Photo of Ming  Xu, Ph.D.

Ming Xu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, UConn Center on Aging and the Department of Genetics & Genome Sciences
Academic Office Location:
UConn Center on Aging
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-1835
Phone: 860-679-4338

Xu lab website

Genetics and Developmental Biology Graduate Program

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Please visit my lab website for more information.


Selected publications (#, corresponding  author; *, 1st author):

Xu M#, …, Kirkland JL#. “Senolytics Improve Physical Function and Increase Lifespan in Old Age.” Nature Medicine  2018 Aug;24(8):1246-1256. 

Wang B*, Wang L*, Gasek NS*, ..., Xu M#. “An inducible p21-Cre mouse model to monitor and manipulate p21-highly-expressing senescent cells in vivo” Nature Aging 2021; 1 (10), 962-973 

Gasek NS,Kuchel GA, Kirkland JL, Xu M#. “Strategies for Targeting Senescent Cells in Human Disease” Nature Aging 2021; 1 (10), 870-879

Wang L*, Wang B*, ..., Xu M#. “Targeting p21Cip1-Highly-Expressing Cells in Adipose Tissue Alleviates Insulin Resistance in ObesityCell Metabolism 2021  in press

Zhou Y, ..., Xu M#. “Senolytics improve the in vivo bone forming potential of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells obtained from aged mice.” npj Regeneration Medicine, 2021 Jun 11;6(1):34.

Zhou Y, ..., Xu M#. “Senolytics alleviate the degenerative disorders of temporomandibular joint in old age.” Aging Cell, 2021 Jul;20(7):e13394

Wang B*, Liu Z*, ... Xu M#  "Transplanting cells from old but not young donors causes physical dysfunction in older recipients."  Aging Cell 2020 

Xu M, …, Kirkland JL. “JAK inhibition alleviates the cellular senescence-associated secretory phenotype and frailty in old age.”  PNAS 2015 Nov17;112(46):E6301-10. 

Farr JN*, Xu M*, …Khosla S. “Causal Role of Senescent Cells in Mediating Age-Related Bone Loss.”  Nature Medicine 2017 Sep;23(9):1072-1079. 



B.S.Fudan UniversityBiological Science
Ph.D.University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC)Rehabilitation Science

Post-Graduate Training
Graduate Research AssistantUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterGraduate Research Assistant, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Dr. Hao Zhu’s Lab
FellowshipMayo ClinicResearch Fellow, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. James L. Kirkland’s Lab
Research AssociateMayo ClinicResearch Associate, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. James L. Kirkland’s Lab

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and AFAR Grant for Junior Faculty awardAFAR
Postdoctoral Transition Awards in AgingThe Irene Diamond Fund/AFAR
Career Development AwardRegenerative Medicine Initiative for Diabetes
Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Translational Research on AgingGlenn/AFAR
Travel award, 2013 Alliance for Healthy Aging Symposium Held in the University Medical Center, Groningen, NetherlandsAlliance for Healthy Aging Symposium
Student Union Corporation Travel ScholarshipKUMC
Dean’s Diversity Scholarship, School of Allied HealthKUMC
School of Allied Health Scholarship AwardKUMC
First Place Award of Molecular and Cell Biology Session III Student Research ForumKUMC
Third Place Award, National Mathematics Contest (High School), China
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
AFAR National Scientific Advisory Council memberAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational2021
UCHC Biomedical Science Admissions CommitteeOtherMemberUConn HealthUniversity20212024
NIH ZAG1 ZIJ-1 (J1) study sectionStudy SectionReviewerExternalNational20212021
Ad hoc Reviewer for Scientific Journals (2012 - Present): Diabetes, Cell Metabolism, Aging Cell, FASEBJ, Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, Journal of Gerontology, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Hormone and Metabolic ResearchProfessional/Scientific JournalAd hoc ReviewerExternalNational2012
NIH CMAD study sectionStudy SectionReviewerExternalNational

Cellular senescence is one of the major players contributing to the fundamental aging process. My lab is leveraging novel mouse models and primary human cells as tools to examine the role and underlying mechanism of senescent cells in various conditions in mammals, and we aim to find new drugs to target senescent cells in order to alleviate a range of diseases as a group.

