Pinchas Cohen, M.D.

Dean, USC Davis School of Gerontology
Executive Director, Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center
William and Sylvia Kugel Dean’s Chair in Gerontology


  • M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel, 1986
  • Postdoctoral training, Stanford University, 1986-1992


Dr. Cohen’s Laboratory focuses on unraveling processes related to aging, diabetes, neurodegeneration, and cancer. In particular, they focus on the emerging science of mitochondrial-derived peptides including, 1) humanin, a peptide encoded from the mt-16S-rRNA which is a novel, centrally acting, insulin sensitizer and metaboloprotective factor representing a new therapeutic and diagnostic target in aging, diabetes and related disease and 2) MOTS-c, a second peptide encoded from a small ORF in the 12S region of the mitochondrial chromosome, that has potent anti-diabetes and anti-obesity effect, acting as an exercise-mimetic.


Dr. Cohen trained in Stanford and held his first faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 1999. Until 2012, he was a professor and Vice Chair for Research at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, as well as the Co-Director of the UCSD/UCLA Diabetes Research Center.

He received numerous awards for his research, including a National Institute of Aging “EUREKA”-Award, the NIH-Director-Transformative RO1-Grant, and the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging.

He holds several patents for novel peptides and is the Cofounder of CohBar, a biotechnology company developing mitochondrial peptides for diseases of aging. Dr. Cohen has published over 300 papers in top scientific journals focusing on aging, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, growth hormone/IGF-biology and the emerging science of mitochondrial-derived peptides, which he pioneered.

Dr. Cohen is president of the Growth Hormone Society and served on the Endocrine Society Steering Committee. He sits on multiple NIH study sections and on several editorial boards as well as on the American Federation of Aging Research Board.

Dr. Cohen is leading several new initiatives at the USC Davis School, including the development of a center for digital aging, and a major focus on the creation of tools for “personalized aging”, an approach he has been spearheading for the purpose of garnering the latest technologies such as genomics towards individualizing healthy aging strategies, that has been featured in the Milken Global Conference and in the Bloomberg Longevity Economy Conference.

Mailing Address: University of Southern California
Davis School of Gerontology
3715 McClintock Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191

Office Location: GER 103

Office Phone: (213) 740-1354

Fax: (213) 740-5694

Lab: Cohen Lab