J. Biol. Chem. 271 (45): 28647-28654.

Li S, Couet J, and Lisanti MP (1996). Src tyrosine kinases, G ¬ subunits and H-Ras share a common membrane-anchored scaffolding protein, Caveolin: Caveolin binding negatively regulates the auto-activation of Src tyrosine kinases. J. Biol. Chem. 271 (46): 29182-29190.

Lisanti MP, Li S, Tang ZL, Song KS, Kubler E and Scherer PE (1996). Caveolin, an integral membrane protein of caveolae membranes in vivo: Implications for signal transduction. In " ¬-2 Adrenergic Receptors: Structure, function and therapeutic implications Edited by Stephen M. Lanier and Lee E. Limbird; pp63-76. Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997. (ISBN 90-5702-019-X),

Song KS, Li S, Okamoto T, Quilliam LA, Sargiacomo M, and Lisanti MP (1996). Co-purification and direct interaction of Ras with Caveolin, an integral membrane protein of caveolae microdomains: A novel procedure of detergent-free purification for caveolae membrane. J. Biol. Chem., 271(16), 9690-9697.

Song KS, Tang ZL, Li S, Lisanti MP (1997). Mutational analysis of the properties of caveolin-1: A novel role for the C-Terminal domain in mediating homo-typic Caveolin Caveolin interactions. J. Biol. Chem. (USA) 272 (7): 4398-4403.

Puertollano R, Li S, Lisanti MP, and Alonso MA (1997). Recombinant expression of the MAL proteolipid, a component of glycolipid-enriched membrane microdomains, induces the formation of vesicular structures in insect cells. J. Biol. Chem. (USA), 272 (29): 18311-18315. July 18, 1997.

Garcia-Cardena G, Martasek P, Masters BSS, Skidd PM, Couet J, Li S, Lisanti MP, and Sessa WC (1997). Dissecting the interaction between nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and Caveolin: Functional significance of the NOS Caveolin binding domain in vivo. (Communication). J. Biol. Chem. (USA). 1997 Oct. 10, 272(41): 25437-25440. Data supporting the functional significance of Caveolin-scaffolding domain (CSD).

Couet J, Li S, Okamoto T, Scherer PE, and Lisanti MP (1997). Molecular and cellular biology of Caveolae: Paradoxes and Plasticities. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine (USA) 1997: 7 (4): 103-110. 1997, Elsevier Science Inc.

Lee H-J, Silva DA, Lee S-W (Li S), Lisanti MP, Lodish HF, and Chun M (1997). Signal transduction by endothelin receptor in caveolae. The 37th American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting. December 13-17, 1997, Washington, D.C., USA. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Supplement to Molecular Biology of the Cell Vol. 8, Nov. 1997

Li S, Lisanti MP, and Puszkin S (1998). Purification and molecular characterization of NP185, a neuron-specific and synapse-enriched clathrin assembly polypeptide. Bioquimica Y Patologia Clinica (English Journal edition by Southern American Society on Biochemistry). 62(1): 5-17.

Volonte D, Galbiati F, Li S, Nishiyama K, Okamoto T, Lisanti MP (1999). Flotillins/Cavatellins are differentially expressed in cells and tissues and form a hetero-oligomeric complex with caveolins in vivo. Characterization and epitope-mapping of a novel flotillin-1 monoclonal antibody probe. J. Biol. Chem. (USA) 1999 Apr 30; 274(18): 12702-9.

Zhang L*, Lin W*, Li S*, and Aoki KR (2003). Complete DNA sequences of the Botulinum neurotoxin Type A-Hall (Allergan) Strain. Gene 315 (2003), 21-32.

Couet J, Li S, Okamoto T, Ikezu T, and Lisanti MP (1997). Identification of Peptide and protein ligands for the Caveolin-scaffolding domain: Implication for the interaction of Caveolin-associated proteins. J. Biol. Chem. 272 (10): 6525-6533.

Li S, Galbiati F, Volonte D, Sargiacomo M, Engelman JA, Das K, Scherer PE, Lisanti MP (1998). Mutational analysis of Caveolin-induced vesicle formation. Expression of caveolin-1 recruits caveolin-2 to caveolae membranes. FEBS Lett 1998 Aug 28; 434(1-2):127-34.

Wang H, Haas M, Liang M, Cai T, Tian J, Li S, and Xie Z (2004)**. Ouabain assembles signaling cascades through the caveolar Na+/K+-ATPase. J. Biol. Chem. (USA) 279, 17250-17259.

Li S*, Kirov I, Klassen H, and Schwartz (2007) (*corresponding author). Characterization of Human Stem Cells Using RT-PCR. Loring, J, Wesselschmidt, R., and Schwartz, P., Eds., Human Stem Cell Manual: A Laboratory Guide, Elsevier, 2006.

Popov VM, Wang C, Shirley LA, Rosenberg A, Li S, Nevalainen M, Fu M, Pestell RG. The functional significance of nuclear receptor acetylation. Steroids. 2007 Feb;72(2):221-30. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

Ju X , S Katiyar , C Wang , M Liu , X Jiao , J Zhou , J Turner, S Li, M Lisanti, R Russell , S Mueller , J Ojeifo , W. Chen , N Hay, R. Pestell (2007). Akt1 governs breast cancer progression in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2007 Apr 25; [Epub ahead of print], May 1, 2007, 104 (18): 7438-7443.

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CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine