Peng Li Lab

We study cellular and molecular control of breathing, its importance for human health and its role in disease — such as in sleep apnea and sudden infant death syndrome.

Our Research

The molecular and cellular mechanism underlying breathing, and how it goes awry in diseases is largely unknown. By molecular and genetic dissection of the breathing-control circuitry, our laboratory studies the function of neural populations that control breathing rhythms and behaviors (such as sighing), and the pathophysiology of diseases with breathing abnormality.


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

A carotid body-brainstem neural circuit mediates sighing in hypoxia

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