Richard J. Hodes, M.D., is the Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has served in this position since 1993.
NIA was established to improve the health and well-being of older adults through research. It conducts and supports basic, clinical, social, and behavioral research on aging and the special problems and needs of older adults. NIA is also the lead federal agency for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research.
Dr. Hodes has devoted his tenure to the development of a strong, diverse, and balanced research program. This has led to new and innovative ways to conduct research, share data, and translate findings into practice. For example, NIA-funded research is exploring the basic biology of aging, examining genetic and other factors influencing aging, how they affect longevity, and the development of age-related diseases. Research in geriatrics is uncovering new ways to combat frailty and improve function with age. Behavioral and social research is deepening understanding of the individual behaviors and societal decisions that affect well-being.
In addition, cutting-edge research conducted and supported by NIA, often in collaboration across NIH Institutes, Center, and Offices, has helped to revolutionize the way we think about Alzheimer's and related dementias. Studies in genetics, basic mechanisms, imaging, biomarkers, and prevention have spurred the development of potential therapies aimed at a variety of targets and the testing of interventions at the earliest signs of disease. Research into dementia care and caregiving interventions is paving the path for improving the quality of life for people living with dementia and their families.
A leading immunologist, Dr. Hodes' research laboratory in the NIH National Cancer Institute focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the immune response. Additional background is available on his lab's website.
A graduate of Yale University, Dr. Hodes received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine; a member of The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives; a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and a member of the National Academy of Medicine at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.