La Li

Graduate Student
Graduate Student



Graduate student researcher (PhD), Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program/Cellular and Molecular Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013-present.     

MS, Sports Medicine, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China, 2013.

BA, Biomedical English, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China, 2010.

Research Interest

I am interested in the pathophysiology of heterotopic ossification (HO), especially for the blast trauma-induced HO. The incidence of HO is reported to be 63% on high-energy, combat-related trauma patients. However, the pathogenesis of HO is largely unknown. The goal of my study is to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for blast trauma-induced HO. It is hypothesized that blast trauma-induced HO is generated by the interaction of 3 factors: a receptive progenitor cell, an osteogenic signal, and a permissive environment. We have begun our study by characterizing the cells derived from blast traumatized mouse skeletal muscle tissue that is likely involved in HO. At the same time, we have tested if the conditioned medium from blast traumatized skeletal muscle tissue contains osteogenic factors that can induce osteogenic response in these muscle-derived cells. The next step of our study will be injecting these cells and factors back into mice to identify the permissive environment in favor of HO formation.