Li Wu, Ph.D.

Phone: 86-10-62794825

Email: wuli @

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The Laboratory of Li Wu


Li Wu, Ph.D.

Prof. Li Wu received her Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Immunology degrees from Peking Medical University (current Health Science Centre, Peking University) and obtained her Ph.D. degree in Medical Biology from The University of Melbourne, Australia. She had held the position of Senior Research Fellow, faculty member and laboratory head at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research in Melbourne for 10 years prior to joining Tsinghua University in 2009. She had been the Chair of Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Associate Dean of School of Medicine. Currently she is a tenured professor at Institute for Immunology, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University.

Dr. Wu’s research aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms governing the differentiation and functions of innate immune cells, particularly the antigen presenting dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages in lymphoid and mucosal tissues. The current research focus of Dr. Wu’s laboratory is to elucidate the roles of DCs and tissue macrophages in maintaining tissue homeostasis and the association of abnormal development and functions of these immune cells with certain immune related diseases. Dr. Wu has been Chief Investigators leading several research programs funded by agencies including National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and Ministry of Science and Technology of China.

Dr. Wu has authored over 150 publications in reputable international journals including Nature, Immunity, Nature Immunology, Journal of Experimental Medicine, PNAS etc. (with h-index = 63). She has been ranked by Elsevier as a highly cited Chinese scholar in the field of Immunology and microbiology for 7 consecutive years. She received multiple awards and honors including the Burnet Prize for Outstanding Young Investigators, Australian Chinese Achiever’s Award for Excellence in Science, Cancer Research Institute (New York) Clinical Investigator award for cancer immunology, Distinguished Young Investigator Award (B Category) from NSFC, the Honorary Doctor Degree for Medical Sciences form the University of Melbourne.  Dr. Wu also serves as editorial board member, guest editor, or member of Board of Reviewing Editors for journals including Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Frontiers in Immunology, PNAS and Science. She was also invited to contribute commentary or preview articles for journals such as Immunity and Nature Immunology.



Jianhong Zhang

Jianhong Zhang received his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in 2012, and later worked as an assistant professor at the Institute of Radiation Medicine and the National Center for Protein Science (Beijing) of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences. He joined Tsinghua University in 2017 and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Basic Medicine, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University. He has presided over two National Natural Science Foundation projects and participated in a number of national and provincial projects. His main research results have been published in Nature Communications and EMBO Journal, and have been cited by Cell and other journals. In recent years, he has been mainly engaged in the research on the pathogenesis of fibrosis. Using the latest techniques of single-cell multi-omics and cellular and molecular immunology, he has mapped the tissue microenvironment of fibrosis and revealed the interaction network and regulatory relationship between non-immune cells and immune cells, deeply excavated the genomic and proteomic changes in the process of fibrosis, and identified the important regulatory molecules of fibrosis. It provides new targets for the research and development of anti-fibrosis drugs.



Jiaoyan Lv

Jiaoyan lv obtained her Ph.D. degree in immunology from Fudan University and jointed in Prof. Wu’s Lab in 2016. Her research interest is mainly focused on unraveling the novel molecues that involved in the regulation of immune response of different lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, asthma and respiratory virus infection.


Zhimin He

Zhimin He received her B.S. degree from Wuhan University and obtained her Ph.D. degree in biology from Tsinghua University. And continued her research as a postdoc fellow in Prof. Li Wu’s in 2016. Her research interests mainly focused on investigating the epigenetic regulatory mechanism in the development and function of alveolar macrophages and lung resident DCs, and their influence in lung immune homeostasis and disease.


Tingting Guo

I got my doctor’s degree in Pharmacology from Peking University Health Science Center in 2014. Then I joined the Institutes of Biology and Medical Science of Soochow University as a lecturer. In 2019, I started my postdoc training in the Institute for Immunology in Tsinghua University. My research interest is the function of ADP-ribosylation in the host-pathogen interactions. Besides, I also study the mechanism of important factors affecting the development of the dendritic cells.


Tao Wu

Tao Wu obtained his Bachelor of Medicine degree from China Medical University (2013) and the Ph.D. degree in immunology from Tsinghua University (2021). Currently, he is a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Wu’s lab. His research majorly focus on the regulation of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) during ontogeny, trying to illustrate the dynamic changes of ILCs’ development and function and the underneath mechanisms.



