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headshot of Yizeng Li

Yizeng Li

Assistant Professor

Biomedical Engineering


Yizeng Li received her PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University's Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for NanoBioTechnology. Her backgrounds are in theoretical mechanics and applied mathematics with applications to biophysics and mechanobiology.

Li develops physiology-based mathematical models for cell motility, polarization, volume regulation, electro-homeostasis, signal transduction, and other biophysics problems. She also combines mathematical models with experimental data to explain non-intuitive cell biology phenomena.

Biophysics and Mathematical Biology Lab

Recent Publications

  1. Kaustav Bera, Alex Kiepas*, Inês Godet*, Yizeng Li*, Pranav Mehta*, Brent Ifemembi, Colin D. Paul, Anindya Sen, Selma A. Serra, Konstantin Stoletov, Jiaxiang Tao, Gabriel Shatkin, Se Jong Lee, Yuqi Zhang, Adrianna Boen, Panagiotis Mistriotis, Daniele M. Gilkes, John D. Lewis, Chen-Ming Fan, Andrew P. Feinberg, Miguel A. Valverde, Sean X. Sun, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos. Extracellular fluid viscosity enhances cell migration and cancer dissemination. Nature. 611(7935), 365 – 373 (2022) (*Equal Contribution)
  2. Yuqi Zhang, Yizeng Li, Keyata N. Thompson, Konstantin Stoletov, Qinling Yuan, Kaustav Bera, Se Jong Lee, Runchen Zhao, Alexander Kiepas, Yao Wang, Panagiotis Mistriotis, Selma A. Serra, John D. Lewis, Miguel A. Valverde, Stuart S. Martin, Sean X. Sun, and Konstantinos Konstantopoulos. Polarized NHE1 and SWELL1 Regulate Migration Direction, Efficiency and Metastasis. Nat. Commun. 13, 6128 (2022)
  3. Debonil Maity, Kaustav Bera, Yizeng Li, Zhuoxu Ge, Qin Ni, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, Sean X. Sun. Extracellular Hydraulic Resistance Enhances Cell Migration. Adv. Sci. 9(29), 2200927 (2022)
  4. Lingxing Yao, Yizeng Li. Effective force generation during mammalian cell migration under different molecular and physical mechanisms. Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 10, 903234 (2022)
  5. Mohammad Ikbal Choudhury, Yizeng Li, Panagiotis Mistriotis, Ana Carina N. Vasconcelos, Eryn Dixon, Jing Yang, Morgan Benson, Debonil Maity, Rebecca Walker, Leigha Martin, Fatima Koroma, Feng Qian, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, Owen Woodward, Sean X. Sun. Kidney Epithelial Cells are Active Mechano-biological Fluid Pumps. Nat. Commun. 13, 2317 (2022)
  6. Sisi Jia, Siew Cheng Phua, Yuta Nihongaki, Yizeng Li, Michael Pacella, Yi Li, Abdul M. Mohammed, Sean Sun, Takanari Inoue, Rebecca Schulman. Growth and site-specific organization of micron-scale biomolecular devices on living mammalian cells. Nat. Commun. 12, 5729 (2021)
  7. Yizeng Li, Xiaohan Zhou, Sean X. Sun. Hydrogen, bicarbonate, and their associated exchangers in cell volume regulation. Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 9, 683686 (2021)
  8. Yizeng Li, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, Runchen Zhao, Yoichiro Mori, Sean X. Sun. The importance of water and hydraulic pressure in cell dynamics. J. Cell Sci. 133 (20), jcs240341 (2020)
  9. Haiyang Wang*, Yizeng Li*, Jing Yang, Petr Kalab, Xing Duan, Devin B. Mair, Sean X. Sun, Rong Li. Symmetry Breaking in Hydrodynamic Forces Drives Spindle Rotation in Mammalian Oocyte Meiosis. Sci. Adv. 6(14), eaaz5004 (2020) (*Equal Contribution)
  10. Xing Duan, Yizeng Li, Kexi Yi, Fengli Guo, Haiyang Wang, Pei Hsun Wu, Jing Yang, Devin Mair, Edwin Morales Obregon, Petr Kalab, Denis Wirtz, Sean X. Sun, Rong Li. Dynamic Organelle Distribution Initiates Actin-Based Spindle Migration in Mouse Oocytes. Nat. Commun. 11(1), 277 (2020)
  11. Panagiotis Mistriotis*, Emily Wisniewski*, Kaustav Bera, Jeremy Keys, Yizeng Li, Soontorn Tuntithavornwat, Robert A. Law, Nicolas Perez, Eda Erdogmus, Yuqi Zhang, Runchen Zhao, Sean X. Sun, Petr Kalab, Jan Lammerding, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos. Confinement Hinders Motility by Inducing RhoA-Mediated Nuclear Influx, Volume Expansion and Blebbing. J. Cell Biol. 218(12), 4093 – 4111 (2019) (*Equal Contribution)
  12. Yizeng Li, Lingxing Yao, Yoichiro Mori, Sean X. Sun. On the Energy Efficiency of Cell Migration in Diverse Physical Environments. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 116(48), 23894 – 23900 (2019)
  13. Runchen Zhao, Alexandros Afthinos, Tian Zhu, Panagiotis Mistriotis, Yizeng Li, Selma A. Serra, Yuqi Zhang, Christopher L. Yankaskas, Shuyu He, Miguel A. Valverde, Sean X. Sun, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos. Cell Sensing and Decision-Making in Confinement: The role of TRPM7 in the tug of war between hydraulic pressure and cross-sectional area. Sci. Adv. 5(7), eaaw7243 (2019)
  14. Sitong Zhou, Michael Giannetto, James DeCourcey, Hongyi Kang, Ning Kang, Yizeng Li, Suilan Zheng, Hetince Zhao, William R. Simmons, Helen S. Wei, Bodine M. David, Philip S. Low, Maiken Nedergaard, Jiandi Wan. Oxygen tension-mediated erythrocyte membrane interactions regulate cerebral capillary hyperemia. Sci. Adv. 5(5), eaaw4466 (2019)
  15. Debonil Maity, Yizeng Li, Yun Chen, Sean X. Sun. Response of Collagen Matrices under Pressure and Hydraulic Resistance in Hydrogel. Soft Matter 15(12), 2617 – 2626 (2019)


  • PhD - Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

  • MS - Mathematics, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

  • MSE - Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

  • BS - Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Fudan University

Research Interests

  • Mathematical biology
  • Mechanobiology
  • Cell mechanics
  • Biophysics
  • Electrophysiology
  • Computational physics

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