Jian-Jian Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Jian-Jian Li, M.D., Ph.D.


  • Professor
  • Director of Translational Research


Research II

4625 2nd Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Clinical Interests

Research interests include the study of the molecular mechanisms causing tumor resistance to radiation and chemotherapy. Specific tumor resistant signaling networks that are regulated by radiation induced metabolic reprogramming and tumor immunosuppressive factors are being investigated in an array of human cancers including breast, lung, prostate, brain and liver.

Additional projects are related to radiation-induced adaptive response in normal tissues and in the radiation-resistant cancer stem cells. The goal of these studies is to find therapeutic targets to enhance cancer cure rates by radiotherapy.


Radiation Oncology

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center


M.D., The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China 1984

Ph.D., Radiation and Free Radical Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA 1994

B.S., Xi'an Medical College, Xi'an, China 1979


Surgery, Xi'an Railway Central Hospital, Xi'an, China 1979-1981


Molecular Carcinogenesis, National Institutes of Health, Frederick MD 1994-1998

Radiation Oncology, UC San Francisco, San Francisco CA 1988-1990

Professional Memberships

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

American Radiation Research Society (RRS)

Association of Free Radical Biology and Medicine (SFRBM)

Association of International Union against Cancer Fellows (UICC)

Honors and Awards

Seed for Success Award of Purdue University Provost Office, 2004

NIH Cancer Research Fellow Award (NIH-CRFA), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 1998

NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence (NIH-FARE), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 1996

NIH Intramural Research Training Award (NIH-IRTA), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 1995

Recipient of E. Roosevelt International Cancer Research Award by International Union Against Cancer, 1988

Select Recent Publications

To see a complete list of Dr. Li's publications, please click here

Liu L, Xie B, Fan M, Candas-Green D, Jiang JX, Wei R, Wang Y, Chen HW, Hu Y, Li JJ. Low-Level Saturated Fatty Acid Palmitate Benefits Liver Cells by Boosting Mitochondrial Metabolism via CDK1-SIRT3-CPT2 Cascade. Dev Cell. 2020 Jan 27;52(2):196-209.e9.

Han S, Wei R, Zhang X, Jiang N, Fan M, Huang JH, Xie B, Zhang L, Miao W, Butler AC, Coleman MA, Vaughan AT, Wang Y, Chen HW, Liu J, Li JJ. CPT1A/2-Mediated FAO Enhancement-A Metabolic Target in Radioresistant Breast Cancer. Front Oncol. 2019;9:1201.

Xie B, Zhang L, Hu W, Fan M, Jiang N, Duan Y, Jing D, Xiao W, Fragoso RC, Lam KS, Sun LQ, Li JJ. Dual blockage of STAT3 and ERK1/2 eliminates radioresistant GBM cells. Redox Biol. 2019 Jun;24:101189. 

Xie B, Wang S, Jiang N, Li JJ. Cyclin B1/CDK1-regulated mitochondrial bioenergetics in cell cycle progression and tumor resistance. Cancer Lett. 2019 Feb 28;443:56-66. d

Ozpiskin OM, Zhang L, Li JJ. Immune targets in the tumor microenvironment treated by radiotherapy. Theranostics. 2019;9(5):1215-1231. 

Candas D, Qin L, Fan M, Li JJ. Experimental Approaches to Study Mitochondrial Localization and Function of a Nuclear Cell Cycle Kinase, Cdk1. J Vis Exp. 2016 Feb 25;(108):53417.

Liu R, Fan M, Candas D, Qin L, Zhang X, Eldridge A, Zou JX, Zhang T, Juma S, Jin C, Li RF, Perks J, Sun LQ, Vaughan AT, Hai CX, Gius DR, Li JJ. CDK1-Mediated SIRT3 Activation Enhances Mitochondrial Function and Tumor Radioresistance. Mol Cancer Ther. 2015 Sep;14(9):2090-102. 

Qin L, Fan M, Candas D, Jiang G, Papadopoulos S, Tian L, Woloschak G, Grdina DJ, Li JJ. CDK1 Enhances Mitochondrial Bioenergetics for Radiation-Induced DNA Repair. Cell Rep. 2015 Dec 15;13(10):2056-63.

Jin C, Qin L, Shi Y, Candas D, Fan M, Lu CL, Vaughan AT, Shen R, Wu LS, Liu R, Li RF, Murley JS, Woloschak G, Grdina DJ, Li JJ. CDK4-mediated MnSOD activation and mitochondrial homeostasis in radioadaptive protection. Free Radic Biol Med. 2015 Apr;81:77-87.