We are broadly interested in the molecular mechanisms of blood diseases and the development of novel therapeutics to treat them. We take a multidisciplinary approach, using a combination of cell biological, biochemical, biophysical techniques, as well as genetic mice models.

One focus is the mechanism of platelet physiology. Platelets are blood cells in the circulation that mediate blood clotting and many important functions. We study the molecular mechanisms in the platelet in the context of cardiovascular diseases and hematological disorders, and translate our findings to novel diagnostics and therapeutics:

  1. Hemostasis and Thrombosis
  2. Platelet functional disorders
  3. Thrombocytopenia
  4. Platelet transfusion
  5. Platelets and infection

Another focus is the dynamic regulation and activation of plasma proteins. Blood plasma contains many large, dynamic proteins that are linked to diseases. We aim to understand how they interact with one another in the context of disease settings and to develop new antibody or inhibitory agents as potential therapeutics.

Nick Arce, BS (Graduate student, Emory MSP Program)
Education: BS, 2017, Georgia Institute of Technology

Wenchun Chen, PhD (Postdoctoral fellow)
Education: PhD, 2014, University of Würzburg (Germany)

Sarah Laughlin-Toth, PhD (Postdoc fellow)
Education: PhD, 2016, Georgia State University
Fun Fact: enjoy kickboxing

Emily Legan, BS (Graduate student, Emory BCDB program)
Education: BS, 2017, Marquette University

Edward Quach, BS (Graduate student, Emory BCDB program)
Education: BS, 2014, Muhlenberg College

Yingchun Wang, MD, PhD (Assistant Professor, Research)
Education: MD, 1985, Nantong Medical College; PhD, 1999, Suzhou University

Moriah Wilson, BS (Research Specialist)
Education: BS, 2019, Rice University


69. Legan ER, Li R. FAM-tastic phospho-regulation of von Willebrand factor activity. J. Thromb. Haemost. 17: 863-865, 2019.


67. Chen W, Voos KM, Josephson CD, Li R. Short-acting anti-VWF aptamer improves the recovery, survival, and hemostatic functions of refrigerated platelets. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. Epub ahead of print 

65. Zhang XF*, Zhang W, Quach ME, Deng W, Li R*. Force-regulated refolding of the mechanosensory domain in the platelet glycoprotein Ib-IX complex. Biophys. J. 116: 1960-1969, 2019. 

57. Quach ME, Chen W, Li R. Mechanisms of platelet clearance and translation to improve platelet storage. Blood 131: 1512-1521, 2018 


54. Quach ME, Dragovich MA, Chen W, Syed AK, Cao W, Liang X, Deng W, De Meyer SF, Zhu G, Peng J, Ni H, Bennett CM, Hou M, Ware J, Deckmyn H, Zhang XF, Li R. Fc-independent immune thrombocytopenia via mechanomolecular signaling in platelets. Blood 131: 787-796, 2018 with a commentary in Blood 131: 713-714 Inside Blood Commentary


52. Deng W, Wang Y, Druzak SA, Healey JF, Syed AK, Lollar P, Li R. A discontinuous autoinhibitory module masks the A1 domain of von Willebrand factor. J. Thromb. Haemost. 15: 1867-1877, 2017 


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Shi-zhong Luo (postdoc): Professor and Deputy Dean, School of Life Sciences, Beijing University of Chemical Technology 

Sankaranarayanan Srinivasan (student): Principal Scientist, Intas Pharmaceuticals 

Xi Mo (student): Principal Investigator, Institute of Translational Medicine, Shanghai Children’s Medical Center 

Wenjun Yang (postdoc): Associate Investigator, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Rong Yan (student): Associate Investigator, Jiangsu Institute of Hematology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University

Chen Liu (postdoc): Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Liang Zhou (postdoc): Postdoc, Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Georgia State University

Xin Liang (postdoc): Associate Professor, East China University of Science and Technology 

Wei Deng (postdoc): Instructor, Emory University School of Medicine 

Joshua Strauss (Assistant Scientist): Staff Scientist, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 

NIH R01HL082808 “Structure and function of platelet glycoprotein Ib-IX-V complex”

NIH R01HL123984 “GPIbalpha shedding and platelet clearance”

NIH R01HL143794 “Conformational activation of von Willebrand factor”

NIH R21HL146299 “Cryo-ET structural studies of platelets”