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 About Oral BiologyNew Home     October 30, 2014  

Chunhao Li 

Department of Oral Biology

Associate Professor

Specialty/Research Focus

Microbiology; Oral Biology

Faculty Research Profile

 
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Education and Training:
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, West Virginia University (2002)
  • MS, Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine (1996)
  • MD, Anhui Medical University (1990)
Employment:
  • Associate Professor, Oral Biology, SUNY at Buffalo (2011-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Oral Biology, State University of New York at Buffalo (2006-2011)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Dept. of Microbiology, Immunology & Cell Biology, West Virginia University (2003-2005)
  • Research Instructor, Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, West Virginia University (2002-2003)
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Microbiology and Immunology, West Virginia University (1997-2002)

Research Expertise:
  • Bacterial genetics and Pathogenesis: My research is trying to understand the biology, genetics and pathogenesis of pathogenic spirochetes, including Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), oral Treponema denticola (periodontal infections), and Brachyspira species (swine dysentery and human diarrheal disease).
  • Oral Microbiology and Periodontal disease
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • August 2013-July 2018
    PROTEIN-PROTEIN COVALENT BONDING AND TREPONEMA MOTILITY
    NDCR, NIH
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • July 2013-June 2018
    Exploring New Virulence factors of the Oral Spirochete Treponema denticola
    NIDCR, NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • April 2012-March 2017
    Amylase Binding and Gene Expression in S. gordonii.
    NIH-NIDCR
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • July 2010-June 2014
    Developing Inhibitors of LuxS-Dependent Quorum Sensing Systems in Oral Bacteria
    NIDCR, NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • September 2008-August 2013
    Understanding Unique Aspects of Motility and Chemotaxis in Borrelia burgdorferi
    NIAID, NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • September 2008-August 2011
    Regulation of Host-adaptation of the Lyme disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi
    NIAID, NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • August 2008-July 2011
    Role of Zonula Occludens Toxin in the Pathogenesis of Treponema denticola
    NIDCR, NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • July 2007-June 2011
    Role of Motility and Chemotaxis in the Pathogenesis of Lyme disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi
    American Heart Association
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • April 2004-March 2007
    Role of Motility in Borrelia burgdorferi Pathogenesis
    NIAMS, NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator

