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Pengpeng BI

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Assistant Professor

Positions Held

  • 05/2015–05/2016 Postdoc Purdue University                                                      
  • 05/2016–07/2018 Postdoc University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • 08/2018­–Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Center for Molecular Medicine, University of Georgia



Among several seminal discoveries, we found that 1) Notch signaling is one of the few pathways that actively enforces the quiescence of muscle stem cells; 2) the context-dependent and versatile function of Notch signaling along multiple stages of myogenesis; 3) Notch activity improves myotube’s function as a niche for muscle stem cells; 4) Notch signaling and miR-133 are key regulators of adipocyte plasticity and energy metabolism; 5) discovered the oncogenic function of Notch signaling in driving liposarcoma development and created the first tissue-specific mouse model of liposarcoma by activating Notch signaling in mature adipocytes; 6) discovered the micropeptide myomixer in mouse and zebrafish that is indispensable for myoblast fusion and muscle formation; 7) discovered a family of myomixer genes in lower vertebrate species that control myoblast fusion. Collectively, these studies were reported at least 15 times by media outlets including Science Daily and R&D.  In addition, these works were cited 900+ times though several papers were just published recently.


  • 2012        W.R. Featherston Early Graduate Career Award, Purdue University
  • 2014        W.R. Featherston Outstanding Ph.D. Award, Purdue University
  • 2015        Outstanding Ph.D. Award for Students Abroad, Chinese Government
  • 2017        Distinguished Reviewer Award, Diabetes, American Diabetes Association
  • 2017        Travel Award, Postdoctoral Association, UT Southwestern Medical Center


Professional Memberships and Association

  • 2017 –  Present   American Society for Cell Biology
  • 2018 – 2021        Editorial Board, Diabetes, American Diabetes Association





  • B.S. 2010 Ocean University of China           
  • Ph.D. 2015 Purdue University



Research Interests:

We are interested in the molecular control of myogenesis. Skeletal muscle is the largest tissue in human body. Its formation requires the activation and expansion of muscle stem cells, and subsequent differentiation, fusion and maturation of their progenies. Understanding the mechanisms that drive these cellular events is not only essential to unravel the molecular basis of skeletal muscle diseases, but also will provide a roadmap for improving skeletal muscle function, for example exercise performance. We utilize the versatile genetic mouse models and cell culture approaches to understand the molecular regulation of muscle development and regeneration, and explore the translation value of our discoveries toward better therapeutics of muscle diseases.

Selected Publications:


  1. Bi P, McAnally JR, Shelton JM, Sánchez-Ortiz E, Bassel-Duby R and Olson EN. The fusogenic micropeptide Myomixer is essential for satellite cell fusion and muscle regeneration. PNAS. 2018; 115(15):3864-3869.
  2. Shi J*, Bi P*, Pei J, Li H, Grishin NV, Bassel-Duby R, Chen EH, Olson EN. Requirement of the fusogenic micropeptide myomixer for muscle formation in zebrafish. PNAS. 2017; 114(45):11950-11955. *Equal Contributions.
  3. Bi P, Ramirez-Martinez A, Li H, Cannavino J, McAnally JR, Shelton JM, Sánchez-Ortiz E, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN. Control of muscle formation by the fusogenic micropeptide myomixer. Science. 2017; 356(6335):323-327.
  4. Bi P,  Yue F,  Karki A,  Castro B,  Wirbisky SE,  Wang C, Durkes A, Elzey BD, Andrisani OM, Bidwell CA, Freeman JL, Konieczny SF, Kuang S. Notch activation drives adipocyte dedifferentiation and tumorigenic transformation in mice. J Exp Med. 2016; 213(10):2019-37. First and corresponding author.
  5. Bi P*, Yue F*, Sato Y, Wirbisky S, Liu W, Shan T, Wen Y, Zhou D, Freeman J, Kuang S. Stage-specific effects of Notch activation during skeletal myogenesis. eLife. 2016; e1735  *Equal Contributions.
  6. Bi P,  Shan T,  Liu W,  Yue F,  Yang X,  Liang XR, Wang J, Li J, Carlesso N, Liu X, Kuang S. Inhibition of Notch signaling promotes browning of white adipose tissue and ameliorates obesity. Nat Med. 2014. 20(8):911-918.
  7. Liu W*, Bi P*, Shan T, Yang X, Yin H, Wang YX, Liu N, Rudnicki MA, Kuang S. miR-133a regulates adipocyte browning in vivo. PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(7):e1003626. *Equal Contributions.
  8. Bi P, Kuang S. Notch signaling as a novel regulator of metabolism. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2015; 26(5):248-55. First and corresponding author. Invited review.
  9. Bi P, Kuang S. Meat Science and Muscle Biology Symposium: stem cell niche and postnatal muscle growth. J Anim Sci. 2012; 90(3):924-35. Invited review.
Events featuring Pengpeng BI
Articles Featuring Pengpeng BI

Pengpeng Bi, assistant professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ genetics department and Center for Molecular Medicine, has contributed to understanding the molecular mechanisms of muscle development and…

University of Georgia researcher Pengpeng Bi received a pair of National Institutes of Health grants in September: a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA, 2022–2027) and an Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21…

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