Nir Brazilai

Targeting Healthspan has personal (to elderly, HIV patients, cancer therapy survivors and astronauts) benefits and longevity dividends. We cannot afford not to do it.
— Nir Barzilai, M.D.

Nir Barzilai, M.D.

Director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine & Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging Research

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 are in the biology and genetics of aging. One focuses on the genetic of exceptional longevity, where we hypothesize and demonstrated that centenarians have protective genes, which allows the delay of aging or for the protection against age-related diseases. In a Program he is leading we take full advantage of phenotypes, DNA, and cells from the Ashkenazi Jewish families with exceptional longevity and the appropriate controls and his group have established at Einstein (over 2600 samples of which ~670 are centenarians) and discovered underling genomic differences associated with longevity. Longevity Genes Project (LGP) is a cross-sectional, on-going collection of blood and phenotype from families with centenarian proband. LonGenity is a longitudinal study of 1400 subjects, half offspring of parents with exceptional longevity, validating and following their aging in relationship to their genome. The second direction, for which Dr. Barzilai is holding an NIH Merit award that focuses on the metabolic decline of aging, and his team hypothesize that the brain leads this decline. His lab has identified several central pathways that specifically alter body fat distribution and insulin action and secretion by intraventricular or hypothalamic administration of several peptides that are modulated by aging including: Leptin, IGF-1, IGFBP3 and resveratrol.

FOCUS AREAS

We study the genetics of longevity, hypothesizing that centenarians have protective genes that allows the delay of aging and protect against age-related diseases.

aging critical publications

  • Barzilai N, Atzmon G, Schechter C, Schaefer E, Lipton R, Cheng S, Shuldiner AR. Unique lipoprotein phenotype and genotype associated with exceptional longevity. JAMA. 2003. 290:2030-40

  • Atzmon G, … , Barzilai N, Govindaraju DR, Suh Y. Genetic variation in human telomerase is associated with telomere length in Ashkenazi centenarians. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Dec 4 PMC2868292

  • Ismail K, Nussbaum L, Sebastiani P, Andersen S, Perls T, Barzilai N, Milman S. Compression of Morbidity Is Observed Across Cohorts with Exceptional Longevity. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Aug;64(8):1583-91. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14222. Epub 2016 Jul 5. PMID: 27377170 PMC4988893

  • Cobb LJ, … Barzilai N, Cohen P. Naturally occurring mitochondrial-derived peptides are age-dependent regulators of apoptosis, insulin sensitivity, and inflammatory markers. Aging (Albany NY). 2016 Apr 10. PMCID: PMC4925829.

  • Huffman DM, … Barzilai N. Central insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) restores whole-body insulin action in a model of age-related insulin resistance and IGF-1 decline. Aging Cell. 2015 Nov 4. PMCID: PMC4717281