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Chenglong Li, Ph.D.

Chenglong Li

Professor and Nicholas Bodor Professor in Drug Discovery; Graduate Coordinator for Medicinal Chemistry

Medicinal Chemistry

OFFICE: Medical Science Building, P6-20A


PHONE: 352-294-8510

CV: Link to CV



  • Ph.D., Biophysics with a minor in organic chemistry, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • M.Sc., Physical Chemistry, Beijing University, Beijing, China
  • B.Sc., Chemistry, Beijing University, Beijing, China

Biographical Sketch

Chenglong Li, Ph.D., obtained his B.Sc. in chemistry and M.Sc. in physical chemistry from Beijing University in 1985 and 1988, respectively. Following college, he worked at the Institute of Biophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He traveled to the United States and obtained his Ph.D. in biophysics at Cornell University, New York in 2000. He spent five years in San Diego, California, working as a postdoc in structural biology at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (2000-2002) and as a research associate in computational chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute (2002-2005). Starting August 1, 2005, he moved to Columbus, Ohio as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the College of Pharmacy, the Ohio State University, and rose through the ranks to associate professor with tenure in 2011 and full professor in 2016. In August 2016, he was appointed as the Nicholas Bodor Professor in Drug Discovery and professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Florida.

Research Interests

Li’s scholarly interests range from organic chemistry, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry to physical chemistry, computational chemistry, molecular biophysics and pharmacology. His research focuses on molecular recognition, with a strong application to structure-based computer-aided drug design. He combines molecular simulation, synthetic chemistry, X-ray protein crystallography, thermodynamic measurements, cellular techniques and in vivo animal models to explore molecular interactions, especially protein-ligand interactions, at molecular, cellular and organismal levels. His current working projects include both computational method development and drug design applications, for example: 1) pioneering development of a novel Multiple Ligand Simultaneous Docking (MLSD) strategy, with great potential for Fragment-Based Drug Design (FBDD); 2) design and discovery of drugs targeting the IL-6/STAT3 inflammatory and oncogenic pathway for targeted therapy; 3) design and discovery of drugs targeting epigenetic histone arginine methylation enzymes, especially PRMT5; 4) design and discovery of drugs targeting specific nAChR and ASIC1 subtypes for drug addiction and neurodegenerative diseases; 5) design and discovery of “chemical chaperone” drugs targeting F508 NBD1 misfolding intermediates for potential cystic fibrosis therapy.

• h-index: 34
• RG score: 42.08
• First-in-Class PRMT5-targeting epigenetic drug commercialization development licensing agreement
• NIH DDNS (Drug Discovery for the Nervous System) study section regular membership.

Professional Organizations Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • American Crystallographic Association (ACA)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • Chinese-American Chemistry & Chemical Biology Professors Association

Institutional Affiliations

  • Medicinal Chemistry, UF College of Pharmacy
  • Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development (CNPD3), UF College of Pharmacy
  • Biophysics, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Biochemistry, UF College of Medicine
  • UF Health Cancer Center

Select Publications

Wu, X., Cao, Y., Xiao, W., Li, C. and Lin, J. Bazedoxifene as a Novel GP130 Inhibitor for Pancreatic Cancer Therapy. Mol. Cancer Ther., 2016, accepted.

Tarighat, S. S., Santhanam, R., Frankhouser, D., Radomska, H. S., Lai, H., Anghelina, M., Wang, H., Huang, X., Alinari, L., Walker, A., Caligiuri, M. A., Croce, C. M., Li, L., Garzon, R., Li, C., Baiocchi, R. A. and Marcucci, G. The dual epigenetic role of PRMT5 in acute myeloid leukemia: gene activation and repression via histone arginine methylation. Leukemia, 2016, 30, 789-799.

Alinari, L., Mahasenan, K. V., Yan, F., Karkhanis, V., Chung, J.-H., Smith, E. M., Quinion, C., Smith, P. L., Kim, L., Patton, J. T., Lapalombella, R., Yu, B., Wu, Y., Roy, S., De Leo, A., Pileri, S., Agostinelli, C., Bradner, J. E., Chen-Kiang, S., Elemento, O., Motiwala, T., Majumder, S., Byrd, J. C., Jacob, S., Sif, S, Li, C. and Baiocchi, R. A. Selective inhibition of protein arginine methyltransferase 5 blocks initiation and maintenance of B-cell transformation. Blood, 2015, 125, 2530-2543.

Li, H., Xiao, H., Lin, L., Jou, D., Kumari, V., Lin, J. and Li, C. Drug Design Targeting Protein–Protein Interactions (PPIs) Using Multiple Ligand Simultaneous Docking (MLSD) and Drug Repositioning: Discovery of Raloxifene and Bazedoxifene as Novel Inhibitors of IL-6/GP130 Interface. J. Med. Chem., 2014, 57, 632-641.

Yu, W. and Li, C. Regioselective one-pot C-N coupling of substituted naphthoquinones: selective intramolecular ring fusion of sulfonamides. Tetrahedron, 2014, 70, 459-464.