Xin Liu

I am Liu Xin, PhD student from Wu Lab. My research is about the development and function of DC in regulating the gut immune, the relationship between DC and gut microbiota.

Besides the research, I love sports very much, especially the football. I was the member and captain of the football team (non-professional) of Tsinghua University during 2018 to 2020. It was the great honor that we won the champion of the university union football league of Beijing in 2020 and runner-up in 2019. 


Yijun Zhang

PhD student. Research focus: Dendritic cell development.


Xinyi Zhu

Xinyi Zhu, a PhD candidate starting from 2014 in CLS, with her study mainly focused on microRNA regulation of dendritic cell function. A big fan of chorus and A cappella.


Ziyan Su

Ziyan Su, Ph.D student (from 2016) in the School of Life Science. I obtained bachelor's degree from Beijing Normal University, China. My research focus on the mechanism of alveolar macrophage development.


Chao Wang

Chao Wang, Ph. D candidate in School of Medicine, Tsinghua University (2017, PTN project), Master’s degree from Soochow University, my research focus on: tumor immunotherapy.


Maocai Luo

Maocai Luo, Ph.D Candiadate of Biology in School of Medicine. I obtained my Bachelor degree from Southern Medical University and Master degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University. My studies focus on the role of lipid metabolism in the development and functions of alveolar macrophages.


Zhen Shi

Zhen Shi, Ph.D student (from 2017) of basic medicine. I hold a Bachelor’s degree from Peking University Health Science Center. I’m working on deciphering DC-T cell interaction and mast cell biology in tumor microenvironment.


Jiachen Liu

Jiachen Liu, Ph. D candidate of basic medicine starting in 2020.  I got bachelor degree from Xi'an Jiaotong University, like playing basketball.


Yuanhao Wang

Yuanhao Wang, Ph. D student in school of medicine Tsinghua university, Bachelor’s degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, research focus: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and Colorectal inflammation.


 Xiangyi Shen

Xiangyi Shen, a student of the Experimental Class of Medicine. She joined Wulab to receive her scientific research training as a part of her 8-year M.D. program. Her current research focuses on the development and homeostasis of dendritic cells.


Lab Alumni

Zhou Haibo  Institute of Rheumatology, Renji Hospital, Shanghai, Jiaotong, University School of Medicine.

Zhou Yifan    MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Guo Xueheng  National Education Examinations Authority.

Liu Fang      University of Notre Dame

Li Xiaoguang   China International Capital Corporation Limited.

Lai Wenlong  ShenZhen Kangtai Biological Products CO.LTD.

Tian Yujie     Nanjing Jiangbei New Area.

Research Areas

1.Molecular regulation of innate immune cell differentiation and functions.

2.The roles of innate immune cells in maintaining the homeostasis of mucosal immune system.

3.The roles of innate immune cells in anti-tumor immune responses.


ORCID: 0000-0002-2802-1220


Selected Publications:

1. Development of an Optimized Culture System for Generating Mouse Alveolar Macrophage −like Cells.Maocai Luo, Wenlong Lai, Zhimin He and Li Wu,August 17, 2021. The Journal of Immunology

2. LRRK2 plays essential roles in maintaining lung homeostasis and preventing the development of pulmonary fibrosis.Yujie Tian, Jiaoyan Lv, Ziyan Su, Tao Wu, Xiaoguang Li, Xiaoyu Hu, Jianhong Zhang, and Li Wu,August 26, 2021.PNAS

3. Dendritic cell fate determination revealed by ‘‘SISter’’ assays.Tao Wu and Li Wu

June 8, 2021.Immunity

4. Wu, T and Wu, L. Dendritic cell fate determination revealed by “SISter” assays. Immunity 2021.05.012.

5. Luo MC, Lai, WL, He ZM and Wu L. Establishment of a novel culture system for generating mouse alveolar macrophage (AM)-like cells. 2021, J Immunol. In press. 

6. He ZM, Zhu XY, Shi Z., Wu T. and Wu L. Metabolic Regulation of Dendritic Cell Differentiation. Front. Immunol. 10:410. doi: 10.3389/fimmu. 2019.00410. 

7. Liu CX, Zhou YF, Li MD, Wang Y, Yang L, Yang SG, Feng YR, Wang YY, Wang YM, Ren FL, Li J, Dong ZJ, Chin YE, Fu XY, Wu L.* Chang Z J.* Absence of GdX/UBL4A Protects against Inflammatory Diseases by Regulating NF-кB Signaling in Macrophages and Dendritic Cells. Theranostics 2019, 9(5): 1369-1384. doi: 10.7150/thno.32451.

