Kan Cao's work focuses on why and how we age. Specifically, she studies the molecular mechanisms of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), a premature aging disease, and explores the potential connections between HGPS and normal aging. She applies a potent suite of techniques from cell biology, stem cell biology and genomics to develop novel treatments for HGPS and exploit her knowledge of HGPS to better understand human aging.
Through her research in the lab, Kan measured the effectiveness of methylene blue to increase skin hydration, expand thickness of the dermis and improve skin texture when compared with products that have mitochondrial-targeting antioxidants. She used that research to launch a company called MBlue Labs, which offers the first commercially available methylene blue anti-aging cream.
She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Nanjing University, China in 1997 and her Ph.D. in biology from Johns Hopkins University in 2005. Kan did her postdoctoral fellowship in genomics at the National Institutes of Health (2005-2010).