Eliezer Masliah, M.D., joined the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as Director of the Division of Neuroscience in the summer of 2016. Dr. 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 a fellowship in neuropathology and neurodegenerative disorders at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), before joining NIA he held joint appointments as tenured track Professor at the Departments of Neurosciences and Pathology and as Director of the Autopsy Service at UCSD-Medical Center.
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 was involved with the discovery of alpha-synuclein and 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 targeting alpha-synuclein have now passed Phase I clinical trials. He also directed the neuropathology core of the NIA-supported Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
A prolific author with approximately 800 original research articles, 70 book chapters and dozens of patents, Dr. Masliah has 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 expert panels to revise the criteria for the neuropathological diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease organized by NIA and the Alzheimer’s Association, at scientific meetings and workshops to advise on the use of preclinical models for Alzheimer’s disease, and at a series of summits hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Dr. Masliah served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Alzheimer’s Association from 2010-2016.
As Director of the Division of Neuroscience at NIA, Dr. Masliah is responsible for managing the portfolios and providing leadership on NIH-sponsored programs dedicated to better understanding brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The division plays a key role in developing the implementation research milestones targeting the ultimate goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, which calls for the nation to identify effective ways to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by 2025. Dr. Masliah also participates in the NIA Intramural Research Program as an investigator in the Laboratory of Neurogenetics.