8. Guo XH, Wu N, Shang YLLiu X, Wu T, Zhou YF, Liu X, Huang JY, Liao XB and Wu L. The novel Toll-like receptor 2 agonist sUP3 enhances antigen Presentation and T cell activation by Dendritic cells. Front. Immunol. 8:158. doi: 10.3389/fimmu. 2017.00158.

9. Zhou, H., Xiao, J., Wu, N., Liu, C., Xu, J., Liu, F., & Wu, L. MicroRNA-223 Regulates the Differentiation and Function of Intestinal Dendritic Cells and Macrophages by Targeting C/EBPβ. Cell Reports 2015; 13(6), 1149-1160.

10. Xiao J, Zhou HB and Wu L. The non-canonical Wnt pathway negatively regulates the dendritic cell development by inhibiting the expansion of Flt3+ lymphocyte-primed multipotent precursors. Cell & Mol. Immunol. 2015 Jun 8. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2015.39. [Epub ahead of print]

11. Carotta S., Dakic A., D’Amico A., Pang SHM., Greig KT, Nutt SL* and Wu L*. The Transcription Factor PU.1 Controls Dendritic Cell Development and Flt3 Cytokine Receptor Expression in a Dose Dependent Manner. Immunity. 2010; 28:628-41.

12. Wu L. A Flt3L Encounter: mTOR Signaling in Dendritic Cells (Preview). Immunity. 2010, 33:580-582.

13. Proietto AI, van Dommelen S, Zhou P, Rizzitelli A, D'Amico A, Steptoe RJ, Naik SH, Lahoud MH, Liu Y, Zheng P, Shortman K and Wu L. Dendritic cells in the thymus contribute to T-regulatory cell induction. Proc Natl Acad Sci. USA. 2008; 105:19869-19874.

14. Naik SH, Sathe P, Park HY, Metcalf D, Proietto AI, Dakic A, Carotta S, O'Keeffe M, Bahlo M, Papenfuss A, Kwak JY, Wu L, Shortman K. Development of plasmacytoid and conventional dendritic cell subtypes from single precursor cells derived in vitro and in vivo. Nature Immunology. 2007; 8:1217-26.

15. Wu L, Liu YJ. Development of dendritic-cell lineages. Immunity. 2007; 26:741-50.

16. Dakic A, Metcalf D, Di Rago L, Mifsud S, Wu L*, Nutt SL*. PU.1 regulates the commitment of adult hematopoietic progenitors and restricts granulopoiesis. J Exp Med. 2005; 20:1487-502.

17. Nutt SL, Metcalf D, D'Amico A, Polli M, Wu L. Dynamic regulation of PU.1 expression in multipotent hematopoietic progenitors. J Exp Med. 2005; 201:221-231.

18. D’Amico A and Wu L. The Early Progenitors of Mouse Dendritic Cells and Plasmacytoid pre-Dendritic Cells are within the Bone Marrow Hemopoietic Precursors Expressing Flt3. J. Exp. Med. 2003; 198:293-303.

19. Wu L, D’Amico A, Winkel K.D, Suter M, Lo D, Shortman K. RelB is essential for the development of Myeloid-related CD8- dendritic cells but not of lymphoid-related CD8+ dendritic cells. Immunity 1998; 9:839-847.

20. Wu L, Nichogainnopoulou A, Shortman K, Georgopoulos K. Cell autonomous defects in dendritic cell populations of ikaros mutant mice point to a developmental relationship with the lymphoid lineage. Immunity 1997; 7:483-492.

21. Wu L, Li C-L, Shortman K. Thymic dendritic cell precursors: relationship to the T-lymphocyte lineage and phenotype of the dendritic cell progeny. J. Exp. Med. 1996; 184:903-911.

22. Ardavin C, Wu L, Li C-L, Shortman K. Thymic dendritic cells and T cells develop simultaneously within the thymus from a common precursor population. Nature 1993; 362: 761-763.

23. Wu L, Scollay R, Egerton M, Pearse M, Spangrude GJ, Shortman K. CD4 expressed on earliest T-lineage precursor cells in the adult murine thymus. Nature 1991; 349: 71-74.

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