Tong Li, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Tong Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms and testing potential therapeutic interventions for neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Recently, he developed novel mouse models for AD in which wild-type tau is converted into pathological tau aggregates that are propagated through neuronal circuits to drive neuron loss in a neuritic plaque-dependent manner. Taking advantage of the new mouse models, he used an scRNA-seq approach to identify the presence of stage-specific subtypes of microglia. A similar expression pattern was observed in microglia from AD cases during early (Braak II) and late (Braak VI) stage AD. He also found that specific Siglecs are expressed in different microglial clusters. His laboratory’s overarching goal is to define the roles of specific microglial genes (such as immunomodulatory Siglecs) in AD progression, and reveal lead molecules for development of new approaches to AD therapy.