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Da-Wei Gong, MD, PhD

Academic Title:

Adjunct Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:




Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-1672


(410) 706-1622

Education and Training

Suzhou University School of Medicine,  Bechelor of Medicine, 1982

Zhejing University School of Medicine, Pharmacology, MS, 1985

Shanghai University School of Medicine, Neurobiology, PhD, 1990

Postdoctoral Training, Keio University, Japan; National Institute of Health


Dr. Gong has a broad interest in the molecular and cellular mechanisms of endocrine and metabolism diseases. His main research focus is on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Gong’s team is known for its original discovery of new adipokines, omentin and serum amyloid A (SAA), in human adipose tissue and alanine transaminase 2 (ALT2), which is not only a key enzyme in gluconeogenesis and but also potentially a new serum marker for liver damage.

Stem cell research is Dr. Gong’s long-standing research interest. His team has been taking approaches of cell reprogramming and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to derive clinically-relevant types of cells, such as brown and white adipocytes, hepatocytes, neurons, and pancreatic beta-cells, for disease modeling, mechanistic study and cell-based therapy in vitro and in vivo.  His research has been supported by grants from NIH and Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.

Potential therapeutic application of Elabela/Toddler, a new peptide ligand for apelin receptor, is Dr. Gong’s new research focus. Activation of apelinergic signaling has been considered a therapeutic approach of heart failure and diabetes. Dr. Gong’s team is studying Elabela biology and developing Elabela fusion proteins into biologics.

Through collaboration with geneticists, Dr. Gong has discovered several novel, potentially clinically significant gene variants/mutations which are associated with lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis in the Amish. To understand their biological function and clinical significance is Dr. Gong’s new research focus.


Highlighted Publications

Daozhan Yu, Manju Swaroop,, Mengqiao Wang, Ulrich Baxa, Rongze Yang, Yiping Yan, Turhan Coksaygan, Louis DeTolla,Juan J. Marugan, Christopher P. Austin, John C. McKew, Da-Wei Gong (co-corresponding author) and Wei Zheng Niemann–Pick Disease Type C: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell–Derived NeuronalCells for Modeling Neural Disease and Evaluating Drug Efficacy. Journal of Biomolecular Screening. 2014 Jun 6;19(8):1164-1173. PMID: 24907126

Wang Z, Yu D, Wang M, Wang Q, Kouznetsova J, Yang R, Qian K, Wu W, Shuldiner A, Sztalryd C, Zou M, Zheng W, Gong DW. Sci Rep. 2015 Feb 2;5:8170. doi: 10.1038/srep08170

Yanbei Zhu, Rongze Yang, John McLenithan, Daozhan Yu, Hong Wang, Yaping Wang, Devinder Singh, John Olson, Carole Sztalryd, Dalong Zhu, Da-Wei Gong. Direct conversion of human myoblasts into brown-like adipocytes by engineered super-active PPARgamma, Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 May;23(5):1014-21

Katrina Celis, Scott Shuldiner 2, Eden Haverfield, Joshua Cappell, Rongze Yang , Da-Wei Gong 2, Wendy K. Chung  Loss of function mutations in Glutamic Pyruvate Transaminase 2 (GPT2) causes intellectual disability",  The Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, Mar 3. [Epub ahead of print] 2015.

Qian K, Zhong S, Xie K, Yu D, Yang R, Gong DW. Hepatic ALT isoenzymes are elevated in gluconeogenic conditions including diabetes and suppressed by insulin at the protein level. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2015 Apr 10

Lee MJ, Yang RZ, Karastergiou K, Smith SR, Chang JR, Gong DW, Fried SK. Low expression of the GILZ may contribute to adipose inflammation and altered adipokine production in human obesity. Journal of lipid research. 2016; 57(7):1256-63.

Xi Y, Gong DW, Tian Z. FSTL1 as a Potential Mediator of Exercise-Induced Cardioprotection in Post-Myocardial Infarction Rats. Scientific reports. 2016; 6:32424.

Yukino Hatazawa, Kun Qian, Da-Wei Gong, Yasutomi Kamei. PGC-1a regulates alanine metabolism in muscle cells. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 9;13(1):e0190904PloSONE,

Weimin Wang, Dongming Zhang, Rongze Yang, Wei Xia, Kun Qian, Zhengrong Shi,Robert Brown, Huifen Zhou, Yue Xi, Lin Shi, Ling Chen, Feng Xu, Xiaojian Sun, Dalong Zhu, and Da-Wei Gong, Hepatic and Cardiac Beneficial Effects of Long-acting Fc-apelin Fusion Protein in Diet-induced Obese Mice. Accepted. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, 2018 Mar 25:e2997

Zhang H, Gong DW, Ni L, Shi L, Xu W, Shi M, Chen J, Ai Y, Zhang X. Serum Elabela/Toddler Levels Are Associated with Albuminuria in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018 Jul 26;48(3):1347-1354. doi: 10.1159/000492093. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:    30048993

Zhou H, Yang R, Wang W, Xu F, Xi Y, Brown RA, Zhang H, Shi L, Zhu D, Gong DW. Fc-apelin fusion protein attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced liver injury in mice. Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 30;8(1):11428. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29491-7

Additional Publication Citations

Lab Techniques and Equipment

The research team is doing research at molecular, cell and animal levels,  versed with most molecular and cell techniques and particularly experienced in viral vector construction and production.