John Li, MD

Investigator, Anesthesiology Critical Care
Attending Physician
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

John T. Li, MD, received his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and medical degree from Tulane University. He was trained in pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA and completed his critical care fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He pursued additional research training on a National Research Service Award (NRSA) at the University of Washington where he studied the role of extracellular Bcl-2 in ischemia-reperfusion injury and sepsis. He continued his research training under Parviz Minoo at USC where he investigated TGF-β and Wnt signaling in lung development while on faculty at CHLA. Dr. Li then joined the faculty in Critical Care Medicine at UCSF where he received a K08 award to study the role of adaptive Th17 cells in ARDS.


Medical School

Tulane University School of Medicine


Harbor/UCLA Medical Center (Peds), Pediatrics


Harbor/UCLA Medical Center (Peds), Pediatrics


University of Washington, NRSA Research Fellow



Critical Care Medicine, American Board of Pediatrics


  1. Kudo M, Melton AC, Chen C, Engler MB, Huang KE, Ren X, Wang Y, Bernstein X, Li JT, Atabai K, Huang X, Sheppard D. IL-17A produced by ab T cells drives airway hyper-responsiveness in mice and enhances mouse and human airway smooth muscle contraction. Nat Med. 2012 Apr; 18(4):547-54. PMID: 22388091. 
  2. Su G, Atakilit A, Li JT, Wu N, Luong J, Chen R, Bhattacharya M, Sheppard D. Effective treatment of mouse sepsis with an inhibitory antibody targeting integrin avb5. Crit Care Med. 2013 Feb; 41(2):546-53. PMID: 23263571.  Contributions:  Performed experiments, intellectual contribution
  3. Li JT, Melton AC, Su G, Hamm DE, LaFemina M, Howard J, Fang X, Bhat S, Huynh KM, O'Kane CM, Ingram RJ, Muir RR, McAuley DF, Matthay MA, Sheppard D. Unexpected Role for Adaptive abTh17 Cells in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. J Immunol. 2015 Jul 1; 195(1):87-95. PMID: 26002979. 
  4. Tsujino K, Li JT, Tsukui T, Ren X, Bakiri L, Wagner EF, Sheppard D. Fra-2 negatively regulates potential alveolar septation by modulating myofibroblast function. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2017 Aug 17;ajplung.00062.2017.  DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00062.2017. PMID: 28818870. 
  5. Li C, Chen H, Wu L, Xing Y, Sasaki T, Villosis MF, Li JT, Nishita M, Minami Y and Minoo. Ror2 modulates the canonical Wnt signaling in lung epithelial cells through cooperation with Fzd2, BMC Molecular Biology. 9:11, 2008. PMID: 18215320.  


Research Summary

Dr. Li’s research interests are focused on the immunology of ARDS and TGF-β signaling in lung diseases and cancer. His research program is directed at understanding the adaptive immune response in ARDS and identifying pulmonary antigens that drive this process. The result of these studies will be aimed toward identifying new therapeutic targets for immune modulation in patients with ARDS. Stemming from his interest in adaptive immunity and TGF-β signaling in experimental lung injury, Dr. Li has found overlapping pathways in solid tumor biology. A portion of his current work is focused on developing immunotherapies for treatment of cancer based on inhibiting activation of latent TGF-β in the tumor microenvironment.