Chunyan Li, PhD

Assistant Professor, Center for Bioelectronic Medicine,
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery,
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Phone: (516) 562-1078
Email: cli11@northwell.edu

About the Investigator

Dr. Chunyan Li is an assistant investigator at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

Dr. Li completed her graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati with a focus on BioMEMS and Microsystem technology. Her research at the University of Cincinnati focused on the development of multifunctional microsystems for a wide variety of in vivo and point-of-care applications. Following graduate school, Dr. Li was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati.

Currently, Dr. Li is utilizing micro and nano technologies to investigate brain pathophysiology after traumatic brain injury. Working with Dr. Raj K. Narayan at the Department of Neurosurgery, she hopes to understand the pathophysiology and mechanisms of traumatic brain injury and develop improved and targeted therapeutic strategies.

Research Focus

The long term goals of Dr. Li’s lab are to understand the pathophysiology and mechanisms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and develop improved and targeted therapeutic strategies.

Development of advanced interfaces for brain and nerves

Dr. Li’s lab is developing novel neural interfaces using flexible polymer MEMS technology.

  • Brain Interface: Micromachined brain probe for real-time continuous monitoring of multiple physiological (ICP, rCBF, temperature), biochemical (oxygen tension, glucose, lactate, glutamate) and electrophysiological (DC-ECoG) variables that are critical in the diagnosis and treatment of evolving brain injury
  • Nerve Interface: Implantable nerve electrical interfaces that can reliably maintain bidirectional high-resolution recording and stimulation without causing nerve damage

Multimodality brain monitoring

The fully functional human brain relies on the complex interplay of physical, chemical, and electrical pathways. Patients with TBI are at high risk of dysfunction in one or more neurologic pathways. There remains no single best physiologic parameter or ‘surrogate marker’ for clinical outcome. Hence, Dr. Li’s team aims to conduct multimodal brain monitoring to capture the multifaceted and dynamic nature of brain injury. In addition, her team investigates the co-interaction among these parameters to decipher the causes and the consequences of secondary brain injury.

Development of a new treatment strategy for TBI

To date, no neuroprotective agents have been shown to significantly improve outcomes for TBI patients. As such, it is urgent to identify and develop a new class of therapeutic strategies to maximize recovery after TBI.

  • Dr. Li’s lab is working on a new therapeutic approach to mitigate and/or treat TBI by trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS). TNS elicits strong synergistic co-activation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Stimulation of trigeminal nerve induces pressor response and improves cerebral blood flow (CBF) by activating the rostral ventrolateral medulla. Moreover, it causes cerebrovasodilation through the trigemino-cerebrovascular system and trigemino-parasympathetic reflex. These effects are capable of increasing cerebral perfusion, making trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) a promising strategy for TBI management.
  • Current vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) studies for the treatment of TBI uses an open loop system (i.e., therapy is delivered according to preprogrammed settings); making the system closed loop in which the degree of stimulation is regulated in response to physiological changes, may improve its therapeutic efficacy. The research at Dr. Li’s lab is based on the novelty of real-time tracking of multimodal brain signals to perform a closed-loop VNS for the treatment of TBI. It differs dramatically from the previous studies based on single-time-point behavioral and biological assessment, offers opportunity to apply mechanistic targeting for TBI, and paves the way for identifying the potential feedback signal to modulate VNS for a more efficient treatment.
Lab Members

Kanokwan Limnuson
Post-doctoral Research Trainee
Phone: (516) 562-1078
Email: klimnuson@northwell.edu

Afridi Adil N
Research Associate
Phone: (516) 562-1078
Email: aafridi@northwell.edu

Rogers Aubrey
Visiting Scientist
Phone: (516) 562-1078
Email: arogers1@pride.hofstra.edu

Education

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Degree: Postdoctoral
2010
Field of Study: Neurotrauma

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Degree: PhD
2007
Field of Study: BioMEMS and Microsystem Technology

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Degree: MS
2004
Field of Study: BioMEMS and Microsystem Technology

Yanbian University of Science and Technology
Degree: BS
2001
Field of Study: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Honors and Awards

