Ling Qi, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Adjunct Professor, Internal Medicine

5325 Brehm Tower
1000 Wall St.
Ann Arbor, MI  48105


Dr. Qi received his undergraduate degree in Microbiology from the Fudan University, China in 1997 and his Ph.D. in Immunology with Dr. Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg from the University of Maryland in 2002. He was a postdoc fellow at Johns Hopkins University Medical School with Dr. Carol Greider (2001-2004) and then at the Salk Institute with Dr. Marc Montminy (2004-2007) prior to joining the faculty of Cornell University in 2007 as an assistant professor.  In 2013, he was promoted to associate professor. In 2016, he moved to the University of Michigan Medical School. Using a combination of knockout mouse and cell models, his laboratory aims to explore the physiological role of stress response and immune response in the context of human health and disease including obesity, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Qi is the president of Chinese-American Diabetes Association and Chair of NIH Cellular Aspects of Diabetes and Obesity (CADO) study section.

Areas of Interest

Our laboratory aims to explore the physiological role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis (with a special focus on both UPR and ERAD) and inflammation in the context of human diseases. We use genetic, immunological, molecular and cellular tools and approaches to produce new insights into disease pathogenesis, and to bring a standard excellence to all that we do as an individual scientist and as a laboratory. We have made significant contribution in the fields of physiological ER homeostasis and inflammation in health and diseases. In the last 8 years, we have published over 40 papers, including several seminal discoveries published in top journals, including Nat Cell Biology, Cell Metabolism, Developmental Cell, PNAS, Cell Reports, Diabetes, Mol Biol Cell and J Biol Chem. Our past achievements have demonstrated our desire to think outside the box, take the risk and develop breakthrough science. Our diverse research experience and knowledge in several research areas (immunology, cell biology, physiology and gastroenterology), together with our determination and dedication to scientific research and discovery, have provided an exceptional opportunity to accomplish our scientific goals and to make significant contributions to the understanding of human health and disease.

In addition to research, I am a dedicated teacher and mentor. I have trained several graduate students and postdoctoral fellows over the years, many of whom are now holding industrial and academic positions. My graduate students have successfully competed for prestigious HHMI International Scholar and AHA Predoctoral Fellowships. Moreover, I strive to bring the latest development in metabolism to undergraduate and graduate students in the course “Nutrient Metabolism” with over 120 students every year at Cornell. In May of 2014, I received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, a top award for the best teachers in the NY State.

Honors & Awards

  • 1995 - Monsanto Development Award, Fudan University
  • 1996 - Director Oriental Development Award, Fudan University
  • 1997 - City Honored student, Shanghai Education Ministry
  • 2002 - Postdoctoral fellowship, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • 2003 - The George Santos Award, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • 2005 - Postdoctoral fellowship, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • 2008 - New Investigator Award in Alzheimer's Disease, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert       Foundation/American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR)
  • 2008 - Junior Faculty Award, American Diabetes Association
  • 2011 - The Bio-Serv Award, American Society of Nutrition
  • 2012 - Career Development Award, American Diabetes Association
  • 2013 - The Thomas R. Lee Award, American Diabetes Association
  • 2014 - SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, State University of New York
  • 2014 - Elected faculty speaker, Graduation ceremony, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University


  • B.S., Fudan University, 1997
  • Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2002
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University, 2004
  • Research Associate, Salk Institute, 2007

Published Articles or Reviews

  • Ji, Y.*, Sun, S.*, Shrestha, N., Darragh, L., Shirakawa, J., Xing, Y., He, Y., Carboneau, B.A., Kim, H., Oberhozler, J., Soleimanpour, S.A., Gannon, M., Liu, C., Naji, A., Kulkarni, R., Wang, Y., Kersten, S., and Qi, L.  2019. Toll-like receptors TLR2 and TLR4 block the replication of pancreatic β cells in diet-induced obesity. Nat Immunol. 20: 676-686. (Cover)
  • Bhattacharya, A., Sun, S., Wang, H., Long, Q., Yin, L., Liu, M., Kersten, S., Zhang, K., and Qi, L. 2018. Hepatic ER-associated degradation manages FGF21 levels and systemic metabolism via CREBH. EMBO J.  37:e99277  PMID: 30389665.  NEWS and VIEWS in EMBO JEDITOR’S CHOICE in Science Signaling. Recommended by F1000Prime.
  • Kim, G.H., Shi, G., Somlo, D., Haataja, L., Song, S., Long, Q., Arvan, P., Nillni, E.A., Low, M., Myers, G.M. Jr., and Qi, L. 2018. Hypothalamic endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation regulates POMC maturation, feeding and age-associated obesity. J Clin Invest.  128 (3):1125- 1140.PMID: 29457782  RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT in Nature Reviews Endocrinology.
  • Shi, G.*, Somlo, D.*, Kim, G.H.*, Prescianotto-Baschong, C., Sun, S., Beuret, N., Rutishauser, J., Long, Q., Arvan, P., Spiess, M., and Qi, L. 2017. ER-associated degradation is required for vasopressin prohormone processing and systemic water homeostasis. J Clin Invest. 127 (10): 3897-3912. PMID: 28920920. J Clin Invest commentary; RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT in Nature Reviews Nephrology.
  • Sun, S.*, Shi, G.*, Sha, H., Ji, Y., Han, X., Shu, X., Ma, H., Inoue, T., Gao, B., Kim, H., Bu, P., Guber, R., Shen, X., Lee, A.H., Iwawaki, T., Paton, A.W., Paton, J.C., Fang, D., Tsai, B., Yates, J.R., 3rd, Wu, H., Kersten, S., Long, Q., Duhamel, G.E., Simpson, K.W., and Qi, L. 2015. IRE1α is an endogenous substrate of endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation. Nat Cell Biol. 12 (12): 1546-1555  PMID: 26551274  Highlighted in Faculty 1000
  • Sha, H., Sun, S., Francisco, A., Ehrhardt, N., Xue, Z., Liu, L., Lawrence, P., Mattijssen, F., Guber, R.D., Panhwar, M.S., Brenna, T.J., Shi, H., Xue, B., Kersten, S., Bendadoun, A., Peterfy, M., Long, Q. and Qi, L. 2014. The ER-associated degradation adaptor protein Sel1L regulates LPL secretion and lipid metabolism.  Cell Metabolism. 20: 458-470  PMCID: PMC4156539
  • Sun, S.*, Shi, G.*, Han, X., Francisco, A.B., Ji, Y., Mendoca, N., Liu, X., Locasale, J., Duhamel, G., Kersten, S., Yates, J., Long, Q. and Qi, L. 2014. Sel1L is Indispensable for Mammalian ERAD, ER Homeostasis and Survival.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.  111: E582-591  PMID: 24453213  PMCID: PMC3918815  Highlighted in Faculty 1000  (*, equal contribution)

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