Guangfu Li, PhD

Photo of Guangfu Li, PhD

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology


Associate Professor
Tom Miltenberger Professorship in Cancer Research
NextGen Precision Health Investigator


Dr. Guangfu Li is studying liver fibrosis, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer. Using cells, animal models and human biopsies, Dr. Li focuses on elucidating the underlying mechanisms mediating fibrosis, tumor growth and metastasis and tumor-induced immune tolerance. Based on the findings, Dr. Li aims to develop effective molecularly targeted diagnosis, molecularly targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

Academic Information

Associate Professor
Tom Miltenberger Professorship in Cancer Research
NextGen Precision Health Investigator


1030 Hitt St
Room 2000 NextGen Precision Health Institute
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

Research Interests

  • Mechanisms of tumor growth, tumor metastasis and tumor‐induced immunotolerance
  • Gut microbiome and liver disease
  • Immune‐based antitumor therapy
  • Molecularly targeted therapy
  • Molecularly targeted diagnosis
  • Tumor animal model Circulating tumor cell (CTC) Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA)

Areas of Expertise

  • Cancer molecularly targeted therapy
  • Cancer immune-based therapy
  • Cancer early diagnosis

Related Links

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

2004, PhD, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing China

In the News


  1. Xiaoqiang Qi, Ming Yang, Lixin Ma, Madeline Sauer, Diego Avella, Jussuf T. Kaifi, Jeffrey Bryan, Kun Cheng, Kevin F. Staveley-O’Carroll, Eric T. Kimchi, Guangfu Li, Synergizing sunitinib and radiofrequency ablation to treat hepatocellular cancer by triggering the antitumor immune response, Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, accepted
  2. Yariswamy Manjunath, David Porciani, Jonathan Mitchem, Kanve Suvilesh, Diego Avella, Eric Kimchi, Kevin Staveley-O'Carroll, Donald Burke, Guangfu Li, Jussuf Kaifi, Circulating Giant Tumor-Macrophage Fusion Cells Are Independent Prognosticators in Patients With NSCLC, J Thorac Oncol, 2020 Sep 15(9):1460-1471. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2020.04.034.
  3. Yariswamy Manjunath, David Porciani, Jonathan Mitchem, Kanve Suvilesh, Diego Avella, Eric Kimchi, Kevin Staveley-O'Carroll, Donald Burke, Guangfu Li, Jussuf Kaifi, Tumor cell - macrophage fusion cells as liquid biomarkers and tumor enhancers in cancer, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(5), 1872;
  4. Rui Tang, Yung-Chun Wang, Xiaohan Mei, Ning Shi, Chengming Sun, Ran Ran, Gui Zhang, Wenjing Li, Kevin Staveley-O'Carroll, Guangfu Li, Shi-You Chen, LncRNA GAS5 attenuates fibroblast activation through inhibiting Smad3-mediated myofibroblast marker gene expression, bioRxiv, doi:
  5. Yajun Liu, Xiaoqiang Qi, Guangfu Li, Grzegorz Sowa, Caveolin-2 deficiency induces a rapid anti-tumor immune response prior to regression of implanted murine lung carcinoma tumors, Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 12;9(1):18970. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55368-4
  6. Hao Yuan, Joseph Stenberg, Guangfu Li, Data on the function of CDH17 in pancreatic cancer growth, Data Brief. 2019 Aug 13;25:104332. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2019.104332. eCollection 2019 Aug.
  7. Yariswamy Manjunath, Sathisha V.Upparahalli, Kanve N.Suvilesh, Diego M.Avella, Eric T. Kimchi, Kevin F. Staveley-O’Carroll, Guangfu Li, Jussuf T. Kaifi, Circulating tumor cell clusters are a potential biomarker for detection of non-small cell lung cancer, Lung Cancer, 2019, 134: 147-150,
