Graduate School

You are here:

Dr. Hongli Sun


Postdoctoral fellowship, Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, University of Michigan, School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, (2007-2014);

Ph.D. Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China (2004-2007);

M.S. Cell Biology, School of Life Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China, (2001-2004);

B.S. Biology, School of Life Science, Changchun Normal University, Changchun, China, (1997-2001).

Research Interests:
Our research seeks to understand the underlying mechanism by which adult stem cell behaviors are regulated by micro-environmental cues during bone/cartilage tissue regeneration. Inspired by the fundamental findings in stem cell/developmental biology, we are devoted to developing novel stem cell/biomaterials-based translational strategies for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. One unique strategy that separates our research from others is focusing on the correlation between in vitro stem cell-biomaterials interaction and in vivo functional tissue formation. Our long term goal is to develop novel therapeutics for musculoskeletal related diseases, including large bone/cartilage defects, heterotopic ossification, osteoporosis, and arthritis. We are currently interested in the following projects:
  1. Smart Biomatrials/Drug Delivery Oriented Stem Cell Differentiation and Tissue Formation
  2. Molecular Mechanisms that Controlling Stem Cell mediated Bone/Cartilage Regeneration
  3. Developmental/Regenerative Biology-inspired Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering
  4. Biomimeticly Presented Instructive Signals induced Endogenous Tissue Regeneration
Selected Peer Reviewed Publications:
  1. Sun H, Wu C, Dai K, Chang J, Tang T. Proliferation and osteoblastic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived stromal cells on akermanite-bioactive ceramics. Biomaterials. 2006 Nov; 27(33):5651-7. PMID: 16904740
  2. Sun H, Dai K, Tang T, Zhang X. Regulation of osteoblast differentiation by slit2 in osteoblastic cells. Cells Tissues Organs. 2009; 190(2):69-80. PMID: 19033678 
  3. Huang Y, Jin X, Zhang X, Sun H, Tu J, Tang T, Chang J, Dai K. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of akermanite bioceramics for bone regeneration. Biomaterials. 2009 Oct; 30(28):5041-8. PMID: 19545889 
  4. Sun H, Feng K, Hu J, Soker S, Atala A, Ma PX. Osteogenic differentiation of human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells induced by bone morphogenetic protein-7 and enhanced by nanofibrous scaffolds. Biomaterials. 2010 Feb; 31(6):1133-9. PMID: 19857889 
  5. Zhang J, Sun H, Ma PX. Host-guest interaction mediated polymeric assemblies: multifunctional nanoparticles for drug and gene delivery. ACS Nano. 2010 Feb;4(2):1049-59. PMCID: PMC2835570
  6. Feng K, Sun H, Bradley MA, Dupler EJ, Giannobile WV, Ma PX. Novel antibacterial nanofibrous PLLA scaffolds. J Control Release. 2010 Sep;146(3):363-9.  PMID: 20570700
  7. Hu J, Smith LA, Feng K, Liu X, Sun H, Ma PX. Response of human embryonic stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells to osteogenic factors and architectures of materials during in vitro osteogenesis. Tissue Eng Part A. 2010 Nov;16(11):3507-14 PMID: 20594153
  8. Kim J, Jung Y, Sun H, Joseph J, Mishra A, Shiozawa Y, Wang J, Krebsbach PH, Taichman RS. Erythropoietin mediated bone formation is regulated by mTOR signaling. J Cell Biochem. 2012 Jan;113(1):220-8. PMID: 21898543 (Cover Story)
  9. Sun H, Jung Y, Shiozawa Y, Taichman RS, Krebsbach PH. Erythropoietin modulates the structure of bone morphogenetic protein 2-engineered cranial bone. Tissue Eng Part A. 2012 Oct;18(19-20):2095-105. PMID: 22703029
  10. Havens AM*, Shiozawa Y*, Jung Y*, Sun H*, Wang J, McGee S, Mishra A, Taichman LS, Danciu T, Jiang Y, Yavanian G, Leary E, Krebsbach PH, Rodgerson D, Taichman RS. Human very small embryonic-like cells generate skeletal structures, in vivo. Stem Cells Dev. 2013 Feb 15;22(4):622-30. PMID: 23020187. (*Co-first author)
  11. Deshpande SS, Gallagher KK, Donneys A, Tchanque-Fossuo CN, Sarhaddi D, Sun H, Krebsbach PH, Buchman SR. Stem cell therapy remediates reconstruction of the craniofacial skeleton after radiation therapy. Stem Cells Dev. 2013 Jun 1;22(11):1625-32. PMID: 23282102
  12. Jung Y, Kim JK, Shiozawa Y, Wang J, Mishra A, Joseph J, Berry JE, McGee S, Lee E, Sun H, Wang J, Jin T, Zhang H, Dai J, Krebsbach PH, Keller ET, Pienta KJ, Taichman RS. Recruitment of mesenchymal stem cells into prostate tumours promotes metastasis. Nat Commun. 2013; 4:1795. PMID: 23653207
  13. Peterson JR, De La Rosa S, Sun H, Eboda O, Cilwa KE, Donneys A, Morris M, Buchman SR, Cederna PS, Krebsbach PH, Wang SC, Levi B. Burn Injury Enhances Bone Formation in Heterotopic Ossification Model. Ann Surg. 2013 May 12. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23673767
  14. Sun H, Kim JK, Mortensen R, Mutyaba LP, Hankenson KD, Krebsbach PH. Osteoblast-targeted suppression of PPARγ increases osteogenesis through activation of mTOR signaling. Stem Cells. 2013 Oct;31(10):2183-92. PMID: 23766271
  15. Sun H, Zhu F, Hu Q, Krebsbach PH. Controlling stem cell-mediated bone regeneration through tailored mechanical properties of collagen scaffolds. Biomaterials. 2014 Jan;35(4):1176-84. PMID: 24211076
  16. Havens A*, Sun H*, Shiozawa Y, Jung Y, Wang J, Mishra A, Jiang Y, O'Neill DW, Krebsbach PH, Rodgerson DO, Taichman RS. Human and Murine Very Small Embryonic-Like (VSEL) Cells Represent Multipotent Tissue Progenitors, In Vitro and In Vivo. Stem Cells Dev. 2014 Apr 1;23(7):689-70. PMID: 24372153 (*Co-first author, Cover Story)
Invited Manuscript Reviewer

Acta Biomaterialia, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Materials, Cell Transplantation, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part B - Applied Biomaterials, Journal of Dental Research, Journal of Materials Chemistry, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells and Development, Tissue Engineering,


Dr. Hongli Sun

sun,hong li@ USD Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering
University of South Dakota
4800 N. Career Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD  57107