CONTACT INFORMATIONCREDENTIALSPUBLICATIONSXin Zhiguo Li, Ph.D.Contact InformationPhone NumbersOffice: (585) 275-6576Fax: (585) 271-2683Research LabsVisit Lab WebsiteLocationsUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterSchool of Medicine and Dentistry601 Elmwood Ave, Box 712Rochester, NY 14642Faculty AppointmentsAssociate Professor - Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics (SMD) BiographyResearchOur lab studies epigenetic inheritance. DNA is not the only information carrier. Epigenetic information carried by RNA, DNA methylation, histone codes, or three-dimensional nuclear structures also affects individual phenotypes. These epigenetic markers change with age, lifestyle, and environmental exposure. The claim that acquired traits are heritable, known as "Lamarckian" inheritance, once discredited, has been resurrected by recent advances in our understanding of epigenetics. Plant small RNAs have been shown to provide the sequence specificity to establish and maintain epigenetic status across generations, the exact counterpart in animal has not been found. We strive to understand how various germ-line RNAs prepare and shape epigenetic information flowing across generations. We are adopting an interdisciplinary approach that includes genetics, epigenetics, RNA biochemistry, reproductive biology, early embryology, and bioinformatics, and testing our findings across different model organisms including mammals and birds. Currently, our ongoing projects are centering on piRNA regulation in germ cells. Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) is a group of small non-coding RNAs that are highly expressed in the germ line and are essential for human fertility. In addition to piRNAs that protect the germ-line genome from transposon activation, mammals and avian produce a distinct and abundant set of non-repetitive piRNA sequences whose function is unknown. We want to understand: 1) how piRNAs are produced? 2) How do piRNA functions? 3) How are new piRNAs originated during evolution?CredentialsEducation2004BS | China-Tsinghua UniversityBiological Science2009PhD | Cornell UniversityBiochemistry and Molecular BiologyPublicationsJournal Articles4/6/2017Sun YH, Xie LH, Zhuo X, Chen Q, Ghoneim D, Zhang B, Jagne J, Yang C, Li XZ. "Domestic chickens activate a piRNA defense against avian leukosis virus." eLife.. 2017 Apr 6; 6Epub 2017 Apr 06. 1/22/2016Sharma U, Conine CC, Shea JM, Boskovic A, Derr AG, Bing XY, Belleannee C, Kucukural A, Serra RW, Sun F, Song L, Carone BR, Ricci EP, Li XZ, Fauquier L, Moore MJ, Sullivan R, Mello CC, Garber M, Rando OJ. "Biogenesis and function of tRNA fragments during sperm maturation and fertilization in mammals." Science.. 2016 Jan 22; 351(6271):391-396. Epub 2015 Dec 31. 4/2014Moran Y, Fredman D, Praher D, Li XZ, Wee LM, Rentzsch F, Zamore PD, Technau U, Seitz H. "Cnidarian microRNAs frequently regulate targets by cleavage." Genome research.. 2014 Apr; 24(4):651-63. Epub 2014 Mar 18. VIEW ALL PUBLICATIONSClose WindowSchedule an appointment with Xin Zhiguo Li, Ph.D.Please answer the following questions to help us find the right appointment for you.Important: If you believe that you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. This website is not intended for emergency care.Have you seen this provider in the last 2 years?YesNoExisting Patient Schedule or request a follow up appointment online through MyChart. If you do not have a MyChart account, please close this window and call the appointment phone number. Xin Zhiguo Li, Ph.D. is currently scheduling for the following appointment type(s): Our policy does not permit patients to establish care with multiple providers within the same practice or specialty without prior approval. If you choose a new provider in the same office, we will cancel the appointment. Please contact the office directly with questions on this policy.