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Nir Barzilai

Renowned Researcher and Director of the Institute for Aging Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Travels from Westchester County, New York

Availability: Contact JNF Speakers Bureau for availability or contact the speaker directly.


Academic Perspectives on Israel and Jewish History, Positively Israel


Israeli born, Dr. Barzilai was the chief medic of the Israeli army, was the chef medic of the Entebbe raid, before enrolling in the Israel Institute of Technology Medical School (M.D. 1985).  As a medical student he provided medical assistance at third world locations, such as at a refugee camp in Cambodia (1979-80) and at a clinic of the Kwazulu homeland in Africa (1983), and conducted biomedical research at Baylor College, NIH, and The Royal Free Hospital in London. His residency was in Medicine and Geriatrics at Hadassah Hospital (Hebrew University) and at Yale University. His residency was in Medicine and Geriatrics at Hadassah Hospital (Hebrew University) and at Yale University.  Dr. Barzilai then trained in Endocrinology and Molecular Biology at Cornell University Medical College and at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Barzilai is the founding Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and he NNIH funded Nathan Shock Center for excellence in Biology of Aging, that is coordinating 66 investigators and 6 Program Projects on the biology of aging. He is a Chaired Professor of Medicine and Genetics and a member of the Diabetes Research Center, the Divisions of Endocrinology and Geriatrics. He is the Director of the Diabetes Research and Training Center Physiology core, and also the co-Director of the Montefiore Hospital Diabetes Clinic.

Dr. Barzilai’s interests focus on several basic mechanisms in the biology of aging, including the biological effects of nutrients on extending life and the genetic determinants of life span. Indeed, he has discovered the first longevity gene in humans, and is further characterizing the phenotype and genotype of humans with exceptional longevity through an NIH supported Program Project. He also is leading a Program Project to investigate the metabolic decline with aging and its impact on longevity. He received numerous grants, among them ones from the National Institute of Aging (NIA), American Federation of Aging Research, and the Ellison Medical Foundation.  Dr. Barzilai has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and chapters in textbooks. He is an advisor to the National Institutes of Health on several projects and initiatives and is a member of the NIA-Biology study section. He serves on several advisory Boards of pharmaceuticals and start-ups, editorial boards and is a reviewer for numerous other journals. Dr. Barzilai was a recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Beeson Fellow for Aging Research, the Senior Ellison Foundation award, and the NIA- Nathan Shock Award for his contributions in elucidating metabolic and genetic mechanisms of aging, and a merit award from the NIA. In his capacity as the Director of the Institute for Aging research at Einstein he leads 3 large programmatic (P01) approaches to biology of aging, a training grant (T32) and additional individual grants (R01). In 2010 he is the recipient of the prestigious Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction in Aging Research Award

Dr. Barzilai lives in the US since 1990, and became active in bringing Israel to his community.  For these efforts he has received the Distinguished Service Award of the Westchester Jewish Conference.  In addition, he serves on the bio-ethics panel of the Union of America Hebrew Congregation. He was the chair of the ARZA/World Union Committee and in the Board of Trustees of Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, New York, and a member of Khilat Mevasseret Zion near Jerusalem. He was named by ‘Forward 50’, as one of the top 50 most influential Jews in the United States (2011).

Download a prepared introduction for Nir Barzilai nir-barzilai.doc

Popular Speeches:

  • Exceptional Aging of the Jewish People in Israel and the Diaspora
  • My Prescription for Tomorrow on Aging

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