Yihang Li

Department of Animal and Food Sciences

Yihang Li

Assistant Professor of Animal Nutrition and GI Physiology

Office location:
531 S. College Avenue
037 Townsend Hall
Newark, DE 19716


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (GI Physiology) – Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 2018
  • Ph.D. (Developmental Nutrition) – North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 2014
  • M.S. (Animal Nutrition) – China Agricultural University, Beijing, China, 2009
  • B.S. (Animal Science) – China Agricultural University, Beijing, China, 2007

Research interest

Gastrointestinal (GI) health can be evaluated by nutrient transport capacity and barrier integrity, which plays a critical role in modern animal industry that is centered in optimizing feed efficiency and enhancing disease prevention. GI function can be regulated by complicate signals from luminal nutrients/microbiome, body energy/metabolic status, gut immune activity, and central/enteric nerve system. The rapid turnover rate of intestinal epithelium (5-7 days) allows GI to adjust any potential miscommunication of these signals thus adapt environmental change. Therefore how well the GI be able to respond to environmental change, and how efficient the GI adjust itself in the corresponding environment is important for maintaining its function and optimal health. Understanding the basic physiology of GI adaptation is the foundation of developing novel feeding strategy and precise nutrition requirement in cases of early development and production stress. My research interest is to bring novel knowledge on nutritional interventions and/or physiological stress during early development, which have immediate or long-term benefits to gut health, thus ultimately reduce animal production costs, and also contribute knowledge of relevance to human gut health.

Li Y, Song Z, Kerr KA, Moeser AJ. Chronic Social Stress in Pigs Impairs Intestinal Barrier and Nutrient Transporter Function, and Alters Neuro-Immune Mediator and Receptor Expression.  2017 PLOS one 7;12(2):e0171617.

Li Y, Hansen SL, Borst LB, Spears JW, Moeser AJ. Dietary Iron Deficiency and Over-supplementation Increase Intestinal Permeability, Ion Transport, and Inflammation in Pigs. 2016 J Nutr 146(8):1499-505.

Ayyadurai S, Gibson AJ, D’Costa S, Overman EL, Sommerville LJ, Poopal AC, Mackey E, Li Y, Moeser AJ. Frontline Science: Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor subtype 1 is a critical modulator of mast cell degranulation and stress-induced pathophysiology. 2017 J Leukoc Biol. pii: jlb.2HI0317-088RR.

Medland JE, Pohl CS, Edwards LL, Frandsen SF, Bagley KD, Li Y, Moeser AJ. Early life adversity in piglets induces long-term upregulation of the enteric cholinergic nervous system and heightened, sex-specific secretomotor neuron responses. 2016 Neurogastroenterol Motil. 28(9):1317-29.

Mackey E, Ayyadurai S, Pohl C, D’Costa S, Li Y, Moeser AJ. Sexual Dimorphism in the Mast Cell Transcriptome and the Pathophysiological Responses to Immunological and Psychological Stress. 2016 Biol Sex Differ 7:60.

Li Y, Stahl CH. Calcium Deficiency and Excess both Impact Bone Development and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Lineage Priming in Neonatal Piglets. 2014 J Nutr 144(12): 1935-42.

Li Y, Chen X, Chen Y, Li Z, Cao Y. Effects of beta-mannanase expressed by Pichia pastoris in corn-soybean meal diets on broiler performance, nutrient digestibility, energy utilization and immunoglobulin levels. 2010 Anim Feed Sci Technol 159:59−67.