Pinchas Cohen, M.D.


Pinchas Cohen, MD, was trained at Stanford University 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 holds several patents for novel peptides and is the Cofounder of CohBar, a biotechnology company developing mitochondrial peptides for diseases of aging. 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.

Cohen is leading several new initiatives at the USC Leonard Davis School, including the development of a center for digital aging. He carries a major focus on the creation of tools for “personalized aging” in which he utilizes the latest technologies towards individualizing healthy aging strategies, that has been featured in the Milken Global Conference and in the Bloomberg Longevity Economy Conference.


  • Mitochondrial-Derived Peptides. (1) humanin, a peptide encoded from the mt-16S-rRNA which is a novel, centrally acting, insulin sensitizer and metaboloprotective factor represents a new therapeutic and diagnostic target in aging, diabetes and related disease. (2) MOTS-c, a second peptide encoded from a small ORF in the 12S region of the mitochondrial chromosome, has potent anti-diabetes and anti-obesity effects. (3) SHLP2, a peptide encoded from the light strand of the mt-16S-rRNA region whose levels correlate with prostate cancer.

Awards and Honors

  • The National Institute of Aging “EUREKA”-Award, the NIH-Director-Transformative RO1-Grant, the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging and many more.

  • Cohen is also 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.

aging critical publications

  • Lee C, Zeng J, Drew BG, Sallam T, Martin-Montalvo A, Wan J, Kim SJ, Mehta H, Hevener AL, de Cabo R, Cohen P. The mitochondrial-derived peptide MOTS-c promotes metabolic homeostasis and reduces obesity and insulin resistance. Cell Metabolism. 2015; 21, 443–454. PMCID: PMC4350682

  • Cohen P. Personalized Aging: Extending Lifespans and Healthspans. Next-Avenue. May 23rd 2016.

  • Cobb LJ, Lee C, Xiao J, Yen K, Wong RG, Nakamura HK, Mehta HH, Gao Q, Ashur C, Huffman DM, Wan J, Muzumdar R, Barzilai N, Cohen P. Naturally occurring mitochondrial-derived peptides are age-dependent regulators of apoptosis, insulin sensitivity, and inflammatory markers. Aging (Albany NY). 2016; 8:796-809.

  • Qin Q, Mehta H, Yen K, Navarrete G, Brandhorst S, Wan J, Delrio S, Lerman LO, Cohen P, Lerman A. Chronic Treatment With the Mitochondrial Peptide Humanin Prevents Age-related Myocardial Fibrosis in mice. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2018; 315:H1127-H1136.

  • Yen K, Wan J, Mehta HH, Miller B, Christensen A, Levine ME, Salomon MP, Brandhorst S, Xiao J, Kim SJ, Navarrete G, Campo D, Harry GJ, Longo V, Pike CJ, Mack WJ, Hodis HN, Crimmins EM, Cohen P. Humanin Prevents Age-Related Cognitive Decline in Mice and is Associated with Improved Cognitive Age in Humans. Nature Scientific Reports. 2018; 8:14212. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32616-7.