Ming Li, PhD
Associate Professor
Phone: (504) 988-8207
Room #: M728


PhD: University of Iowa, 1989


Research Activities:

Long-term interests of this laboratory are focused on the in research of ion channels and diseases. We recently found that the dysregulation of basal intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]) in pancreatic b-cells is the primary defect in both insulin-dependent and insulin independent diabetes mellitus. We believe that there is an interplay between basal [Ca2+] and trafficking of high-voltage activated L-type Ca2+ channels to the outer membrane. It is under high basal [Ca2+] conditions where insulin release will be severely attenuated because of a decreased number of nifedipine-sensitive Ca2+ channels in the plasma membrane. Furthermore, we show that high expression of T-type Ca2+ channels found in diseased β-cells causes this elevated basal [Ca2+], which causes depletion of docking insulin secretory vesicles and diminished insulin release after glucose stimulation. We now focus on the molecular mechanism of T-type Ca2+ channel antagonists in treatment of type II diabetes mellitus in rodent animal models.

A second track on the research in this laboratory is focused on Ca2+ channels’ role in tumor cell proliferation. We have found that T-type Ca2+ channels play a critical role in prostate, breast and ovary cancerous cell’s growth. We also show that TRPM2 channel are over-expressed in prostate cancer cells and knocking down of this channel resulted in selective death of cancer cells.


Representative Publications:

  • Huang L, Bhattacharjee A, Taylor JT, Keyser BM, Zhang M, Marrero L, Li M. [Ca2+]i regulated CaV1.3 translocation in insulin secreting cells. Am J Physiol: Cell Physiol 286: C213–C221, 2004.
  • Li M, Hansen JB, Huang L, Keyser BM, Taylor JT: Selective antagonist of T-type Ca2+ channel: Design, characterization and potential applications of NNC 55-0396. Cardiovesc Drug Rev. 23:173-196, 2005.
  • Taylor JT, Huang L, Pottle JE, Liu K, Yang Y, Zeng X, Keyser BM, Agrawal KC, Hansen JB, Li M. Selective blockade of T-type Ca2+ channels suppresses human breast cancer cell proliferation. Cancer Lett. 2008 Aug 18;267(1):116-24.
  • X. Zeng, S.C. Sikka, L. Huang, C. Sun, C. Xu, D. Jia, A. B. Abdel-Mageed, J. E. Pottle, J. T. Taylor, M. Li. Novel Role for the Transient Receptor Potential Channel TRPM2 in Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation. Prostate Cancer and Prostate Diseases 13:195-201, 2010

Recent Publications: A PubMed listing of research publications for Ming Li, Ph.D.

1430 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-988-5251