We have 3 major research directions.

1. To investigate the role of senescent cells in diseases. We are especially interested in diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, frailty, bone-related diseases, bladder dysfunction, and flu infection. We will be using novel transgenic mice and transplantation models for this.

2. To reveal the heterogeneity and transcriptomic signatures of senescent cells in vivo. We will be using single cell transcriptome technology to look at the senescent cells at different tissues under different biological conditions (aging, obesity or injury).

3. To screen for novel compounds to kill senescent cells. We are in the process of screening several libraries of compounds on human senescent cells, and expect to find a number of novel candidates. We will then further test these compounds in aged mice and human tissues.



We have several openings for graduate students and postdocs.

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Summer 2022, Fall 2022, and Spring 2023

Lab Rotation Projects:
Within our research interest, a variety of different rotations can be designed based on individual trainee interests and background.



Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Inflammation and Aging
    Xu M, Kirkland JL Handbook of Theories of Aging, Third Edition 2016 Jan;137-152


Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Targeting Cellular Senescence to Alleviate Age-Related DiseaseLectureSystems Biology of Aging2019Farmington, CT
NIA Workshop on Repurposing Drugs or Dietary Supplements for their Senolytic or Senomorphic effects“Ruxolitinib and other JAK-inhibitors as modulators of the senescence- associated secretory phenotype”Panel DiscussionNIA Workshop2019Bethesda, MD
Senescence and SenolyticsPanel DiscussionU13 Bench-to-Bedside Conference Series Osteoporosis and Soft Tissue2019Bethesda, MD
Targeting cellular senescence to alleviate age-related diseasesLectureKUMC2018Kansas City
Targeting cellular senescence to alleviate age-related diseasesLectureUConn Storrs2018Storrs
Blocking the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) reduces osteoclastogenesis and prevents age-related bone lossPosterAmerican Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2015 Annual Meeting2015Seattle
The role of cellular senescence in age-related tissue dysfunction and diseasesPosterPaul F. Glenn/AFAR Conf on Biology of Aging 28th Annual AFAR Grantee Conf.2015Santa Barbara
The bystander and systematic adverse effects of senescent preadipocytesPosterExperimental Biology 20142014San Diego
Local and systematic adverse effects of senescent preadipocytesPosterGerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting 20132013New Orleans
Local and systematic adverse effects of senescent preadipocytesPosterAlliance for Healthy Aging Symposium2013University Medical Center, Groningen, Netherlands
Local and systematic adverse effects of senescent preadipocytesPosterGordon Research Conference (GRC) on Biology of Aging2013Lucca (Barga), Italy
Senescent cells compromise fat tissue functionsPoster3rd Ann. Robert & Arlene Kogod Ctr on Aging Conf: Senescence & Healthspan2012Mayo clinic
Senescent cells compromise fat tissue functionsPanel DiscussionIntern. Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science, 10th Ann. Meeting2012Québec City, Canada
Ncb5or deficiency increases fatty acid catabolism and oxidative stressPoster2011 Liver Symposium, The Liver Center, Univ. of Kansas Medical Center2011Kansas City, Kansas
Ncb5or deficiency increases fatty acid catabolism and oxidative stressPosterAnn. Mtg of American Soc. for Biochem. and Molecular Biology (Exp. Biol.)2011Washington, D.C.
Ncb5or deficiency increases fatty acid catabolism and oxidative stressPanel DiscussionStudent Research Forum, Univ. of Kansas Medical Center2011Kansas City, Kansas
Defect in fatty acid desaturation leads to lipoatrophy through mitochondrial over-proliferation and compensation from de novo synthesis in Ncb5or null miceTalkStudent Research Forum, Univ. of Kansas Medical Center2009Kansas City, Kansas
Fatty acid metabolism, diabetes and lipoatrophy in Ncb5or knockout micePosterStudent Research Forum, Univ. of Kansas Medical Center2008Kansas City, Kansas