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Paul Barrett
Title: Program Director
Office(s): Division of Neuroscience (DN)
Email Address:


Dr. Paul Barrett is a Program Director in the Fundamental Neuroscience Section at the Neurobiology of Aging and Neurodegeneration branch in the Division of Neuroscience. Dr. Barrett earned his B.A. in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and he earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University. His work at Vanderbilt University focused on understanding how the structural and cholesterol-binding properties of the Amyloid Precursor Protein contribute to amyloid beta production and the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease using multiple biophysical, biochemical, and imaging techniques. Following the completion of his doctoral work, Dr. Barrett moved to the University of Pittsburgh to obtain postdoctoral training in the field of neurodegeneration. He utilized molecular, cellular, and in vivo approaches to determine how the protein alpha-synuclein may block mitochondrial protein import and lead to dopaminergic cell death in Parkinson’s disease.

Prior to joining NIA in 2020, Dr. Barrett worked in the Office of Strategic Coordination (the Common Fund) in the NIH Office of the Director as a Health Specialist conducting in-depth program evaluations, managing scientific communications, and developing new funding opportunities for multiple Common Fund programs. Dr. Barrett is responsible for overseeing research on metabolism, protein and cellular homeostasis in the aging brain.


Research Interests/Portfolio

  • Mechanisms altering metabolism in the brain and the impact these changes have on brain aging, neurodegeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD)
  • Role of protein homeostasis, such as changes to autophagy or proteosome function, and cell stress responses and the impact they have on brain aging, neurodegeneration and AD/ADRD
  • Regulation of, cross-talk between, and changes in structure/function of cellular organelles in brain aging, neurodegeneration and AD/ADRD
  • The role of liquid-liquid phase separation and/or biomolecular condensates in brain aging and AD/ADRD

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