Ren-Ke Li

Ren-Ke Li | Professor & Canada Research Chair, Cardiac Regeneration
MD (Harbin), MHSc (Shanxi), MSc (Toronto), PhD (Toronto)

Main Appointments

  • Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
  • Senior Scientist, Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network (UHN)

Additional Appointments

  • Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering
  • Adjunct Scientist, St. Michael’s Hospital

Contact Information

Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network
101 College Street, TMDT 3-702
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 Canada

+1 416 581-7492 (office)
renkeli@uhnres.utoronto.ca (email)


Research Themes

Research Interests

My research focuses on cardiac cell transplantation and tissue engineering. In 1996, I reported that cell transplantation into the damaged myocardium after a myocardial infarction improved cardiac function. Since that report, research into cell therapy for the restoration of cardiac function has received great attention. In the area of tissue engineering, we have created cardiac grafts to repair cardiac defects and, using autologous cell engineered muscle, we have repaired left ventricular defects. Over the last 20 years, I have published 159 peer-reviewed papers, 36 non peer-reviewed papers, 288 abstracts and 13 books/chapters. Several of my peer-reviewed papers were published in high impact journals, including Circulation, Circulation Research, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Biological Chemistry, the FASEB Journal and American Journal of Physiology.

Select Publications

Wang W, Li W, Ou L, Flick E, Mark P, Nesselmann C, Lux CA, Gatzen HH, Kaminski A, Liebold A, Lutzow K, Lendlein A, Li R-K, Steinhoff G, Ma N: Polethylenimine-mediated gene delivery into human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells from patients.  Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine: 2011: 15(9): pp 1989-98.

Ou L, Li W, Zhang Y, Wang W, Liu J, Sorg H, Furlani D, Gabel R, Mark P, Klopsch C, Wang L, Lutzow K, Lendlein A, Wagner K, Klee D, Liebold A, Li R-K, Kong D, Steinhoff G, Ma N: Intracardiac injection of matrigel induces stem cell recruitment and improves cardiac functions in a rat myocardial infarction model.  Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine: 2011: 15(6): pp 1310-18.

Wallenburg MA, Wu J, Li R-K, Vitkin IA:  Two-photon microscopy of healthy, infarcted and stem-cell treated regenerating heart.  Journal of Biophotonics.  2011: 4(5): 297-304.

Fujii H, Li SH, Wu J, Miyagi Y, Yau TM, Rakowski H, Egashira K, Guo J, Weisel RD, Li R-K: Repeated and targeted transfer of angiogenic plasmids into the infarcted rat heart via ultrasound targeted microbubble destruction enhances cardiac repair. European Heart Journal.  2011: 32(16): pp 2075-2084.

Wu J, Zeng F, Huang XP, Chung J C-Y, Konecny F, Weisel RD, Li R-K.  Infarct stabilization and cardiac repair with a VEGF-conjugated, injectable hydrogel.  Biomaterial.  2011: 32: pp 579-86.

Miyagi Y, Chiu LL, Cimini M, Weisel RD, Radisic M, Li R-K:  Biodegradable collagen patch with covalently immobilized VEGF for myocardial repair.  Biomaterials. 2011: 32: pp 1280-1290.

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