Department of Cellular and Structural Biology

CSB Faculty


Qitao Ran, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Peking Union Medical College, 1995


MED 525D
(210) 567-4604


Dr. Ran received his PhD degree in cell biology (1995) from Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China. He conducted postdoctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas) from 1995 to 2000, and continued research at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio from 2000 to 2006 as an Assistant Professor/Research. Dr. Ran was appointed Assistant Professor at Department of C&S Biology/Barshop Institute of UT Health Science Center in September of 2006.


Research Interests:
Mitochondria are essential organelles for energy production and other cellular processes such as apoptosis. A variety of endogenous and exogenous factors can induce mitochondrial dysfunction, which is believed to play a key role in aging and pathogenesis of age-associated diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes. The main research interest of Dr. Ran's lab is to illustrate the mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction in disease and aging, with a goal of preventing/ameliorating disease and aging through enhanced protection of mitochondria. The ongoing projects in Dr. Ran's lab are:

  1. To determine the role of mitochondrial oxidative stress in Alzheimer's disease and aging.

  3. To determine whether increased mitochondrial antioxidant defense prevents/ameliorates disease pathogenesis and aging using novel transgenic mouse models with increased expression of mitochondrial antioxidant defense enzymes such as peroxiredoxin 3 (Prdx3/Prx3) and glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4).

Research Techniques:

Transgenic and knockout mouse models
Mitochondrial function
Tissue and cell culture
Gene expression


Chen L, Yoo SE, Na R, Liu Y, Ran Q. (2011) Cognitive impairment and increased Aβ levels induced by paraquat exposure are attenuated by enhanced removal of mitochondrial H(2)O(2). Neurobiol Aging. 2011 Mar 21.


Sun Y, Li W, Lu Z, Chen R, Ling J, Ran Q, Jilka RL, Chen XD. (2011) Rescuing replication and osteogenesis of aged mesenchymal stem cells by exposure to a young extracellular matrix. FASEB J. 2011 May;25(5):1474-85.


Liang H, Yoo SE, Na R, Walter CA, Richardson A, Ran Q. (2009) Short form glutathione peroxidase 4 is the essential isoform required for survival and somatic mitochondrial functions. J Biol Chem. 2009 Nov 6;284(45):30836-44.


Chen L, Na R, Gu M, Salmon AB, Liu Y, Liang H, Qi W, Van Remmen H, Richardson A, Ran Q. (2008) Reduction of mitochondrial H2O2 by overexpressing peroxiredoxin 3 improves glucose tolerance in mice. Aging Cell. 2008 Dec;7(6):866-78.


Chen L, Na R, Gu M, Richardson A, Ran Q. (2008) Lipid peroxidation up-regulates BACE1 expression in vivo: a possible early event of amyloidogenesis in Alzheimer's disease. J Neurochem. 2008 Oct;107(1):197-207.