Targeting Cancer at the Root - CSCs

Cancers are often maintained by a relatively rare subset of tumor-initiating cells which can be particularly resistant to conventional cancer treatments. Targeting these ‘cancer stem cells’ may eliminate or reduce the incidence of chemoresistance and relapse, but this goal has been elusive. Using our research on how normal stem cells are regulated, we are developing targeted therapies to inhibit the oncogenic self-renewal of cancer stem cells.


Li lab is dedicated to investigating colon cancer and its treatment from the perspective of stem cell biology and medicine. Our current study investigates a treatment to target chemotherapy resistant cancer stem cells to achieve the goal of curing colon cancer that current treatments fail to do.


Two Sides of Gut Stem Cells

Gut stem cells (red) can be self-renewal, crypt proliferation (green) and generating intestine tissue.


Image by Xi C He.

Gut stem cells also can produce adenoma tumor mass (green and red).


Image by Xi C He.