Developing novel theraputic approaches for renal and cardiovascular diseases

Dr Joan Li's research has been focused on cardiovascular/renal diseases investigating the physiological and pathological changes following the injury and the involvement and contribution of tissue specific stem cells during the repair processes. Combining her knowledge in biology and stem cell biology with the expertise in nanotechnology her current research investigaing the development of novel targeting and delivery system which will provide a novel approache to regenerative medicine with the promise of potential translational research.

Dr Li was awarded PhD (School of Medicine), University of Queensland in 2006. She had been invited as a faculty member to present at the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Annual Conference (2014). Her recent research was published as a cover story with cover image (Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2015). Dr Li was awarded the Early Investigator Award (International Society for Heart Research) and Trainee Abstract Award (American Heart Association). She has been an active member of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), The Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) and International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). She is a peer reviewer for Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, Stem Cell International and the Journal of Nephrology and reviewer for the NHMRC project grant.


  • ​Dr Enzo Porrello, SBMS UQ
  • Professor Karen Moritz, SBMS UQ
  • Associate Professor. Peter Trnka and Dr Michael Guandalini, the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital QLD
  • Dr Yogavijayan Kandasamy, Townsville Hospital, QLD
  • Professor Melissa Little, Murdoch Children's Research Institute VIC


​2007 Travel Grant Australian Stem Cell Centre

2006 Travel Grant Australian Stem Cell Centre 2005 Conference Grant Australian Stem Cell Centre

2002 Travel Grant The Australian Health and Medical Research Congress

2000 Graduate School Researh Travel Award UQ

Key Publications

  1. Leuning DG, Reinders ME, Li J, Peired AJ, Lievers E, de Boer HC, Fibbe WE, Romagnani P, van Kooten C, Little MH, Engelse MA, Rabelink TJ. Clinical-Grade Isolated Human Kidney Perivascular Stromal Cells as an Organotypic Cell Source for Kidney Regenerative Medicine STEM CELLS TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Sep 20 2016 
  2. Li J, Ariunbold U, Suhaimi N, Sunn N, Guo JJ, McMahon JA, McMahon AP and Little MH. Collecting Duct-Derived Cells Display Mesenchymal Stem Cell Properties and Retain Selective In Vitro and In Vivo Epithelial Capacity (Cover image) JASN 2015 Jan;26(1):81-94
  3. Wilkinson L, Kurniwan ND, Phua YL, Nguyen MJ, Li J, Galloway GJ, Hashitani H, Lang RJ, Little MH Association between congenital defects in papillary outgrowth and functional obstruction in Crim1 mutant mice. J Pathol. 2012 Apr 4.
  4. Pelekanos RA*, Li J*, Gongora M, Chandrakanthan V, Scown J, Suhaimi N, Brooke G, Christensen ME, Doan T, Rice AM, Osborne GW, Grimmond SM, Harvey RP, Atkinson K, Little MH. Comprehensive transcriptome and immunophenotype analysis of renal and cardiac MSC-like populations supports strong congruence with bone marrow MSC despite maintenance of distinct identities. Stem Cell Res. Jan 2012
  5. J. J.H. Chong*,V Chandrakanthan*, M Xaymardan*, N. S. Asli, J Li, I Ahmed, C Heffernan, MK. Menon, Christopher J. Scarlett, Amirsalar Rashidianfar, Christine Biben, Hans Zoellner, Emily K. Colvin, John E. Pimanda, Andrew V. Biankin, Bin Zhou, William T. Pu, Owen W.J. Prall, and Richard P. Harvey Adult Cardiac-Resident MSC-like Stem Cells with a Proepicardial Origin Cell Stem Cell. 2011 Dec