Dr. Nir Barzilai is the director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging Research and of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging. He is the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research, professor in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics, and member of the Diabetes Research Center and of the Divisions of Endocrinology & Diabetes and Geriatrics.
Dr. Barzilai’s research interests focus on several key mechanisms involved in the biology of aging, including the effects of the environment (mainly nutrients) on extending life and the genetic determinants of lifespan. He discovered the first “longevity gene” in humans and is further characterizing the phenotype and genotype of humans with exceptional longevity through a NIH-supported Program Project. He has received numerous grants, among them ones from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), American Federation for Aging Research, and the Ellison Medical Foundation. He has published over 230 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and textbook chapters. He is an advisor to the NIH on several projects, initiatives, and study sections. He serves on several editorial boards and is a reviewer for numerous other journals. Dr. Barzilai has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Beeson Fellow for Aging Research, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging Award, the Paul F. Glenn Foundation Award, the NIA Nathan Shock Award, and the 2010 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction in Aging Research.
Born in Israel, Dr. Barzilai served as chief medic and physician in the Israel Defense Forces. He graduated from The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and completed his residency in internal medicine at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. He served in a refugee camp during the war in Cambodia (1979-1980) and built a nutritional village in the homeland of the Zulu (1983 – Kwazulu). He was invited twice to consult and present at the Vatican (2013, 2016). His work has been profiled by major outlets, including the New York Times, the BBC and PBS' NOVA science now, TEDx talk Science and is the leading feature on the Ron Howard/Jonathan Silberberg/National Geographic film about the Age of Aging.