Assistant Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Volker G094Q
(205) 934-6690

Research and Teaching Interests: Studying the biogenesis, cargo, secretion and pathophysiological functions of extracellular vesicles; Understanding the diverse roles in intercellular and interkingdom communication of extracellular vesicles; Developing novel therapeutic approaches using stem cell-derived exosomes

Office Hours: By appointment


  • B.S., Qingdao University, China
  • M.S., Second Military Medical University, China
  • Ph.D., Osaka University, Japan

Dr. Junjie Yang received her Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Surgery from Osaka University, Japan. She received her postdoctoral training in University of Southampton, United Kingdom and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Hokkaido, Japan. After postdoctoral training, she served as Assistant Professor in Soochow University, China for 5 years. She joined Dr. Qin's laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in June 2018.

Dr. Yang has broad research experiences and extensive expertise, including stem cell biology, stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles, and cardiovascular translational research. She is a reviewer of several peer-reviewed journals, such as PLOS ONE, Stem Cell Research & Therapy, Theranostics, Journal of Drug Targeting, Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, and Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Currently, her research focuses on studying the physical, biochemical and biological complex properties of extracellular vesicles, decoding the complexity of extracellular vesicle mediated intercellular communication network, either at the single vesicle level or at a systems level as a whole and developing novel extracellular vesicle-based therapeutic strategies for cardiovascular diseases.

Research Interests

Extracellular vesicles are proposed to play an important albeit variably described role not only in human physiology and homeostasis, but also in the pathogenesis of major human diseases. In addition, they offer a promising source of disease-associated biomarkers and may eventually be used as cell-free delivery vectors for targeted biological therapies. Dr. Yang is dedicated to solving the challenging and outstanding questions that may be faced moving forward the study of exosomes.

Select Publications

  • Cheng M, Yang J, Zhao X, Zhang E, Zeng Q, Yu Y, Yang L, Wu B, Yi G, Mao X, Huang K, Dong N, Xie M, Limdi NA, Prabhu SD, Zhang J, and Qin G. Circulating myocardial microRNAs from infarcted hearts are carried in exosomes and mobilise bone marrow progenitor cells. Nat Commun. 2019;10(1):959.
  • Wang X, Chen Y, Zhao Z, Meng Q, Yu Y, Sun J, Yang Z, Chen Y, Li J, Ma T, Liu H, Li Z, Yang J*, Shen Z*. Engineered Exosomes With Ischemic Myocardium-Targeting Peptide for Targeted Therapy in Myocardial Infarction. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018 Aug 7;7(15):e008737. (* co-corresponding author)
  • You J, Sun J, Ma T, Yang Z, Wang X, Zhang Z, Li J, Wang L, Ii M, Yang J*, Shen Z*. Curcumin induces therapeutic angiogenesis in a diabetic mouse hindlimb ischemia model via modulating the function of endothelial progenitor cells. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2017, Aug 3;8(1):182. (* co-corresponding author)
  • Zhang Y, Lei W, Yan W, Li X, Wang X, Zhao Z, Hui J, Shen Z, Yang J. microRNA-206 is involved in survival of hypoxia preconditioned mesenchymal stem cells through targeting Pim-1 kinase. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2016, Apr 22; 7(1):61-71.
  • Ye Y, Li X, Zhang Y, Shen Z, Yang J. Androgen modulates functions of endothelial progenitor cells through activated Egr1 signaling. Stem Cells Int. 2016, 2016:7057894.
  • Zhang Z*, Yang J*, Yan W, Li Y, Shen Z, Asahara T. Pretreatment of cardiac stem cells with exosomes derived from mesenchymal stem cells enhances myocardial repair. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016, 5(1). pii: e002856. (* co-first author)
  • Yang J, Ii M, Kamei N, Alev C, Kwon SM, Kawamoto A, Akimaru H, Masuda H, Sawa Y, Asahara T. CD34+ cells represent highly functional endothelial progenitor cells in murine bone marrow. PloS ONE. 2011,6(5):e20219

Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

  • Editorial Boards: Cardiology Plus, Journal of Human Physiology.
  • Reviewer of journals: PLOS ONE, Stem Cell Research & Therapy, Theranostics, Journal of Drug Targeting, Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, Experimental and Molecular Pathology.
  • Member, American Heart Association, 2018-present.