Dr Li Kang

Senior Lecturer

Systems Medicine, School of Medicine

Portrait photo of Li Kang
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+44 (0)1382 383019


Dr Kang gained her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from University of Science and Technology of China in 2001 and moved to the US to continue her graduate school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr Kang successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Chronic ethanol consumption disrupts both lipid and glucose homeostasis in rat adipose tissue” under the supervision of Professor Laura Nagy in 2007.

Dr Kang had her postdoctoral training with Professor David Wasserman at Vanderbilt University and was appointed as a research faculty member of Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in 2012. She was also the Managing Director of the Metabolic Pathophysiology Core of the Vanderbilt Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centre between 2012 and 2014.

Dr Kang moved to the UK and joined the faculty of the University of Dundee in April 2014. In this role, Dr Kang is establishing her independent research on understanding the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, focusing on studying the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling.


My research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. Emerging evidence suggests that the extracellular matrix (ECM) is of great potential significance in metabolic regulation and possibly is of pivotal significance for all metabolic diseases. By studying mice with specific mutations or mice overexpressing specific genes, my primary research interest centres on understanding the role of ECM remodelling in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and identifying novel and cost-effective ECM-centric therapeutic targets for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Insulin action in conscious, unstressed mice is studied by the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique. The research that is ongoing in my lab will provide new opportunities to explore therapeutics for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

View full research profile and publications


Lecture teaching:

  • Pharmacology of Diabetes Treatment
  • BSc Medical Sciences
  • BMSc Cardiovascular and Diabetes

Research projects:

  • PhD/MSc student supervision
  • BSc honour projects
  • BMSc research projects
  • Summer projects

Media availability

I am available for media commentary on my research.

Dr Kang’s research centres on glucose and energy metabolism in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders, particular in insulin sensitive organs including adipose tissue, muscle, heart, liver and the kidney. Areas of expertise include extracellular matrix biology, fibrosis, in vivo modelling of metabolic diseases, and cardiometabolic phenotyping techniques.

Contact Corporate Communications for media enquiries.

Areas of expertise

  • Diabetes

PhD Projects

Principal supervisor