Journal Articles:
See All (33 Total) >

Books and Book Chapters:
  • Goldstein SF, Li C, Liu J, Miller M, Motaleb MA, Norris SJ, Silversmith RE, Wolgemuth CW, Charon NW. The Chic Motility and Chemotaxis of Borrelia burgdorferi.. 2010.
  • Li C. Bacterial Cell Structure. 2009.
  • Charon NW, Li C, Goldstein SF. The Beguiling Motility of the Genus Treponema. Treponema Molecular and Cellular Biology. 2006.
  • Li C, Motaleb MA, Sal M, Goldstein SF, Charon NW. Gyration, Rotation, Periplasmic Flagella: The Biology of Spirochetes Motility.. Cellular and Molecular Biology of Spirochetes. 2001.
Professional Memberships:
  • Member, American Society of Microbiology (1998)
Presentations:
  • The response regulator Rrp1 regulates chitobiose utilization and virulence of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, BLAST XII, Bacterial locomotion and Signal transduction, Inc. (2013)
  • Exploring the roles of neuraminidases in periodontal pathogens, Seminar series, University of Louisville (2012)
  • Roles of neuraminidases in periodontal pathogens, Seminar series, West Virginia University (2012)
  • Developing a modified gentamycin antibiotic resistance maker for the targeted mutagenesis of Treponema denticola, Rochester Conference on Oral Biology, University of Rochester (2011)
  • A neuraminidase contributes to the biofilm formation, motility and virulence of oral Treponema denticola, Rochester Conference on Oral Biology, Rochester University (2011)
  • Sialylation, Biofilm Formation & Virulence of Porphyromonas gingivalis, International Symposium of Microbial Biofilm, Johnson and Johnson, West China University (2011)
  • Carbon storage regulator A (CsrABb) is a repressor of Borrelia burgdorferi flagellin protein FlaB, BLAST XI, Bacterial locomotion and Signal transduction, Inc (2011)
  • Exploring new virulence factors in the oral spirochete Treponema denticola, Invited speaker, University of Florida at Gainesville (2010)
  • Role of Mac-like protein in the pathogenesis of oral spirochete T. denticola, Gordon Conference (2010)
  • CsrA (Bb0184) represses the motility and chemotaxis of Borrelia burgdorferi, Gordon Conference (2010)
  • Localization of chemotaxis complex in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, Gordon Conference (2010)
  • CsrA (Bb0184) represses the motility and chemotaxis of Borrelia burgdorferi, Gordon Conferences (2010)
  • The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi FlgJ controls flagellar hook orientation, Gordon Conferences (2010)
  • Chunhao Li. Identification of a Mac-like virulence factor in oral Treponema denticola, IADR/AADR/CADR (2009)
  • Identification of a Mac-like virulence factor in oral Treponema denticola, Research Conferences, SUNY at Buffalo (2009)
  • Training on Anaerobes (2008)
  • A putative motor switch complex protein FliG-1 is essential for the motility and virulence of Borrelia burgdorferi., Gordon Conference, Biology of Spirochetes (2008)
  • Transcription and genetic analyses of an N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanine amidase (amiA) homolog in Borrelia burgdorferi, Gordon Conference (2008)
  • A putative motor switch complex protein FliG-1 is essential for the motility and virulence of Borrelia burgdorferi, Gordon Conference (2008)
  • Transcription and genetic analyses of an N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanine amidase (amiA) homolog in Borrelia burgdorferi, Gordon Conferences (2008)
  • Invited as Speaker, Bacterial Locomotion and Signal Transduction, BLAST IX (2006)
  • Invited Speaker, Bacterial Locomotion and Signal Transduction, BLAST VI, Bacterial Locomotion and Signal Transduction, BLAST VI (2000)
  • Invited Speaker, Bacterial Locomotion and Signal Transduction, BLAST V (1999)
  • Invited Lecturer and Laboratory Instructor, World Health Organization (1996)
See All (24 Total) >
Service Activities:
  • Faculty Senate Executive Committee; Member (2010)
  • School of Dental Medicine Graduate Committee, Admissions, Oral Biology; Member (2009)
  • School of Dental Medicine Graduate Committee, Recruiting, Oral Biology; Member (2008)
  • School of Dental Medicine Student Research and Honors Committee; Member (2007)
  • School of Dental Medicine Infection Control/Biohazard Committee; Member (2006)
  • School of Dental Medicine Thesis Advisory Committee; Member (2006)
  • School of Dental Medicine Graduate Committee, Preliminary Exams, Oral Biology; Member (2006)

  • PhD thesis committee; Committee Member (2012)
  • Oral Biology faculty search committee; Committee Member (2012-2013)
  • Graduate program committee; Committee Member (2011)
  • Buffalo Chinese School; Secretary (2010-2012)
  • the MRBSB Faculty Advisory Committee; Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics' (MRBSB) focus centers on research done on every level of a given biological system, whether it is chemical, molecular, genetic, cellular, tissue, organ or whole organ systems. Bringing together researchers from the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences; Roswell Park Cancer Institute and several departments within the College of Arts and Sciences, MRBSB looks at biological systems at the cross-section between chemistry and biology. ; Committee Member (2010)
  • Dental School Dean Search Committee; Recruiting new dean of Dental School of Medicine, SUNY at Buffalo; Committee Member (2009-2009)
  • IGPBS Admissions Committee; Committee Member (2008-2011)
  • Student Research & Honors Committee; Committee Member (2007)
  • Oral Biology Seminars Committee; Chair (2006-2009)
  • Faculty Search Committee, Dept. of Oral Biology; Recruiting new faculty members, the Department of Oral Biology, SUNY at Buffalo; Committee Member (2006-2007)
  • Infection and Biohazard Control Committee; Committee Member (2006-2009)
See All (18 Total) >

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Contact Information

304B Foster Hall
Oral Biology
3435 Main St.
Buffalo, NY 14214-8031
Phone: 716-829-6014
Fax: 716-829-3942
Email: cli9@buffalo.edu


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Li, Chunhao (Chris) M.D. Associate Professor, Department of Oral Biology

Address:
304b Foster Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214
(716)829-6014
cli9@buffalo.edu

Research Profile

Spirochetes are a group of medically important but poorly understood bacteria, which can cause numerous human and animal diseases, including syphilis (Treponema), Lyme disease (Borrelia), leptospirosis (Leptospira), human periodontal diseases (oral Treponema species) as well as swine dysentery and human diarrhea (Brachyspira ). The research in Dr Li’s laboratory is centered on understanding the basic biology and pathogenesis of the pathogenic spirochetes, including the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and the oral spirochete Treponma denticola, by using a genetic, biochemical, genomic, proteomic and animal model approach. His current research efforts are directed to the following specific projects:
1. To elucidate the unique complex structure of periplasmic flagella (PF) of spirochetes by using the spirochete Brachyspira hyodysenteriae as a genetic model.
2. To understand the molecular mechanisms of motility and chemotaxis of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.
3. To determine the roles of motility and chemotaxis in the pathogenesis of Lyme disease.
4. To determine the roles of bacterial two-component signaling pathways and small signaling molecules such as c-di-GMP in the biology and pathogenesis of the spirochetes, including Treponema denticola and Borrelia burgdorferi.

