About NIA

Creighton PHELPS

Division of Neuroscience (DN)


Creighton Phelps, Ph.D. is Deputy Director of the Division of Neuroscience, NIA and the Director for the Alzheimer’s Disease Centers Program. Dr. Phelps earned his Ph.D. in Neuroanatomy from the University of Michigan.  After post-doctoral research training at University College, London, England he was a faculty member at the University of Connecticut Health Center and subsequently, at Wright State University School of Medicine. In both positions he conducted basic research on brain ultrastructure and directed integrated neuroscience teaching programs.

In 1985, Dr. Phelps joined the staff of NIA as Executive Secretary to the Aging Review Committee where he coordinated the review of research grant applications related to the neurobiology of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In 1987, he transferred to the Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Program at the NIA where he was Program Director in charge of neurobiology and neuroplasticity. Dr. Phelps moved to the national office of the Alzheimer's Association in Chicago in 1989 as Vice President for Medical and Scientific Affairs, and became Senior Vice President in 1991. In that position he directed the research grant program, implemented the Zenith Awards, supervised the development of the Benjamin Green-field National Alzheimer’s Library, served as a spokesperson for AD research, and helped to set the scientific policies of the Association.

In 1992 Dr. Phelps returned to the NIA where as Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program in the Division of Neuroscience he develops policy, oversees the funding, and monitors the progress of a national network of Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers located at 27 major U.S. Medical Schools. He is also the Program Officer for the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center located in Seattle and the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer’s disease in Indianapolis. He has helped to coordinate the development of major initiatives related to the genetics and genomics of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease dedicated to identifying risk factor genes for AD.  In addition he works closely with the Alzheimer’s Association and the NINDS and advises other national organizations dedicated to research and care-giving for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia, Vascular cognitive impairment, and Lewy body dementia. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal, Neurobiology of Aging.  In recent years he has coordinated a project resulting in issuance by the NIA and the Alzheimer’s Association of a set of revised guidelines for the clinical and pathological diagnosis of AD.  He is a senior author on the series of published papers laying out the new guidelines.


genetics and genomics of late-onset Alzheimer's disease