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Liming Pei, PhD
Liming Pei

Dr. Pei's research aims to understand the molecular underpinnings of cardiac remodeling associated with cardiomyopathy and heart failure. He is particularly interested in two areas of cardiac remodeling: metabolic reprogramming, and secretion of heart-derived hormones to communicate with other organs.



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The overall goal of the Pei Lab of Cardiac Endocrinology is to understand how different organs react to energy cues and communicate with each other to maintain whole-organism homeostasis in both physiological and pathological contexts.

Research in Dr. Pei's lab includes studies on cardiac endocrinology, with projects focusing on single-cell analysis postnatal mouse hearts to understand how heart disease affects cardiac functions at single cell level; single cell analysis to mechanistically understand specific disease conditions that induce GDF15 transcription; how heart disease impacts GDF15 maturation through regulating the activity of GDF15 processing enzymes PCSK3, 5, and 6; and identifying the liver GDF15 receptor and elucidate its signaling pathway in the liver.

In addition, Dr. Pei is researching cell type-specific regulation of cellular metabolism, with projects focusing on modulating ERRγ activity to prevent/ameliorate kidney disease; and modulating ERRγ activity to prevent/ameliorate mitochondrial disease using human iPS cell and animal models.

Education and Training

BS, University of Science and Technology of China (Life Sciences), 2000

PhD, University of California, Los Angeles (Cellular and Molecular Pathology), 2006

Fellowship, Salk Institute for Biological Studies (Molecular Biology), 2013

Titles and Academic Titles


Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Professional Memberships

American Heart Association, 2006-

American Diabetes Association, 2014-

Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America, 2015-

Professional Awards

Parker B. Francis Fellowship, Parker B. Francis Foundation, 2009

Publication Highlights

Li J, Liu J, Lupino K, Liu X, Zhang L, Pei L. GDF15 maturation requires proteolytic cleavage by PCSK3, 5 and 6. Mol Cell Biol. 2018 Oct; 38(21). PMID: 3010425
Hu P, Liu J, Zhao J, Wilkins BJ, Lupino K, Wu H, Pei L. Single-nucleus transcriptomic survey of cell diversity and functional remodeling in the postnatal developing hearts. Genes Dev. 2018 Oct; 32(19-20):1344-1357. PMID: 30254108
Zhao J, Lupino K, Wilkins BJ, Qiu C, Liu J, Omura Y, Allred AL, McDonald C, Susztak K, Barish GD, Pei L. Genomic integration of ERRγ-HNF1β regulates renal bioenergetics and prevents chronic kidney disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018 May; 115(21):E4910-E4919. PMID: 29735694
Wang T, Liu J, McDonald, C, Lupino K, Zhai X, Wilkins BJ, Hakonarson H, Pei L. GDF15 is a heart-derived hormone that regulates body growth. EMBO Mol Med. 2017 Aug; 9(8):1150-1164. PMID: 28572090
Wang T, McDonald C, Petrenko NB, Leblanc M, Giguere V, Evans RM, Patel VV, Pei L. ERRalpha and ERRgamma are essential coordinators of cardiac metabolism and function. Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Apr; 35(7):1281-98. PMID: 25624346

Links of Interest