Representative Publications Search Publications in MEDLINE

* Corresponding Author

1. Li C, Qing JC, Shi MH, Wang YZ, Lie YX. 1997. Characterization of Chinese Leptospriaceae by rRNA gene restriction fragment length polymorphism. Chinese Journal of Microbiology and Immunology. 17:187-191.

2. Shi, MH, Liang ZX, Li C, Hartskeerl RA, Herman VDK. 1997. Investigation of infected cattle by Leptospira interrogans in China. Chinese Journal of Epidemiology.18: 12-14.

3. Ge Y, Li C., Corum L, Slaughter CA and Charon NW. 1998. Structure and expression of the FlaA periplasmic flagellar protein of Borrelia burgdorferi. Journal of Bacteriology. 180:2418-2425.

4. Li C., Corum L, Morgan D. Rosey EL, Stanton TB, Charon NW. 2000. The spirochete FlaA periplasmic flagellar sheath protein impacts flagellar helicity. Journal of Bacteriology. 182:6698-6706.

5. Li C., Motaleb A, Sal M, Goldstein SF, and Charon NW. 2000. Spirochete periplasmic flagella and motility. J. Mol. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2:345-354.

6. Li C., Bakker RG, Motaleb MA, Sartakova ML, Cabello FC and Charon NW. 2002. Asymmetrical flagellar rotation in Borrelia burgdorferi non-chemotaxis mutants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., U.S.A. 99: 6169-6174.

7. Zuerner RL, Stanton TB, Miniton FC, Li C., Charon NW, Trott DJ and Hampson DJ. 2004. Genetic variation in Brachyspira: chromosomal rearrangements and sequence drift distinguish B. pilosicoli from B. hyodysenteriae. Anaerobe.10: 229-237.

8. Motaleb MA, Miller MR, Li C., Bakker RG, Goldstein SF, Silversmith RE, Bourret RB, and Charon NW. CheX is a CheY-P phosphatase essential for Borrelia burgdorferi chemotaxis. 2005. Journal of Bacteriology. 187: 7973-3969.

9. Bakker RG, Li C., Miller MR, Cunningham C and Charon NW. 2006. Identification of specific chemoattractants and complementation of cheA2 of Borrelia burgdorferi: A flow cytometry-based capillary tube chemotaxis assay. Appl Environ Microbiol. 73:1180-8.

10. Motaleb MA, Miller MR, Li C, and Charon NW. 2007. Phosphorylation Assays of Chemotaxis Two-Component System Proteins in Borrelia burgdorferi. Methods Enzymol. 422:438-47.

11. Motaleb MA, Miller MR, Bakker RG, Li C, and Charon NW. 2007. Isolation and Characterization of Chemotaxis Mutants of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi Using Allelic Exchange Mutagenesis, Flow Cytometry, and Cell Tracking. Methods Enzymol. 422:419-37.

12. Sal MS, Li C, Motaleb MA, Shibata S, Aizawa S, and Charon NW. 2008. Borrelia burgdorferi uniquely regulates its motility genes and has an intricate flagellar hook-basal body structure. Journal of Bacteriology. 190:1912-21.

13. Li C., Wolgemuth CW, Marko M, Morgan DG, and Charon NW. 2008. Genetic analysis of spirochete flagellin proteins and their involvement in motility, filament assembly, and flagella morphology. Journal of Bacteriology.190:5607-15.

14. Yu Yang, Philip E. Stewart, Xiaoguang Shi, and Chunhao Li*. 2008. Development of a Transposon Mutagenesis System in the Oral Spirochete Treponema denticola. Appl Environ Microbiol.,74:6461-4.

15. Yang Y, and Li C*. 2008. Transcription and genetic analyses of a putative N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanine amidase in Borrelia burgdorferi. FEMS Microbiology Letter. 290:164-7.