2017 Ide & David Dangoor Collaborative Women in Science Award, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2016 Refractions Innovation Award, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2016 ThinkFirst Head Injury Prevention Presentation Award, American Association Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting
2015 CNS Best Poster Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Annual Meeting
2013 Mentor Recognition for Developing Sciences & Technology Leaders for the Future, SIEMENS Foundation

Publications
  1. C. Li, R. K. Narayan. (2017) “Real-time drug pharmacokinetics.” Nature Biomedical Engineering
  2. A. Chiluwal, R. K. Narayan, W. Chaung, N. Mehan, P. Wang, C. E. Bouton, E. V. Golanov, C. Li. (2017) “Neuroprotective effects of trigeminal nerve stimulation in severe traumatic brain injury.” Scientific Reports, 7(1): 6792.
  3. C. Li, H. S. Sohal, F. Li. (2017) “A new 3D self-adaptive nerve electrode for high density peripheral nerve stimulation and recording.” The 19th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems (Transducers), 51-54.
  4. C. Li, R. K. Narayan, P. Wang, J. A. Hartings. (2017) “Regional temperature and quantitative cerebral blood flow responses to cortical spreading depolarization in the rat.” Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 37(5): 1634-1640.
  5. K. Limnuson, R. K. Narayan, A. Chiluwal, E. V. Golanov, C. E. Bouton, C. Li. (2016) “A user-configurable headstage for multimodality neuromonitoring in freely moving rats.” Frontiers in Neuroscience, 10: 382.
  6. C. Li, W. Chaung, C. Mozayan, R. Chabra, P. Wang, R. K. Narayan. (2016) “A New Approach for on-demand generation of various oxygen tensions for in vitro hypoxia models.” PLoS One, 11(5): e0155921.
  7. J. A. Hartings, C. Li, J. M. Hinzman, J. A. Wilson, G. L. Ernst, N. Andaluz, C. W. Shuttleworth, B. Foreman, J. P. Dreier, A. Carlson. (2016) “Direct-current electrocorticography for clinical neuromonitoring of spreading depolarizations.” Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 37(5): 1857-1870.
  8. Z. Wu, C. Li, J. A. Hartings, R. K. Narayan, C. H. Ahn. (2016) “Polysilicon Thin Film Developed on Flexible Polyimide for Biomedical Applications.” Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 25(4): 585-592.
  9. C. Li, K. Limnuson, Z. Wu, A. Amin, A. Narayan, E. V. Golanov, C. H. Ahn, J. A. Hartings, R. K. Narayan. (2016). “Single probe for real-time simultaneous monitoring of neurochemistry and direct-current electrocorticography.” Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 77: 62-68.
  10. C. Li, R. K. Narayan, P. M. Wu, N. Rajan, Z. Wu, N. Mehan, E. V. Golanov, C. H. Ahn, J. A. Hartings. (2016). “Evaluation of microelectrode materials for direct-current electrocorticography.” Journal of Neural Engineering, 13(1): 016008.
  11. C. Li, Z. Wu, K. Limnuson, C. Cheyuo, P. Wang, C. H. Ahn, R. K. Narayan, J. A. Hartings. (2016) “Development and application of a microfabricated multimodal neural catheter for neuroscience.” Biomedical Microdevices, 18(1): 8.
  12. Z. Wu, C. Li, J. Hartings, S. Ghosh, R. K. Narayan, C. H. Ahn. (2016) “Polysilicon-based flexible temperature sensor for brain monitoring with highspatial resolution”. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 27(2): 025001.
  13. C. Li, P. M. Wu, Z. Wu, K. Limnuson, N. Mehan, C. Mozayan, E. V. Golanov, C. H. Ahn, J. A. Hartings, R. K. Narayan. (2015) “Highly accurate thermal flow microsensor for continuous and quantitative measurement of cerebral blood flow.” Biomedical Microdevices, 17(5):87.
  14. C. Li, R. K. Narayan. (2014). “Monitoring the injured brain.” Bioelectronic Medicine 1:4-8.

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