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 06030-5215
Phone: 860-679-4338
Website(s):

Genetics and Developmental Biology Graduate Program

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Aging is the biggest risk factor for most of the chronic diseases. The key goal for my lab is to discover novel interventions to slow down the aging process, and thereby alleviate a number of diseases simultaneously. My recent work has demonstrated the efficacy of several drugs in extending the lifespan, maintaining physical function, and alleviating a range of diseases in aged mice, indicating the feasibility of this strategy.

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.

https://today.uconn.edu/school-stories/new-uconn-health-aging-researcher-mission-promote-healthy-aging/

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=v59W39sAAAAJ&hl=en

Selected publications:

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

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. *, co-1st author

Xu M*, Palmer AK*, … Kirkland JL. “Targeting senescent cells enhances adipogenesis and metabolic function in old age.” Elife2015 Dec 19;4. *, co-1st author 

Palmer AK*, Xu M*, … Kirkland JL. “Targeting senescent cells alleviates obesity-induced metabolic dysfunction.” Aging Cell. 2019 Mar 25:e12950 *, co-1st author

Xu M, … Kikland JL.    “Transplanted Senescent Cells Induce an Osteoarthritis-Like Condition in Mice.”   J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016 Aug 10.

 

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

Post-Graduate Training
TrainingInstitutionSpecialty
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

Awards
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
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
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

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: Fall '19, Spring '20, Summer '20

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

Reviews

Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Senescence and SenolyticsPanel DiscussionU13 Bench-to-Bedside Conference Series Osteoporosis and Soft Tissue2019Bethesda, MD
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