Ren-Ke Li

Ren-Ke Li Ren-Ke Li
Professor, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Dr. Ren-Ke Li is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Li is also a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network. He is the Canada Research Chair in Cardiac Regeneration (Tier 1). Dr. Li has been on the forefront in the field of cell transplantation and tissue engineering. In 1996, he published the first demonstration that cells transplanted into myocardial scar tissue improved heart function. Over 25 years his research group has defined muscle cell transplantation for Cardiac Repair, followed by stem cell transplantation for Cardiac Regeneration. Both cell repair and regeneration technologies have been translated to clinical application. Since the patients with heart failure are aged population, currently, his research group is attempting to determine the mechanisms by which transplanted cells exert their beneficial effects by Rejuvenation of aged stem cells and aged recipients. Clarifying these mechanisms of Repair, Regeneration and Rejuvenation will allow them to develop the ?next generation? of cell therapy for restoration of heart function of aged patients. Dr. Li has published 232 peer-reviewed papers.

Research Interest

Ren-Ke Li?s research focuses on translational research to apply new insights discovered through basic science research to clinical applications for heart regeneration and repair after myocardial infarction. His research areas are: 1) Cell transplantation into damaged myocardial tissue to regenerate myocardium and restore heart function. 2) Tissue engineering to create a muscle graft using stem cells in combination with biomaterials for repair of cardiac defects. He has used stem cells; gene therapy and tissue engineering technique to regenerate and rejuvenate heart for restore heart function.