Yuqing Li, Ph.D.

LiYuqing Li, Ph.D.

Phone: (352) 273-6546
Fax: (352) 273-5989

Department of Neurology
Academic Research Building (ARB) R4-120A
PO Box 100236
Gainesville, FL. 32610

Brief Biography

Dr. Li joined the Department of Neurology in November of 2010 as a Professor in the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration.

Prior to the current position, Dr. Li served as Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology in the Department of Neurology and Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham. From 2001 to August of 2006, Dr. Li served as Assistant Professor with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the focus of his research in genetic analysis of neural development and plasticity, animal models of neurodevelopmental disorders. From 1996 to 2000, he was appointed as Lucille P. Markey Assistant Professor of Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan in 1991 and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Center for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1991 to 1996. He majored in Biology in 1991 from Nagoya University, Japan, in molecular biology from Fudan University, China in 1988, and majored in Biochemistry with a Bachelor of Science degree from Fudan University, China in 1984.

Society Memberships

Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Research on the Cerebellum

World Association of Sleep Medicine

American Epilespy Society

Movement Disorder Society

Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA)

International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group

Research/Clinical Interests

Dr. Li’s research is mainly focused on pathophysiology and experimental therapeutics of dystonia and restless legs syndrome. He is also broadly interested in animal models of movement disorders and in molecular and cellular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity during development and learning. His lab’s expertise is to perform conditional mutagenesis in mouse where selected genes are altered in specific neurons or circuits in the brain and in defined period during animal’s development. This powerful approach allows Dr. Li and his co-workers to apply functional genomics and other multidisciplinary approaches to understand the pathogenesis of neurological disorders and to develop effective treatment.


