About NIA



Title: Deputy Director
Office: Office of the Director (OD)
Phone: 301-496-0216


Marie A. Bernard, M.D. is Deputy Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA). She serves as the principal advisor to the NIA director, and working closely with the director oversees over $1 billion in aging research conducted and supported annually by the Institute. As NIA’s senior geriatrician, she is particularly interested in the translation of NIA research from the very basic laboratory to the bedside and community, and in the pipeline of future scientists. She co-chairs the Department of Health and Human Services Older Adults Workgroup and the Dementias, Including Alzheimer’s Disease Workgroup for Healthy People 2020. Within NIH she serves on the Extramural Activities Working Group, the Diversity Working Group, and co-chairs the Women of Color Committee of the Women in Biomedical Careers Working Group.

Until October 2008 she was the endowed professor and founding chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and Associate Chief of Staff for Geriatrics and Extended Care at the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She has held numerous national leadership roles, including chair of the Clinical Medicine Section of the Gerontological Society of America, chair of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Research Advisory Committee, board member of the American Geriatrics Society, president of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education

Dr. Bernard’s research interests include nutrition and function in aging populations, with particular emphasis upon ethnic minorities. She has had a long-standing interest in comparative effectiveness research, having served as a reviewer for the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research (now Agency for Health Research Quality) and a reviewer for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Scientific Review Committee, Health Services Research and Development Service. Dr. Bernard has also served on the Health Services Research & Development Steering Committee on Racial Variations in VA Health Care, and the VA Advisory Committee for Multicultural Studies in Health Care.

Dr. Bernard received her undergraduate training at Bryn Mawr College, where she graduated cum laude with Honors in Chemistry. She earned her M.D. from University of Pennsylvania. She trained in internal medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, where she also served as chief resident. She has received additional training through the AAMC Health Services Research Institute, the Geriatric Education Center of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School Executive Development program.