I was initially involved in characterization of the anti-apoptotic protein survivin during my postdoctoral studies at Yale Medical School (Li et al., Nature, 396: 580-584, 1998; Li et al., Nature Cell Biol, 1: 461-466, 1999). Survivin is a novel member in the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family and is a treatment (radiation, chemotherapy) resistant factor. Survivin is aberrantly expressed in all types of cancer, while undetectable or with very low level expression in normal tissues.
Since I established my own research laboratory in 2001 at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, my basic cancer research interest has gradually extended into translational cancer research by focusing on discovery and development of low toxic, high efficacy anti-cancer drugs and their mechanism of action studies. My laboratory research is mainly sponsored through NIH/NCI, DOD and many private/public foundations such as the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Concern Foundation.