Eliezer Masliah, M.D., was named director of the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in July, 2016. Before joining NIA, he held joint appointments in their departments of neurosciences and pathology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
As head of UCSD's Experimental Neuropathology Laboratory, he investigated synaptic damage in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy and AIDS-related dementia. His laboratory developed novel models of neurodegeneration as well as new gene therapies, small molecules and experimental immunotherapies for Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Four of the experimental therapeutic approaches developed at his laboratory have now passed Phase I clinical trials. As the director of autopsy services at UCSD Medical Center, he also directed the neuropathology core of the NIA-supported Shirley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
Masliah received his M.D. from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1982. He completed a postgraduate residency training in pathology at the National Institutes of Health in Mexico City in 1986. Following that, he was a fellow in neuropathology and neurodegenerative disorders at the UCSD.
A prolific author with approximately 800 original research articles and 70 book chapters, Masliah has some familiarity with NIA as a past member of the NIA National Advisory Council on Aging, the NIA Neuroscience of Aging Study Section, and the Cellular and Molecular Biology of Neurodegeneration Study Section. He has also served as an advisor in the expert panels to revise the criteria for the neuropathological diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease organized by the NIA and the Alzheimer's Association, at expert meetings and workshops to advise in the use of preclinical models for Alzheimer's Disease and at a series of NIH-hosted Summits on Alzheimer's and related dementias. Masliah served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Alzheimer's Association from 2010-2016.