Joshua Jianxin Wang MD

Joshua Jianxin Wang

Joshua Jianxin Wang

Contact Information
955 Main Street
JSMBS room 4120
Buffalo, New York 14215
Phone: 716-645-1807

Professional Summary:

Synopsis Of Research:

My research focuses on studying the diabetic related vascular complications, including diabetic retinopathy, diabetic vascular disease, insulin resistance and diabetic nephropathy. In addition to addressing mechanisms, our cellular and biochemical studies are meant to develop cures for diseases that affect the retina, peripheral vessel and kidney.

1.Diabetic retinopathy: Focusing on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress activation and interactions among ER stress, oxidative stress and inflammation in retina.
2.Peripheral vascular disease (PVD): Endothelial cells in the vascular system are especially vulnerable to hyperglycemic conditions. Exploring endothelial dysfunction in diabetic setting, would aid in the search for novel approaches in the prevention of diabetes vascular disease.
3.Diabetic nephropathy: Glomerular endothelial cells and podocytes are primary sites of injury resulting in chronic kidney disease in diabetes. We investigate the function of endogenous angiogenic inhibitors in regulation of renal cells in diabetic kidney.
4.Adipocyte and insulin resistance: Studying the function of PEDF in adipogenesis, provide pivotal information for understanding the mechanisms underlying the association of PEDF,obesity and insulin resistance.

Selected Publications:
1.Yang J, Chen C, McLaughlin T, Wang Y-Q, Le YZ, Wang JJ, and Zhang SX*. Loss of X-box Binding Protein 1 in Müller Cells Augments Retinal Inflammation in Diabetes. Diabetologia. 2019 doi: 10.1007/s00125-018-4776-y

2.McLaughlin T, Manhal Siddiqi, Wang JJ, and Zhang SX*. Loss of XBP1 Leads to Early-Onset Retinal Neurodegeneration in a Mouse Model of Type I Diabetes. J. Clin. Med. 2019; 8, 906; doi:10.3390/jcm8060906

3.McLaughlin T, Falkowski M, Wang JJ, and Zhang SX*. Molecular chaperone ERp29: a potential target for cellular protection in retinal and neurodegenerative diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2018; 1074:421-427. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-75402-4_52.

4.McLaughlin T, Falkowski M, Park JW, Keegan S, Elliott MH, Wang JJ, and Zhang SX. Loss of XBP1 accelerates age-related decline in retinal function and neurodegeneration. Mol Neurodegeneration, 2018; 13(1):16. doi: 10.1186/s13024-018-0250-z.

5.Bhatta M, Chatpar K, Wang JJ, and Zhang SX*. Reduction of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Improves Angiogenic Progenitor Cell function in a Mouse Model of Type 1 Diabetes. Cell Death Dis. 2018; 9(5):467. doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-0501-5.

6.McLaughlin T, Dhimal N, Li J, Wang JJ, Zhang SX. p58IPK Is an Endogenous Neuroprotectant for Retinal Ganglion Cells. Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Sep 7;10:267. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00267.

7.Kelly K, Wang JJ, Zhang SX. The unfolded protein response signaling and retinal Müller cell metabolism. Neural Regen Res. 2018 Nov;13(11):1861-1870. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.239431.

8.Chen C, Zhong Y, Wang JJ, Yu Q, Plafker K, Plafker S, and Zhang SX*. Regulation of Nrf2 by X Box-Binding Protein 1 in Retinal Pigment Epithelium. Front. Genet., 2018;

9.Ma JH, Shen S, Wang JJ, He Z, Poon A, Li J, Qu J, and Zhang SX. Proteomic characterization of the Mitochondria-associated ER Membrane (MAM) in a Mouse Model of Type 2 Diabetes Scientific Reports. 2017;7(1):2062. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02213-1.

