Paul Barrett PhD

NIA, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Paul Barrett is a Program Director in the Neurobiology of Aging and Neurodegeneration branch in the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is responsible for overseeing research on metabolism and cellular homeostasis in the aging brain and how it may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Before joining NIA, he worked at Office of Strategic Coordination (commonly referred to as “The Common Fund”) in the NIH Office of the Director where he was a health specialist from 2016-2020. During this time he conducted in-depth program evaluations, handled scientific communications, and helped develop new funding opportunities for multiple Common Fund programs. He received my Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University under the mentorship of Dr. Charles Sanders. His thesis research focused on how the structural and cholesterol binding properties of the amyloid precursor protein impact amyloid beta generation in Alzheimer’s disease using techniques such as NMR spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, and other biochemical and biophysical methods. He then became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh and worked with Dr. Tim Greenamyre. While staying in the field of neurodegeneration, he wanted to learn new techniques so my research focused on how α-synuclein interacts with the mitochondrial protein import machinery and how these interactions can promote dopaminergic cell death in Parkinson’s disease in vitro, in the rodent brain, and in human tissue.