Dr Yan Li

profile image

Senior Lecturer

Phone: 09 921 9999 Ext 7109

Email: yan.li@aut.ac.nz


MSc (Auckland)

PhD (Otago)

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Member of New Zealand Society of Oncology
  • Member of Australasia Society for Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists
  • Member of New Zealand Local Chapter of Controlled Release Society
  • 2016 – current ,  Collaborative Professor (Kanazawa University, Japan)


Dr Li completed his clinical medical training in China in 1997 and his Master of Science (Pharmacology) at School of Medical Sciences, the University of Auckland. After completing his PhD training at University of Otago in 2007, Dr Li worked as a research fellow for the Tokyo University of Science, Tohoku University (Japan) and the University of Auckland, New Zealand from 2007 to 2012. He has received research grants from such bodies as AMRF, the NZ Cancer Society, the NZ Lottery Board and NZ Heart Foundation.  Dr Li’s major research interests are membrane transporters and anti-cancer drug resistance, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, nanomedicine, and phytochemicals. Dr Li also serves as a reviewer for various journals such as British Journal of Pharmacology, European Journal of Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Research, BMC Cancer, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, Biopharmaceutics & Drug Disposition.

Teaching Areas:

  • Biomedical Programme leader
  • Biomedical Science (BIOL 742) Paper coordinator
  • Biomedical Science and Technology (BIOL 801) Paper coordinator
  • Pharmacology for Professional Practice (PHMY 701)

Research Areas:

  • Cancer Pharmacology
  • Biopharmaceutics & Drug Disposition
  • Nanomedicine

Research Summary:

The aims of my research are to 1) understand the contribution of drug transporters on cancer drug resistance and cancer microenvironment; and 2) develop novel pharmacological treatment or drug delivery system to reverse drug resistance in cancer by using cell culture and animal models.

Current Research Projects:

  • Roles of Membrane Transporters in Oxaliplatin Disposition and Sensitivity in Cancer
  • Transporters and Tumour Microenvironment/Resistance in Pancreatic Cancer
  • Membrane Receptor-Transporter Interactions in Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Gene Editing using liposome-delivered CRISPR-cas9 system
  • Phytochemical Modulators of ABC/SLC Transporters