10.Boriushkin E, Wang JJ, Li J, Bhatta M, Zhang SX. p58(IPK) suppresses NLRP3 inflammasome activation and IL-1β production via inhibition of PKR in macrophages. Sci Rep. 2016 Apr 26;6:25013. doi: 10.1038/srep25013. PubMed PMID: 27113095; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4845006.

11.Bhatta M, Ma JH, Wang JJ, Sakowski J, Zhang SX. Enhanced endoplasmic reticulum stress in bone marrow angiogenic progenitor cells in a mouse model of long-term experimental type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia. 2015 Sep;58(9):2181-90. doi: 10.1007/s00125-015-3643-3. Epub 2015 Jun 11. PubMed PMID: 26063198; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4529381.

12.Gardner AW, Parker DE, Montgomery PS, Sosnowska D, Casanegra AI, Ungvari Z, Csiszar A, Zhang SX, Wang JJ, Sonntag WE. INFLUENCE OF DIABETES ON AMBULATION AND INFLAMMATION IN MEN AND WOMEN WITH SYMPTOMATIC PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE. J Clin Transl Endocrinol. 2015 Dec 1;2(4):137-143. PubMed PMID: 26835254; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4730895.

13.Zhang SX, Ma JH, Bhatta M, Fliesler SJ, Wang JJ. The unfolded protein response in retinal vascular diseases: implications and therapeutic potential beyond protein folding. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2015 Mar;45:111-31. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2014.12.001. Epub 2014 Dec 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 25529848; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4339403.

14.Chen C, Cano M, Wang JJ, Li J, Huang C, Yu Q, Herbert TP, Handa JT, Zhang SX. Role of unfolded protein response dysregulation in oxidative injury of retinal pigment epithelial cells. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2014 May 10;20(14):2091-106. doi: 10.1089/ars.2013.5240. Epub 2013 Dec 17. PubMed PMID: 24053669; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3995121

15.Zhang SX, Sanders E, Wang JJ. Endoplasmic reticulum stress and inflammation: mechanisms and implications in diabetic retinopathy. J Ocul Biol Dis Infor. 2011 Jun;4(1-2):51-61. doi: 10.1007/s12177-011-9075-5. Epub 2012 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 23330021; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3342410.

16.Wang M, Wang JJ, Li J, Park K, Qian X, Ma JX, Zhang SX. Pigment epithelium-derived factor suppresses adipogenesis via inhibition of the MAPK/ERK pathway in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Dec;297(6):E1378-87. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00252.2009. Epub 2009 Oct PubMed PMID: 19808909; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2793046.

17.Wang JJ, Zhang SX, Mott R, Knapp RR, Cao W, Lau K, Ma JX. Salutary effect of pigment epithelium-derived factor in diabetic nephropathy: evidence for antifibrogenic activities. Diabetes. 2006 Jun;55(6):1678-85. PubMed PMID: 16731830.

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Education and Training:

  • Research Associate, University of Oklahoma HSC Diabetes/ Cell Biology (2007)
  • Medical Univ. of South Carolina Ophthalmology/Molecular Biology (2003)
  • California State University at Northridge, CA (2000)
  • Fellowship, cardiology, Guangzhou Medical University, First Hospital, Guangzhou China (1993)
  • Cardiology, Sun Yat-sen Univ. of Medical Sciences (1991)
  • Residency (Internal Medicine) Hubei University of Medicine-University Hospital, Hubei China (1988)
  • MD, Hubei University of Medicine, Hubei China(Graduated with highest honor) (1985)

Awards and Honors:

  • CSTEP-Summer Research Program fellowship award (2023)
  • Knights Templar Eye Foundation Travel Grant (2023)
  • CSTEP-Research Program fellowship award-Spring (2023)

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • February 2020–January 2025
    Molecular Mechanisms of Severe Diabetic Retinopathy
    Role: Co-Investigator

Journal Articles:


  • Maria Yera, Todd McLaughlin, Joshua J. Wang and Sarah X. Zhang. (2023) The Role of X-box Binding Protein 1 (XBP1) in Photoreceptor Development and Maintenance. University at Buffalo Neuroscience Research Day. Buffalo, New York (Nov)
  • LadieJocelynn Shabazz, Maria Yera, Joshua J. Wang and Sarah X. Zhang. (2023) Loss of X-Box Binding Protein 1 Contributes to Abnormal Retinal Morphology: Potential Role in Diabetic Retinopathy. UB undergraduate research symposium-CSTEP. Buffalo, New York (Aug)
  • Todd McLaughlin, Grant Wang, Andy Medina, Rhudwan Nihwali, Zihua Hu, Joshua J. Wang, and Sarah X. Zhang. (2023) Synaptic Damage and Neurodegeneration in Diabetic Retinopathy: Quantitative Characterization and Mechanisms. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2023 Annual Meeting will be held Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana (Apr)
  • Medina A, McLaughlin T, Wang G, Nihlawi R, Hu Z, Wang JJ, Zhang SX. (2023) QUANTITATIVE CHARACTERIZATION OF RETINAL PHOTORECEPTOR SYNAPTIC DAMAGE IN DIABETIC RETINOPATHY. 1st Annual JSMBS Community Research Day. Buffalo, New York (Apr)
  • Maria Yera, Todd McLaughlin, Joshua J. Wang and Sarah X. Zhang. (2023) Role of X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) in Photoreceptor Metabolism. 2023 ARVO Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana (Apr)
  • Jinli Wang, Hongtao Liu, Joshua J. Wang, Sarah X. Zhang. (2023) Inducible Knockout of Endothelial Nox4 Ameliorates Vascular Permeability and Retinal Degeneration in Diabetic Retinopathy. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2023 Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana (Apr)
  • Daniel Alex Lai, Jinli Wang, Josh J. Wang, Sarah X. Zhang. (2023) Role of Nox4 and PECAM-1 in Endothelial Cells and Diabetic Retinopathy. JSMBS Dean's Research Fellowship Symposium 2023. Buffalo, New York (Feb)

Professional Memberships:

  • member of The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • member of The American Diabetes Association
  • member of The American Heart Association


  • "Knockout of Nox4 prevents age-related endothelial progenitor cells from apoptosis and senescence" Ophthalmology Grand Rounds (2023)

Service Activities:

  • specialty section of Frontiers in Ophthalmology (2023–present)
  • specialty section of Frontiers in Ophthalmology; Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Retina (2023–present)
  • Molecular Biology Reports (2023–present)
  • Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2023–present)
  • Diabetes & Obesity International Journal (DOIJ) (2023–present)
  • cells-section: Molecular Mechanisms of Angiogenesis and Inflammation in Retinal Diseases; Academic editor (2021–present)
  • Representative on UB’s Faculty Council for the period 6/1/21 – 5/31/23. (2021–present)
  • Mentor of “undergraduate research and creative activity opportunities” , 2016-present (2021–present)
  • Liaison of the Council of Undergraduate Research for SUNY at Buffalo, 2016-present (2021–present)
  • Serve as JSMBS ( BAC)Building Area Coordinator, assisting in building evacuations in case of emergency. 2021 (2021–present)
  • Metabolic Syndrome, Prediabetes and Diabetes (2021–present)
  • Journal of Ophthalmology & Clinical Research (2021–present)
  • The Council of Undergraduate Research Program Review Committee, 2016-present (2021–present)
  • Co-director of UB--CMU (Capital Medical University, China) International Medical Students Exchange Program, 2016-present (2021–present)
  • Faculty Mentor for the CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program ) Summer Research Program (2021–present)
  • The Journal of Diabetes Research; reviewer (2021–present)
  • Diabetes & Obesity; reviewer (2021–present)
  • Member of UB’S the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) (2020–present)
  • OPH (Master Degree program) Steering Committee member since Feb. 2019.

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Contact Information

955 Main Street
JSMBS room 4120
Buffalo, New York 14215
Phone: 716-645-1807