Zhang, M., Xiang, S., Joo, H.-Y., Jones, A., Pavlovicz, R. E., Dong, H., Matthias, P., Bai, W., Nicosia, S. V., Chen, J., Li, C., Wang, H. and Zhang, X. HDAC6 Deacetylates and Ubiquitinates MSH2 to Maintain Proper Levels of MutSα. Mol Cell, 2014, 55, 31-46.

Wang, X. R. and Li, C. Decoding F508del Misfolding in Cystic Fibrosis. Biomolecules, 2014, 4, 498-509. (Special issue on Protein Folding and Misfolding).

Harvey, W., Park, I.-H., Rubel, O., Pascucci, V., Bremer, P.-T., Li, C. and Wang, Y. A collaborative visual analytics suite for protein folding research. J. Mol. Graph. & Model., 2014, 53, 59-71.

Chettiar, S. N., Cooley, J. V., Park, I.-H., Bhasin, D., Chakravarti, A., Li, P.-K., Li, C. and Jacob, N. K. Design, synthesis and biological studies of Survivin Dimerization Modulators that prolong mitotic cycle. Bioorg. Medicinal. Chem. Lett., 2013, 23, 5429–5433.

Yu, W., Lin, J., Xiao, H. and Li, C. Discovery of Novel STAT3 Small Molecule Inhibitors via In Silico Site-Directed Fragment-Based Drug Design. J. Med. Chem., 2013, 56, 4402-4412.

Mahasenan, K. V., Li, C. Novel inhibitor discovery through virtual screening against multiple protein conformations generated via ligand-directed modeling: a maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase example. J. Chem. Info. & Modeling., 2012, 52, 1345-1355.

Mahasenan, K. V., Pavlovicz, R. E., Henderson, B. J., Gonzalez-Cestari, T. F., Yi, B., McKay, D. B. and Li, C. Discovery of novel a4b2 neuronal nicotinic receptor modulators through structure-based virtual screening. ACS Med. Chem. Lett., 2011, 2, 855-860.

Pavlovicz, R. E., Henderson, B. J., Bonnell, A. B., Boyd, R. T., McKay, D. B. and Li, C. Identification of a negative allosteric site on human a4b2 and a3b4 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. PLoS ONE, 2011, 6, e24949.

Li, H., Liu, A., Zhao, Z., Xu, Y., Lin, J., Jou, D. and Li, C. Fragment-based Drug Design and Drug Repositioning Using Multiple Ligand Simultaneous Docking (MLSD): Identifying Celecoxib and Template Compounds as Novel Inhibitors of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3). J. Med. Chem., 2011, 54, 5592-5596.

Park, I.-H., and Li, C. Characterization of Molecular Recognition of STAT3 SH2 Domain Inhibitors through Molecular Simulation. J. Mol. Recog., 2011, 24, 254-265.

Park, I.-H., and Li, C. Dynamic Ligand-Induced-Fit Simulation via Enhanced Conformational Samplings and Ensemble Dockings: A Survivin Example. J. Phys. Chem. B., 2010, 114, 5144-5153.

Li, H. and Li, C. Multiple Ligand Simultaneous Docking (MLSD): Orchestrated Dancing of Ligands in Binding Sites of Protein. J. Comp. Chem., 2010, 31, 2014-2022.

Lin, L., Hutzen, B., Li, P.-K., Ball, S., Zuo, M., DeAngelis, S., Foust, E., Sobo, M., Friedman, L., Bhasin, D., Cen, L., Li, C. and Lin, J. A novel small molecule, LLL12 inhibits STAT3 phosphorylation and activities and exhibits potent growth suppressive activity in human cancer cells. Neoplasia, 2010, 12, 39-50.

Xu, L., Chong, Y., Hwang, I., D’Onofrio, A., Amore, K., Beardsley, G. P., Li, C., Arthur J. Olson, A., Dale L. Boger, D. L. and Wilson, I. A. “Structure-based Design, Synthesis, Evaluation, and Crystal Structures of Transition State Analogue Inhibitors of Inosine Monophosphate Cyclohydrolase”. J. Biol. Chem., 2007, 282, 13033-13046.

Jiang, Z.; Georgel, P.; Li, C.; Choe, J.; Crozat, K.; Rutschmann, S.; Du, X.; Bigby, T.; Mudd, S.; Sovath, S.; Wilson, I. A.; Olson, A. and Beutler B. “Details of Toll-like receptor:adapter interaction revealed by germ-line mutagenesis”. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2006, 103, 10961-10966.

Li, C.; Xu, L.; Wolan, D. W.; Wilson, I. A. and Olson, A. J. “Virtual Screening of Human AICAR Transformylase against the NCI Diversity set Using AutoDock to Identify Novel Non-folate Inhibitors”. J. Med. Chem., 2004, 47, 6681-6690.

Li, C.; Kappock, T. J.; Stubbe, J.; Weaver, T. M. and Ealick, S. E. “X-ray Crystal Structure of Aminoimidazole Ribonucleotide Synthetase (PurM) from the Escherichia coli Purine Biosynthetic Pathway at 2.5Å Resolution”. Structure, 1999, 7, 1155-1166.