Junxiang Wan, MD, PhD

Research Assistant Professor of Gerontology
Director of the Aging Research Biomarker Core

Expertise: Age-related diseases, Mitochondria, Longevity


  • Postdoctoral Training, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, 2002
  • PhD, Fudan University. Shanghai, China, 1997
  • MD, Nanjing Railway Medical College, Naijing, China, 1991


Junxiang Wan, MD, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor and director of the Aging Biomarker and Service Core at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Wan has extensive training in molecular biology, cell biology and immunology. She is an expert in the field of novel assay development, and has extensive experience in academic research work. Wan has mastered novel ELISA assays for the entire human and murine IGF/IGFBP system, has developed numerous IGFs and is involved in the Cohen lab’s discovery of a novel family of mitochondrial-derived peptides (MDPs), including humanin, SHLPs and MOTS-c that signal to regulate cellular metabolism and survival.

The Aging Biomarker and Service Core services include the following:

  1. cytokines measurement
  2. Alzheimer-related markers (Amyloid beta, phospho-tau) measurement
  3. hormones measurement including GH, human and mouse IGF-I& IGFBPs, etc.
  4. metabolic biomarkers measurement including insulin, leptin and adiponectin
  5. mitochondrial derived peptides (MDPs) measurement including humanin and the other novel MDPs
  6. new assay development

Research Support

Ongoing Research Support

1DP1OD004073-01 Cohen (PI)                   8/1/2009 – 7/31/2013
Eureka Award: Mitochondrial Peptides and their role in aging
The goals of this project are to identify alterations in the levels of humanin and related peptides at the mt-DNA levels and in the circulation of humans with exceptional longevity and mouse models of aging. Dr. Wan is in charge of humanin and SHLP assays for the project

1R01GM090311 Cohen (PI)                        10/1/2009 to 9/31/2014
Transformative-RO1 “Novel Mitochondrially Derived Peptides and Their Role in Health and Disease”
The goals of this project are to understand the function of novel mitochondrial peptides
Dr. Wan is in charge of developing assays for the project

1R01ES020812-01 Cohen (PI)                   10/1/2011 – 9/30/2016
“Plasma Mitochondrial Peptide Assays as Biomarkers of Environmental Toxin Exposure”
The goals of this project are to measure humanin and SHLP levels in mice exposed to environmental toxins to identify a peptide signature for mitochondrial damage

1R21DK089447 Cohen (PI)                         9/1/2011 – 8/30/2013
“Humanin and Type 2 Diabetes”
The goals of this project are to measure humanin and SHLP levels in patients with diabetes and pre-diabetes  in order to assess their predictive value

Completed Research Support

5P30DK063491 Olefsky (PI)                      5/1/2003 – 4/30/2013
UCSD/UCLA Diabetes & Endocrinology Research Center
The major goals of this project are to promote endocrine research at the 2 Universities.
Dr. Wan was the Director of the Assay Development sub-core and Co-Director of the core.

1P01AG027734 Barzilai (PI)                        9/1/2007 – 7/31/2012
Role of genes in humans with exceptional longevity
Goals of this project are to identify genes involved in longevity in the AECOM centenarian cohort. Dr. Wan was in charge of IGF assays for the project

Email: junxianw@usc.edu

Office Location: GER B1B

Publications and links:

Curriculum Vitae


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