Pinchas Cohen

Professor of Gerontology, Medicine and Biological Sciences


Pinchas Cohen, MD, 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. 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 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.

Cohen is leading several new initiatives at the USC Leonard 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.


  • M.D. , Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel, 1986
    • Endocrine/Diabetes Fellow, Stanford University, 1989-1992
    • Intern and Resident, Stanford University, 1986-1989
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Unraveling processes related to aging, diabetes, neurodegeneration, and cancer.

    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

    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
    3. SHLP2, a peptide encoded from the light strand of the mt-16S-rRNA region whose levels correlate with prostate cancer.

  • Administrative Appointments

    • Dean, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, 2012 –
    • Executive Director, Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, 2012 –