  1. Liao GY, Li Y, Xu, BJ. (2013) Ablation of TrkB expression in RGS9-2 cells leads to hyperphagic obesity. Molecular Metabolism, In Press, Available online 9 August 2013
  2. Yokoi F, Cheetham CC, Campbell SL, Sweatt JD, Li Y. (2013) Pre-Synaptic Release Deficits in a DYT1 Dystonia Mouse Model. PLoS One. 2013;8(8):e72491. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072491.
  3. Oleas J, Yokoi F, Deandrade MP, Pisani A, Li Y. (2013) Engineering animal models of dystonia. Mov Disord. 28(7):990-1000. doi: 10.1002/mds.25583.
  4. DeAndrade, M.P., Johnson Jr., R.L., Unger, E.L., Zhang, L., van Groen, T., Gamble, K.L., Li, Y. (2012) Motor restlessness, sleep disturbances, thermal sensory alterations, and elevated serum iron levels in Btbd9 mutant mice. Human Mol. Genet., 21(18):3984-92. doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds221. Epub 2012 Jun 7.
  5. Sciamanna G, Hollis R, Ball C, Martella G, Tassone A, Marshall A, Parsons D, Li X, Yokoi F, Zhang L, Li Y, Pisani A, and Standaert, DG. (2012). Cholinergic dysregulation produced by selective inactivation of the dystonia- associated protein TorsinA. Neurobiology of Disease, 47(3):416-27. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2012.04.015. Epub 2012 May 3.
  6. DeAndrade MP, Zhang L, Doroodchi A, Yokoi F, Cheetham CC, Chen HX, Roper SN, Sweatt JD, and Li Y. (2012). Enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation and fear memory in Btbd9 mutant mice. PLoS One, 7(4):e35518. Epub 2012 Apr 19.
  7. Zhang, L., Yokoi, F., Parsons, D. S., Standaert, D. G., Li, Y. (2012) Alteration of Striatal Dopaminergic Neurotransmission in a Mouse Model of DYT11 Myoclonus-Dystonia. PLoS One, published 16 Mar 2012, 10.1371/journal.pone.0033669
  8. Yokoi, F, Dang, M., Li, Y. (2012) Improved motor performance in Dyt1 ΔGAG heterozygous knock-in mice by cerebellar Purkinje-cell specific Dyt1 conditional knocking-out. Behav Brain Res. 2012 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 22391119
  9. Guo, M., Lu, Y., Garza, J.C., Li, Y., Chua, S.C., Zhang, W., Lu, B., Lu, X.Y. (2012) Forebrain glutamatergic neurons mediate leptin action on depression-like behaviors and synaptic depression. Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 21;2. pii: e83. PMID: 22408745
  10. Yokoi, F, Dang, M., Zhou, T., Li, Y. (2012) Abnormal nuclear envelopes in the striatum and motor deficits in DYT11 myoclonus-dystonia mouse models. Human Mol. Genet. Feb 15; 21(4):916-25. Epub 2011 Nov 11. PMID: 22080833
  11. Dang, M., Yokoi, F, Cheetham, C., Lu, J., Vo, V., Lovinger, D.M., Li, Y. (2012) An anticholinergic reverses motor control and corticostriatal LTD deficits in Dyt1 ΔGAG knock-in mice. Behav Brain Res. 226(2):465-72. Epub 2011 Oct 8. PMID: 21995941
  12. Yokoi, F, Dang, M., Yang, G., Li, J., Doroodchi, A., Zhou, T., Li, Y. (2012) Abnormal nuclear envelope in the cerebellar Purkinje cells and impaired motor learning in DYT11 myoclonus-dystonia mouse models. Behav Brain Res. 227(1):12-20. Epub 2011 Sep 12. PMID: 22044737.
  13. Yokoi, F., Dang, M. T., Li, J., Standaert, D. G., Li, Y. (2011) Motor Deficits and Decreased Striatal Dopamine Receptor 2 Binding Activity in the Striatum-Specific Dyt1 Conditional Knockout Mice. PLoS One, Sept. 12, 6(9):e24539. PMID: 21931745
  14. Zhang, L., Yokoi, F., Jin, Y-H., DeAndrade, M. P., Hashimoto, K., Standaert, D. G., Li, Y. (2011) Altered dendritic morphology of Purkinje cells in Dyt1 ΔGAG knock-in and Purkinje cell-specific Dyt1 conditional knockout mice. PLoS One, 2011 Mar 29; 6(3):e18357. PMID: 21479250.
  15. DeAndrade MP,Yokoi F, van Groen T, Lingrel JB, and Li Y. (2011). Characterization of Atp1a3 mutant mice as a model of rapid-onset dystonia with Parkinsonism. Behavioral Brain Research. 216(2):659-65. Epub 2010 Sep 17. PMID: 20850480
  16. Yokoi F, Yang G, Li J, DeAndrade MP, Zhou T, Li Y. (2010). Earlier onset of motor deficits in mice with double mutations in Dyt1 and Sgce. J Biochem. 148(4):459-66. Epub 2010 Jul 13. PMID: 20627944.
  17. Cao, S., Hewett, J.W., Yokoi, F., Lu, J., Buckley, A.C., Burdette, A.J., Chen, P., Nery, F.C., Li, Y., Breakefield, X.O., Caldwell, G.A.,  and Caldwell, K.A. (2010). Chemical enhancement of torsinA functions in cell and animal models of torsion dystonia. Disease Models and Mechanisms. May-Jun;3(5-6):386-96. Epub 2010 Mar 11. PMID: 20223934.
  18. Agatsuma, S., Dang, M.T., Li, Y. and Hiroi, N. (2010). NMDA receptors on striatal neurons are essential for cocaine cue reactivity in mice. Biol. Psychiatry, Apr 15; 67(8):778-80. Epub 2010 Feb 10.
  19. Belforte, J.E., Zsiros, V., Sklar, E.R., Yu, G., Li, Y., Quinlan, E.M., Nakazawa, K. (2010). Postnatal Ablation of NMDA Receptors in Corticolimbic Interneurons Leads to Psychiatric Disorder-like Phenotypes. Nature Neuroscience. 13(1):76-83. Epub 2009 Nov 15. PMID: 19915563.
