Einstein/Montefiore Department of Medicine

Department Faculty

Dr. Nir Barzilai, M.D.

Nir Barzilai, M.D.

Professor, Department of Medicine (Endocrinology)

Professor, Department of Genetics

Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair in Aging Research

Director, Institute for Aging Research

Areas of Research: We study the genetic of longevity, hypothesizing that centenarians have protective genes that allows the delay of aging and protect against age-related diseases. We also study the metabolic decline of aging, and hypothesize that the brain leads this decli

Professional Interests

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 I am leading we take full advantage of phenotypes, DNA, and cells from the Ashkenazi Jewish families with exceptional longevity and the appropriate controls I have established at Einstein (over 2500 samples of which ~600 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 is focused on the metabolic decline of aging, and we hypothesize that the brain leads this decline. My 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.

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 200 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.

he is currenty leading an international effort to aprove drugs that can target aging. Taregting Aging with METformin (TAME) is a specific study designed to prove the concept that multi-morbidities of aging acn be delayed by metformin, working with the FDA to approve this approch which will serve as a template for future efforts to delat aging and its diseases in humans.

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 an invited speaker at the Fourth Israeli Presidential Conference on the Future in 2012.

Selected Publications

Selected publications;

Genomic of Exceptional Longevity in humans.

1) 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.

2) Sanders AE, Wang C, Katz M, Derby CA, Barzilai N, Ozelius L, Lipton RB. Association of a functional polymorphism in the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene with memory decline and incidence of dementia. JAMA. 2010 Jan 13;303(2):150-8.PMID: 20068209

3) Atzmon G, Rincon M, Schechter C, Shuldiner An, Lipton R, Bergman A, Barzilai N: Lipoprotein Genotype and Conserved Pathway for Exceptional Longevity in Humans. PLoS Biol. 2006 Apr;4(4):e113.

4) Bergman A, Atzmon G, Ye K, MacCarthy T, Barzilai N. Buffering mechanisms in aging: a systems approach toward uncovering the genetic component of aging. PLoS Comput Biol. 2009

5) Suh Y, Atzmon G, Cho M-O, Hwang D, Liu B, Leahy D, Barzilai N*, Cohen P. Functionally-significant insulin-like growth factor-I receptor mutations in centenarian. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 4;105(9):3438-42.

6) Atzmon G, Cho M, Cawthon RM, Budagov T, Katz M, Yang X, Siegel G, Bergman A, Huffman DM, Schechter CB, Wright WE, Shay JW, 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

Metabolism and mammalian aging.

7) Gabriely I, Ma XH, Yang XM, Atzmon G, Rajala MW, Berg AH, Scherer P, Rossetti L, Barzilai N. “Removal of visceral fat prevents insulin resistance and glucose intolerance of aging: an adipokine-mediated process?” Diabetes 2002: 51(10):2951-295

8) Muzumdar R, Allison DB, Huffman DM, Ma X, Atzmon G, Einstein FH, Fishman S, Poduval AD, McVei T, Keith SW, Barzilai N. Visceral Adipose Tissue Modulates Mammalian Longevity. Aging Cell. 2008 Mar 18

9) Gabriely I, Ma X-H, Yang X-M, Rossetti L, Barzilai N. Leptin resistance of aging is independent of fat mass.” Diabetes 2002: 51:1016-1021

10) RH Muzumdar, G Atzmon, C Buettner, T Budagov, H Wu,  L Cui, F Einstein, S Fishman, A Poduval, D Hwang, X Ma, X Yang, *N Barzilai and P Cohen. Humanin: A novel central regulator of insulin sensitivity. PLoS One. 2009 Jul 22;4(7):e6334.

11) Muzumdar RH, Ma X, Fishman S, Yang X, Atzmon G, Vuguin P, Einstein FH, Hwang D, Cohen P, Barzilai N Central and Opposing Effects of IGF-I and IGF-Binding Protein-3 on Systemic Insulin Action. Diabetes 2006;55(10):2788-96.

More Information About Dr. Nir Barzilai

Institute for Aging research

Diabetes Research Center

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Belfer Building, Room 701
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.3144

Research Information

Media Coverage

The New York Times interviews Dr. Gil Atzmon and Dr. Nir Barzilai about their study linking longevity with a common genetic mutation in men.

The New York Times interviews Dr. Nir Barzilai on the development of self-driving cars to serve older adults.

More media coverage