  8. Yariswamy Manjunath, Sathisha V. Upparahalli, Diego M. Avella, Chelsea B. Deroche, Eric T. Kimchi, Kevin F. Staveley-O’Carroll, Charles J. Smith, Guangfu Li and Jussuf T. Kaifi, PD-L1 Expression with Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition of Circulating Tumor Cells Is Associated with Poor Survival in Curatively Resected Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Cancers 2019, 11, 806; doi:10.3390/cancers11060806
  9. Xiaoqiang Qi, Emily Schepers, Diego Avella, Eric T. Kimchi, Jussuf T. Kaifi, Kevin F. Staveley-O’Carroll, Guangfu Li, An oncogenic hepatocyte-induced orthotopic mouse model of hepatocellular cancer arising in the setting of hepatic inflammation and fibrosis, J Vis Exp. 2019 Sep 12;(151). doi: 10.3791/59368
  10. Xin-Jian Liu, Yue Huang, Hao Yuan, Xiaoqiang Qi, Diego Avella, Jussuf T. Kaifi, Min Li, Kuirong Jiang, Guangfu Li, Disruption of oncogenic liver-intestine cadherin (CDH17) drives apoptotic pancreatic cancer death, Cancer Letters. 2019, 454: 204-214, (Corresponding author)
  11. Tim F. Greten, Chunwei Walter Lai, Guangfu Li, Kevin F. Staveley-O’Carroll, Targeted and immune-based therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma, Gastroenterology, 2019 Jan;156(2):510-524. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2018.09.051. Epub 2018 Oct
  12. Guangfu Li, Dai Liu, Eric T Kimchi, Jussuf  T. Kaifi, Xiaoqiang Qi,  Tye Deering, Todd Fox, Don C. Rockey, Todd D Schell6, Mark Kester, Kevin F Staveley-O’Carroll, Immunotherapeutic Role of Nanoliposomal C6-Ceramide in Hepatocellular Cancer, Gastroenterology, 2018 Jan 31. pii: S0016-5085(18)30099-4. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.10.050. [Epub ahead of print]  (Corresponding author)
  13. Li-Qun Gu, Kent S. Gates, Michael X. Wang, Guangfu LiWhat is the potential of nanolock- and nanocross-nanopore technology in cancer diagnosis?, Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, 2017, DOI: 10.1080/14737159.2018.1410060
  14. Dai Liu, Guangfu Li, Diego M. Avella, Eric T. Kimchi, Jussuf T. Kaifi1, Mark P. Rubinstein, E. Ramsay Camp, Don C. Rockey, Todd D. Schell, Kevin F. Staveley-O’Carroll, Sunitinib represses regulatory T cells to overcome immunotolerance in a murine model of hepatocellular cancerOncoimmunology.2017 Sep 21;7(1):e1372079. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2017.1372079. eCollection 2017 (co-first author and corresponding author)
  15. Dai Liu,Xiaoqiang Qi,  Yariswamy Manjunath, Eric T. Kimchi,Jussuf T. Kaifi, Kevin F. Staveley-O’Carroll, Guangfu LiSunitinib and Sorafenib Modulating Antitumor Immunity in Hepatocellular Cancer,Journal of Immunology Research and Therapy, August, 2017, 2 (2): 115-123, (Corresponding author)
  16. Wang, Yong; Tian, Kai; Shi, Ruicheng; Gu, Amy; Pennella, Michael; Alberts, Lindsey ; Gates, Kent; Li, Guangfu; Fan, Hongxin; Wang, Michael; Gu, Li-Qun, Nanolock-Nanopore facilitated digital diagnostics of cancer driver mutation in tumor tissue,ACS Sensors, July 5, 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.7b00235
  17. Jingyu Zhang, Dai Liu, Guangfu Li, Kevin F. Staveley-O'Carroll, Julie N. Graff, Zihai Li1, and Jennifer D. Wu, Antibody targeting soluble NKG2D ligand sMIC remarkably enhances CTLA4 blockade therapy, ScienceAdvances, 17 May, 2017;3: e1602133
  18. Qian DLu Z2, Xu QWu PTian LZhao LCai BYin JWu YStaveley-O'Carroll KF4, Jiang KMiao Y6, Li GGalectin-1-driven upregulation of SDF-1 in pancreatic stellate cells promotes pancreatic cancer metastasisCancer Lett.2017 Mar 20. pii: S0304-3835(17)30198-2. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2017.03.024. [Epub ahead of print] (Corresponding author)
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