  20. Mitsui, S., Osako, Y., Yokoi, F., Dang, M.T., Yuri, K., Li, Y., and Yamaguchi, N. (2009). A mental retardation gene, motopsin /neurotrypsin /prss12, modulates hippocampal function and social interaction. European J. Neurosci. 2009 30(12):2368-2378. PMID: 20092579.
  21. Yokoi, F., Dang, M.T., Miller, C.A., Marshall, A.G., Campbell, S.L., Sweatt, J.D., and Li, Y (2009). Increased c-fos expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala and enhancement of cued fear memory in Dyt1 ΔGAG knock-in mice. Neuroscience Research, 65(3):228-35.
  22. Nery, F.C., Zeng, J., Niland, B.P., Hewett, J., Farley, J., Irimia, D., Li, Y., Wiche, G., Sonnenberg, A., Breakefield, X.O. (2008). TorsinA participates in linkage between nuclear envelope and cytoskeleton. J. Cell Sci., 121(Pt 20):3476-86.
  23. Papadopoulos, T., Eulenburg, V., Reddy-Alla, S., Mansuy, I. M., Li, Y., and Betz, H. (2008). Collybistin is required for both the formation and maintenance of GABAergic postsynapses in the hippocampus, Mol. Cell. Neurosci., 39(2):161-9.
  24. Breakefield, X.O., Blood, A.J., Li, Y., Hallett, M., Hanson, P.I., and Standaert, D.G. (2008). The pathophysiological basis of dystonias. Nature Review Neuroscience, 9, 222-234.
  25. Mangale, V.S., Hirokawa, K.E., Satyaki, P.R.V., Gokulchandran, N, Chickbire, s., Subramanian, L., Shetty, A.S., Martynoga, B., Paul, J., Mai, M.V., Li, Y., Flanagan, L.A., Tole, S., and Monuki, E.S. (2008). Lhx2 selector activity specifies cortical identity and suppresses hippocampal organizer fate. Science, 319(5861), 304-309.
  26. Yokoi, F., Dang, M., Mitsui, S., Li, J., and Li, Y. (2008). Motor deficits and hyperactivity in    cerebral cortex-specific Dyt1 conditional knockout mice. J. Biochem., 143(1):39-47.
  27. Hewett, J.W., Tannous, B., Niland, B.P., Nery, F.C., Zeng, J., Li, Y., and Breakefield, X.O. (2007). Mutant torsinA interferes with protein processing through the secretory pathway in DYT1 dystonia cells. PNAS USA, 104(17), 7271-7276.
  28. Dang, M., Yokoi, F., Pence, M.A. and Li, Y. (2006). Motor Deficits and Hyperactivity in Dyt Knockdown Mice. Neuroscience Research, 56(4), 470-474.
  29. Dang, M., Yokoi, F., Yin, H., Wang, Y., Lovinger, D.M.  Li, Y. (2006). Disrupted motor learning and long-term potentiation in mice lacking NMDAR1 in the striatum. PNAS USA. 103(41), 15254-15259
  30. Yokoi, F., Dang, M., Li, J., and Li, Y. (2006). Myoclonus, motor deficits, alterations in emotional responses and monoamine metabolism in e-sarcoglycan deficient mice. J. Biochem., 140(1):141-6.
  31. Dang, M., Yokoi, F., McNaught, K.S., Jengelley, T.-A., Jackson, T., Li, J., and Li, Y. (2005). Generation and Characterization of Dyt1 ∆GAG Mouse as a Model for Early-Onset Dystonia. Exp. Neurol. 196(2):453-464.
  32. Yokoi, F., Dang, M., Mitsui, S. and Li, Y. (2005). Exclusive paternal expression and novel alternatively spliced variants of ε-sarcoglycan mRNA in Mus musculus intraspecific hybrid brain. FEBS Letters, 579(21):4822-8.
  33. Campos,V.E., Du, M., and Li, Y. (2004) Increased Seizure Susceptibility, Callosal and Hippocampal Agenesis, and Cortical Dysplasia in Cortex-Specific b-Catenin Mutant Mice, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., 320(2):606-614.
  34. Blaess, S., Graus-Porta, D., Radakovits, R. S., Pons, Littlewood-Evans A., Senften, M H Guo, Y Li, J Miner, L F. Reichardt,  and U Müller. (2004) beta1-integrins are critical for cerebellar granule cell precursor proliferation, J. Neurosci. 24:3402-3412.
  35. Cao, B.-J. and Li, Y. (2002) Reduced anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in Emx1 homozygous mutant mice. Brain Research, 937:32-40.
  36. Guo, H., Christoff, J.M., Campos, V.E. and Li, Y. (2000) Normal Corpus Callosum in Emx1 Mutant Mice with C57BL/6 Background. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., 276(2), 649–653.
  37. Guo, H., Hong, S., Jin, X.-L., Chen, R.-S., Avasthi, P.P., Tu,Y.-T., Ivanco, T. L., and Li, Y. (2000) Specificity and Efficiency of Cre-Mediated Recombination in Emx1-cre Knock-in Mice. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., 273(2), 661-665.
  38. Jin, X.-L., Guo, H., Mao, C., Atkins, N., Wang, H., Avasthi, P.P., Tu, Y.-T. and Li, Y (2000). Emx1-Specific Expression of Foreign Genes Using “knock-in” Approach. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., 270(3), 978-982.
  39. Guo, H., Mao, C., Jin, X.-L., Wang, H., Tu, Y.-T., Avasthi, P.P. and Li, Y. (2000). Cre-mediated Cerebellum- and Hippocampus- Restricted Gene Mutation in Mouse Brain. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., 269(1), 149-154.