Peng Li Lab

We investigate the neural mechanisms and pathways that orchestrate breathing — and their deviations in breathing disorders.

Our Research

Our research delves into the intricate molecular and neuronal mechanisms that harmonize internal states and sensory inputs, orchestrating the regulation of behaviors, focusing specifically on breathing and its interconnected behaviors. 

By levera­ging and integrating recent advances in modern neurobiology and neurogenetics approaches, we aim to unravel the neural control mechanism governing breathing and its associated behaviors across the molecular, cellular and circuit levels. Additionally, we seek to decipher how this finely orchestrated system becomes disrupted in pathological conditions.

Peng Li, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, U-M Life Sciences Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics, U-M School of Dentistry
Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, U-M Medical School

Publication Highlights

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and respiratory defects in a mouse model of DEPDC5-related epilepsy

Kao H-Y, Yao Y, Yang T, Ziobro J, Zylinski M, Yaqub Mir M, Hu S, Cao R, Nahar Borna N, Banerjee R, Parent JM, Wang S, Leventhal DK, Peng Li P, Yu Wang Y, Annals of Neurology (2023)

A carotid body-brainstem neural circuit mediates sighing in hypoxia

Yao Y, Chen K, Li X, Chen Z-F, Li P, Current Biology (2023)

Control of emotion and wakefulness by neurotensinergic neurons in the parabrachial nucleus

Chen J, Gannot N, Li X, Zhu R, Zhang C, Li P, Neurosci Bull (2023)

A general method for chemogenetic control of peptide function

Shen J, Geng L, Li X, Emery C, Kroning K, Shingles G, Lee K, Heyden M, Li P,  Wang W, Nature Methods (2022)

Brain circuit of claustrophobia-like behavior in mice identified by upstream tracing of sighing

Li P, Li S-B, Wang X, Phillips CD, Schwarz LA, Luo L, de Lecea L, Krasnow MA, Cell Reports (2020)


Li P, Yackle K, Current Biology (2017)

The peptidergic control circuit for sighing

Li P, Janczewski WA, Yackle K, Kam K, Pagliardini S, Krasnow MA, Feldman JL, Nature (2016)

Room 5314
Life Sciences Institute
Mary Sue Coleman Hall
210 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216