720 Rutland Ave
Baltimore, MD 21205
Ross 232







Ph.D., Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of South Carolina, Columibia, S.C.


Washington University, Bone Biology, St. Louis, MO.

Research Interests:

The primary goal of our research is to study the role of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in bone remodeling, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Current Projects:

1. Mechanism of coupling bone resorption and formation.
2. MSCs in subchondral bone remodeling and osteoarthritis.
3. The role of Smad1 in osteoblast differentiation of MSCs.


Search PubMed for Publications


Link to CV

Link to Research Bio


Selected Publications of Recent 3 Years

1.Tang Y, Wu X, Lei W, Pang L, Wan C, Shi Z, Nagy T, Feng X, Peng X, Hu J, Wim Van Hul, Zhao L, Wan M, Cao X: TGF-B1 Induces Migration of Bone Messenchymal Stem cells to Couple Bone Resorption and Formation. Nature Medicine. 2009 15(7):757-65.
This research article is highlighted with a commentary in the same issue of Nature Medicine.

2.Qiu T, Wu X, Zhang F, Clemens TL, Wan M, Cao X: TGFB Type II Receptor Phosphorylates PTH Receptor to Integrate Bone Remodeling Signaling During Co-Endocytosis. Nature Cell Biol. 2010 12(3):224-34.
A commentary for this research article in Nature Cell Biol. 2010;12(3):205-7. PMID: 20190828.

3.Wu X, Pang L, Lei W, Lu W, Li L, Li, L, Frassica F, Chen X, Wan M and Cao X: Inhibition of Sca-1-Positve Skeletal Stem Cells Recruitment by Alendronate Blunts the Anabolic Effects of Parathyroid Hormone on Bone Remodeling. Cell Stem Cell. 2010, 7:571-580.
The Featured Article of November Issue with a commentary.  PMID: 21040899

4.Cao, X., Wu, X., Frassica, D., Yu, B., Pang L, Xian, L., Wan, M., Lei. W. , Tryggestad A., E., Wong, J., Wen, P., Lu, W., and Frassica, F., Irradiation Induces Bone Injury by Damaging Bone Marrow Microenvironment for Stem Cells. PNAS. 2011, 108(4) 1609–1614. 

5.Wan M,, Li J., Herbst K., Zhang J., Yu B., Wu X., Qiu T., Lei W., Lindvall C., Williams B., Ma H., Zhang F., Cao X. LRP6 Mediates GPCR-Induced cAMP Generation by Regulation of GBs Membrane Targeting. Science Signaling. 2011, 4 (164), ra15.

6.Cao X: Targeting communication between osteoclast and osteoblast. Nature Medicine. 2011, 7; 17(11): 1344-6. doi: 10.1038/nm.2499.

7.Xian L, Wu X, Pang L, Lou M, Rosen C, Qiu T, Crane J, Frassica F, Zhang L, Rodriguez JP, Jia X, Yakar S, Xuan S, Efstratiadis A, Wan M and Cao X:  Matrix IGF-1 Regulates Bone Mass by Activation of mTOR in Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Nature Medicine. 2012 18(7):1095-101.

8.Yu B, Zhao X, Yang C, Xian L, Lu W, Wan M, and Cao X. PTH Induces Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Activation of BMP Signaling. JBMR. 2012 27(9):2001-14. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1663.

9.Wan M, Li C, Zhen G, Jiao K, He H, Jia X, Wang W, Shi C, Xing X, Chen Y, Jan De Beur S, Yu B, Cao X. Injury-Activated TGFB Controls Mobilization of MSCs for Tissue Remodeling. Stem Cell, 2012 30(11):2498-511. doi: 10.1002

10.Bianco P, Cao X, Frenette P, Mao J, Robey P, Simmons P, Wang C. Mesenchymal stem cells: concepts, methods, and guiding principles. Nature Medicine. 2012 (accepted)


Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
601 N. Caroline Street
5th Floor, JH Outpatient Center (JHOC)
Baltimore, MD 21287
(443) 997-2663

Link to Johns Hopkins Maps & Directions

Link to Johns Hopkins Patient Privacy Practices

Hip & Knee
Foot & Ankle


Downtown Baltimore
Bayview Medical Ctr
Green Spring Station
White Marsh
Water’s Edge


79us#1 US News & World Report