Zhiyu Li PhD

Zhiyu Li, PhD

Zhiyu Li PhD

Director of Undergraduate Pharmacology/Toxicology Program

Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences


BS (Nankai University)

MS (USTC, China)

PhD (University of Maryland)

Research Interests

Research interest on biopharmaceutics is to utilize human endogenous proteins as carriers for drug formulation, targeting and delivery.


Dr. Li's research interest on biopharmaceutics is to utilize human endogenous proteins as carriers for drug formulation, targeting and delivery. He has developed a human serum albumin-based platform to create recombinant albumins that can recognize designated protein targets and utilize their native biochemical and biological functions to deliver small molecule, peptide and nucleic acid drugs. These recombinant target binding albumins can be applied as antibody alternatives in clinical therapy and bioscience research.

Another direction of Dr. Li's research is on structure/function study of DNA type IA topoisomerases and RecQ-like helicases. These enzymes play critical roles in DNA recombination and repair. Methods in biochemistry, biophysics, genetics and molecular modeling are employed to elucidate the biological functions of these enzymes. Meanwhile, he is also interested in screening and designing new antibiotic and anticancer drugs that target type IA topoisomerases and RecQ helicases.

Selected Scholarly Activity

Li, Z., Hiasa, H., and DiGate, R.J. (2006) Characterization of a unique type IA topoisomerase in Bacillus cereus Mol. Microbiol 60, 140-151
Li, Z., Hiasa, H., and DiGate, R.J. (2005) Bacillus cereus DNA topoisomerase I and IIIÔÅ°: purification, characterization, and complementation of E. coli Topo III activity Nucl. Acids Res. 33, 5415-5425.
Tan, Y., Liu, F. Li, Z. ,Li, S. and Huang L (2001) Sequential Injection of Cationic Liposome and Plasmid DNA Effectively Transfects the Lung with Minimal Inflammatory Toxicity Mol. Therapy 3, 673-682
Li, Z., Mondragon, A., and DiGate, R.J. (2001) The Mechanism of Type IA Topoisomerase-Mediate DNA Topological Transformations Mol Cell 7, 301-307
Hofman, C. R., Dileo, J. P., Li, Z., Li, S.,and Huang, L. (2000) Efficient in vivo gene transfer by PCR amplified fragment with reduced inflammatory activity. Gene Therapy. 8: 71-74, 2000.
Li, Z., Mondragon, A., Hiasa, H., Marians, K., and DiGate, R.J. (2000) Identification of a unique domain essential for Escherichia coli DNA topoisomerase III-catalyzed decatenation of replication intermediates. Mol. Microbiol 35, 888-895

Contact Information

Office location: Pharmacology/Toxicology Center Room 249
Mailing address: University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 267.295.3105

zh [dot] li [at] usciences [dot] edu