Mulualem E. Tilahun is a program officer in the Aging Physiology Branch of the Division of Aging Biology since March 2022. Dr. Tilahun provides technical leadership and guidance in managing the division’s immunology program. The immunology portfolio encompasses a broad range of research including immune system aging and immunity, inflammation, immunosenescence, and immune system homeostasis. This program represents one of the largest portfolios within the NIA.
Prior to joining the NIA, Dr. Tilahun was a Program Director at the NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) form August 2019 – February 2022. In this role, Dr. Tilahun contributed to the management of Career Development Awards (K01, K08, K22 and K23), the Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE) U54 Programs, portfolio analysis, training of early-stage investigators (ESIs) from populations underrepresented in biomedical sciences, and development of concepts and research programs.
Previously, Dr. Tilahun was American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow and a Health Scientist at the Office of AIDS Research (OAR), DPCPSI, OD, NIH. In this role, he supported research on reducing the incidence of HIV In addition, he performed portfolio analyses related to rural health research and HIV-associated coinfections.
Dr. Tilahun graduated with a D.V.M. from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, he investigated the mechanisms of viral immune evasion and the molecular and cellular mechanisms of drug-induced, HLA-associated, T-cell mediated hypersensitivity reactions/autoimmunity. Dr. Tilahun has extensive multidisciplinary knowledge and experience in translational and basic research in immunology, cancer immunology, therapeutic antibody development and engineering, immunotherapy, infectious diseases, and pre-clinical animal models.