Dr. Mei Li
Every year, approximately 50 Fellows are invited to work on their projects at FRIAS for 2 to 12 months in an intellectually stimulating environment. Fellows that have already been at FRIAS before can return to FRIAS for 2 to 6 weeks within the framework of the Alumni Programme, for example in order to finish a project. Furthermore, junior and senior researchers are regularly invited as guest researchers.
Our Research Focus profited enormously from the international team of Fellows and guest researchers at FRIAS.
Prof. Dr. Tobias Schätz, ERC Consolidator Grant 2015, Research Focus Quantum Transport 2014/15
Cellular and Molecular Biology
External Senior Fellow
October 2013 - October 2015
Mei LI was born in 1972. In 1993 she gained a Bachelor degree in Biochemistry at Sichuan University, China; in 1998 she completed a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. In 2010 she completed her „Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches“ (HDR) at the Université de Strasbourg, France. She held the following positions: 1998-2002 Postdoctoral fellow at IGBMC, Strasbourg, France; 2002-2006 CNRS Research Scientist (Chargé de Recherche de 2ème classe); 2006-2011 CNRS Research Scientist (Chargé de Recherche de 1èreclasse). Since 2011 she is CNRS Research Director (Directeur de recherche de 2ème classe) at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC).
Mei Li was awarded the following awards and distinctions: President’s Award by Chinese Academy of Sciences (1995), Beckman Graduate Award by Beckman Company (1997), National Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis (2000), Prix de Recherche de la Société Française d'Allergologie (2012), Prix de Fondation Simone et Cino del Duca de l’institut de France (2012).
- Leyva-Castillo, J. M., Hener, P., Jiang, H., & Li, M. (2013). TSLP produced by keratinocytes promotes allergen sensitization through skin and thereby triggers atopic march in mice. J. Invest. Dermatol. 133, 154-63.
- Zhang, Z., Hener, P., Frossard, N., Kato, S., Metzger, D., Li, M.*, and Chambon, P.* (2009). Thymic stromal lymphopoietin overproduced by keratinocytes in mouse skin aggravates experimental asthma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106, 1536-1541 (*, co-corresponding authors).
- Li, M.*, Hener, P., Zhang, Z., Ganti, K.P., Metzger, D., and Chambon, P.* (2009). Induction of thymic stromal lymphopoietin expression in keratinocytes is necessary for generating an atopic dermatitis upon application of the active vitamin D3 analogue MC903 on mouse skin. J Invest Dermatol 129, 498-502 (*, co-corresponding authors).
- Li, M., Hener, P., Zhang, Z., Kato, S., Metzger, D., and Chambon, P. (2006). Topical vitamin D3 and low-calcemic analogs induce thymic stromal lymphopoietin in mouse keratinocytes and trigger an atopic dermatitis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 103, 11736-41.
- Li, M., Indra, A.K., Warot, X., Brocard, J., Messaddeq, N., Kato, S., Metzger, D., and Chambon, P. (2000). Skin abnormalities generated by temporally controlled RXRalpha mutations in mouse epidermis. Nature 407:633-636.
In vivo visualizing the dynamics of cytokine-targeting cells
The goal of the current joint FRIAS-USIAS project is to conduct a highly original research for better understanding the in vivo signaling of cytokine. Based on the expertise of two groups: 1) in vivo mouse modeling systems for cytokine functional study (Dr. Mei Li, IGBMC, Strasbourg); and 2) synthetic biology toolkit and advanced imaging technologies for membrane protein signaling study (Dr. Jianying Yang, BIOSS, Freiburg), our objective is to develop innovative methodologies to pinpoint cytokine-targeting cells and visualize their dynamics in mouse tissue microenvironment. To achieve these goals, we will generate novel aptamer-based reagents specifically recognizing the functional heterodimetic receptor of a cytokine called TSLP (thymic stromal lymphopoietin), using a strategy based on newly emerging Cell-SELEX technology and synthetic biology cellular tools. Based on these aptamers, molecular beacon will be designed and tested, which will be ultimately applied for in vivo visualizing and identifying the TSLP-targeting cells in mouse ear skin. For this, we will use intravital multiphoton microscopy and employ a unique mouse modeling system, in which the expression of TSLP can be spatially and temporally induced in mouse skin. Moreover, within and beyond this two-year project, we will assay the specific aptamers for their potential agonistic or antagonistic activities, thus to develop new tools for functional study of TSLP signaling. The obtained aptamers will also provide us powerful tools for further studying the nano-organization of cytokine receptor on cell membrane and their interaction with other membrane proteins using super-resolution microscopy.