16. Li C*, Xu H, Zhang K, and Liang FT. 2010. Inactivation of a putative flagellar motor switch protein FliG1 abrogates the ability of Borrelia burgdorferi to swim in a highly viscous medium and its infectivity. Molecular Microbiology. 75:1563-76.

17. Li C*, Sal M, Marko M, and Charon NW. 2010. Differential regulation of multiple flagellins in spirochetes. Journal of Bacteriology.192: 2596~2603.

18. Sze CW and Li C*. 2011. Inactivation of bb0184, which encodes carbon storage regulator A, represses the infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi. Infection and Immunity. 79:1270-9.

19. Xu H, Raddi G, Liu J, Charon NW, and Li C*. 2011. Chemoreceptors and flagellar motors are subterminally located in close proximity at the two cell poles in spirochetes. Journal of Bacteriology. 193:2652-6.

20. Motaleb MA, Sultan SZ, Miller MR, Li C, and Charon NW. 2011. CheY3 of Borrelia burgdorferi is the key response regulator essential for chemotaxis and forms a long-lived phosphorylated intermediate. Journal of Bacteriology. 193:3332-41.

21. Bian J, and Li C*. 2011. Disruption of a type II endonuclease (TDE0911) enables Treponema denticola ATCC 35405 to accept an unmethylated shuttle vector. Appl Environ Microbiol. 77:4573-8.

22. Bian J, Shen H, Tu Y, Yu A, and Li C*. 2011. Riboswitch regulates a thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) ABC transporter of the oral spirochete Treponema denticola. J Bacteriol. 193:3912-22.

23. Sze CW, Morado DR, Liu J, Charon NW, Xu H, and Li C*. 2011. Carbon storage regulator A (CsrABb) is a repressor of Borrelia burgdorferi flagellin protein FlaB. Molecular Microbiology. 82:851-64.

24. Li C, Kurniyati K, Hu B, Bian J, Sun J, Zhang W, Liu J, Pan Y, and Li C*. 2012. Abrogation of a neuraminidase reduces the biofilm formation, capsule biosynthesis and virulence of Porphyromonas gingivalis. Infection and Immunity. 80:3-13.

25. Zhang K, Tong BA, Liu J, and Li C*. 2012. A single-domain FlgJ contributes to flagellar hook and filament formation in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. J Bacteriol. 194:866-74.

26. Bian J, Fenno C, and Li C*. 2012. Developing a modified gentamicin resistance cassette for genetic manipulation of the oral spirochete Treponema denticola. Appl Environ Microbiol., 78:2059-62.

27. Sze CW, Zhang K, Kariu T, Pal U, and Li C*. 2012. Borrelia burgdorferi needs chemotaxis to establish infection in mammals and to accomplish its enzootic cycle. Infection and Immunity. 80:2485-92.

28. Charon NW, Cockburn A, and Li C et al. 2012. The unique paradigm of spirochete motility and chemotaxis. Annual Review of Microbiology. 66:349-70.

29. Zhang K, Liu J, Tu Y, Xu H, Charon NW, and Li C*. 2013. Two CheW coupling proteins are essential in a chemosensory pathway of Borrelia burgdorferi. Molecular Microbiology. 85: 782-94.

30. Sze CW, Smith A, Choi YH, Yang X, Pal U, Yu A, and Li C*. 2013. Study of the response regulator Rrp1 reveals its regulatory role in chitobiose utilization and virulence of Borrelia burgdorferi. Infection and Immunity. 81:1775-87 (Editor Spotlight paper).

31. Kurniyati K, Zhang W, Zhang K, and Li C*. 2013. A surface-exposed neuraminidase affects complement resistance and virulence of the oral spirochaete Treponema denticola. Molecular Microbiology. 89:842-56.

32. Zhao X, Zhang K, Boquoi T, Hu B, Motaleb MA, Miller KA, James ME, Charon NW, Manson MD, Norris SJ, Li C*, and Liu J. 2013. Cryoelectron tomography reveals the sequential assembly of bacterial flagella in Borrelia burgdorferi. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110:14390-5.

33. Bian J, Liu X, Cheng YQ, and Li C *. 2013. Inactivation of cyclic Di-GMP binding protein TDE0214 affects the motility, biofilm formation, and virulence of Treponema denticola. J Bacteriol. 195(17):3897-905.

34. Amano A, Chen C, Honma K, Li C, Settem RP, and Sharma A. 2014. Genetic characteristics and pathogenic mechanisms of periodontal pathogens. Adv Dent Res. 26(1):15-22.