  • Myint K, Biswas R, Li Y, Jong N, Jamieson S, Liu J, Han C, Squire C, Merien F, Lu J, Nakanishi T, Tamai I, McKeage M. Identification of MRP2 as a targetable factor limiting oxaliplatin accumulation and response in gastrointestinal cancer. Scientific Reports.19;9(1):2245, 2019
  • Abdel-Fatah TMA, Broom RJ, Lu J, Moseley PM, Huang B, Li L, Liu S, Chen L, Ma RZ, Cao W, Wang X, Li Y, Perry JK, Aleskandarany M, Nolan CC, Rakha EA, Lobie PE, Chan SYT, Ellis IO, Hwang LA, Lane DP, Green AR, Liu DX. SHON expression predicts response and relapse risk of breast cancer patients after anthracycline-based combination chemotherapy or tamoxifen treatment. British Journal of Cancer.120(7):728-745, 2019
  • Daniel Dantzic, Pawan Noel, Fabrice Merien, Dong-Xu Liu, Jun Lu, Haiyong Han, Mark J. McKeage, Yan Li. The Effects of Synthetically Modified Natural Compounds on ABC Transporters. Pharmaceutics 2018; 10 (3) (Impact factor 3.763)
  • Fielder, G.C., Yang, TW., Razdan, M., Li, Y., Lu, J., Perry, J.K., Lobie P.E., Liu DX. The GDNF Family: A Role in Cancer? Neoplasia. 2018;20(1):99-117 (Impact factor 5.006)
  • Li, Y., Revalde, J., Paxton, J.W. The effects of dietary and herbal phytochemicals on drug transporters. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews.  2017;116:45-62. (Impact factor 11.764)
  • Revalde, J., Li, Y. *, Wijeratne, TS., Bugde, P., Hawkins, B., Rosengren, R., Paxton, J.W.  Curcumin and its cyclohexanone analogue inhibited human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1) in pancreatic cancer cells. European Journal of Pharmacology. 2017; 803:167-173. (*Corresponding author) (Impact factor 2.730)
  • Bugde, P., Biswas, R., Merien, F., Lu, J., Liu, DX., Chen, M., Zhou, S., Li, Y.  The therapeutic potential of targeting ABC transporters to combat multi-drug resistance. Expert Opinions on Therapeutic Targets. 2017; 21(5):511-530 (Impact factor 4.798)
  • Odeleye, T., Li, Y., White, W.L., Nie, S., Chen, S., Wang, J., Lu, J. The antioxidant potential of the New Zealand surf clams. Food Chemistry. 2016, 204:141-9. (Impact factor 3.391)
  • Myint, K., Li, Y., Paxton, J.W., McKeage M. Multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) mediated transport of oxaliplatin-derived platinum in membrane vesicles. PLoS ONE, 2015, 10(7): e0130727. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130727 (Impact factor 3.057)
  • Revalde, J.*, Li, Y. *, Hawkins, B., Rosengren, R., Paxton, J.W.  Heterocyclic cyclohexanone monocarbonyl analogs of curcumin can inhibit the activity of ATP-binding cassette transporters in cancer multidrug resistance. Biochemical Pharmacology, 2015, 93(3):305-17.(*Corresponding authors) (Impact factor 5.091)
  • Tan, K-W., Cooney, J., Jensen, D., Li, Y., Paxton, J. W., Birch, N., Scheepens, A. Hop-derived prenylflavonoids are substrates and inhibitors of the efflux transporter breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2). Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2014 58(11):2099-110. (Impact factor 4.551)
  • Xu, H., Paxton, J. W., Lim, J., Li, Y., Zhang, W., Duxfield, L., Wu, Z. Development of high-content gemcitabine PEGylated liposomes and their cytotoxicity on drug-resistant pancreatic tumour cells. Pharmaceutical Research, 2014 31:2583–2592. (Impact factor 3.260)
  • Zhao, M., Ding, JX., Nie, GY., Wei, J., Li, Y., Yin XY., Chen Q. HTRA3 is reduced in ovarian cancers regardless of stage. Cancer Investigation. 2014 32(9):464-9. (Impact factor 2.218)
  • Xu, H., Paxton, J. W., Lim, J., Li, Y., Wu, Z. Development of a gradient high performance liquid chromatography assay for simultaneous analysis of hydrophilic gemcitabine and lipophilic curcumin using a central composite design and its application in liposome development. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2014, 98: 371-378. (Impact factor 3.169)
  • Tan, K-W., Killeen, D.P., Li, Y., Paxton, J. W., Birch, N., Scheepens, A. Dietary polyacetylenes of the falcarinol type are inhibitors of breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2). European Journal of Pharmacology, 2014, 723, 346–352. (Impact factor 2.730)
  • Tan, K-W., Li, Y., Paxton, J. W., Birch, N., Scheepens, A. Identification of novel dietary phytochemicals inhibiting the efflux transporter breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2). Food Chemistry, 2013, 138(4):2267-74. (Impact factor 3.391)
  • Li, Y., Paxton, J. W. The effect of flavonoids on the ABC transporters: Consequences for flavonoid-drug interactions. Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology, 2013, 9(3):267-85. (Impact factor 2.598)
  • Li, Y., Lu, J., Paxton, J.W. The role of ABC and SLC transporters in the pharmacokinetics of dietary and herbal phytochemicals and their interactions with xenobiotics. Current Drug Metabolism, 2012, 13: 597-612. (Impact factor 2.847)
  • Li, Y., Revalde, J., Reid, G., Paxton, J.W. Modulatory effects of curcumin on multidrug resistance associated protein 5 (MRP5) in pancreatic cancer cells. Cancer Chemotherapy Pharmacology, 2011, 68 (3): 603-610. (Impact factor 2.824)
  • Li, Y., Revalde, J., Reid, G., Paxton, J.W. Interactions of dietary phytochemicals with ABC transporters: possible implications for drug disposition and multidrug resistance in cancer. Drug Metabolism Reviews, 2010, 42(4): 590-611. (Impact factor 5.356)
  • Li, Y., Shirasaka, Y., Langguth, P., Tamai, I. Quantitation of talinolol in rat plasma by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatographic Science, 2010, 48(5):367-70. (Impact factor 1.320)
  • Shirasaka, Y., Li, Y., Shibue, Y., Kuraoka, E., Langguth, P., Tamai, I. Concentration-dependent effect of naringin on intestinal absorption of β-adrenoceptor antagonist talinolol mediated by P-Glycoprotein and organic anion transporting polypeptide (Oatp). Pharmaceutical Research, 2009, 26(3):560-7. (Impact factor 3.260)
  • Li, Y., Sato, M., Yanayisawa, Y., Fukushi, A., Mamada, H., Shirasaka, Y., Tamai, I. Effects of angiotensin II receptor blockers on renal handling of uric acid in rats. Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, 2008, 23(4): 263-70.
  • Li, Y., Zhang, H., Fawcett, P., Tucker, I. Quantitation and metabolism of mitoquinone, a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, in rat by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Rapid Communication in Mass Spectrometry, 2007, 21(13):1958-64. (Impact factor 2.226)
  • Li, Y., Zhang, H., Fawcett, P., Tucker, I. Transport and metabolism of mitoquinone, a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, by Caco-2 cells. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 2007, 59(4):503-11. (Impact factor 2.363)
  • Zhou, S., Li, Y., Kestell, P., Schafer, P., Chan, E., Paxton, J.W. Transport of thalidomide by human intestinal Caco-2 cells. European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, 2005, 30(1-2):49-61.

Zhou, S., Li, Y., Kestell, P., Paxton, J.W.. Determination of thalidomide in transport buffer for Caco-2 cell monolayers by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection.  Journal of Chromatography (B), Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 2003, 785:165-173. (Impact factor 2.687)


  • 2018   NZ Society for Oncology-European Society for Medical Oncology travel award
  • 2013   New Zealand Royal Society-Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Exchange Programme Fellowship (Short-term)
  • 2013 – 2015   Adjunct Assistant Professor (The University of South Florida, USA)
  • 2008 – 2009   Japan Science and Technology Agency Research Fellowship