Saul Villeda, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Endowed Chair in Biomedical Science, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Saul Villeda is an Assistant Professor and Endowed Chair in Biomedical Science at the University of California San Francisco. He received his PhD degree in neuroscience from Stanford University, advised by Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray, where he studied how systemic changes in aging blood contribute to age-related impairments in neural stem cell function and cognitive processes. Immediately after graduate school, Dr. Villeda went on to start his independent career at the University of California San Francisco as a Sandler Faculty Fellow in the Department of Anatomy and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research. In starting his own laboratory, Dr. Villeda began investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying rejuvenation of the aging brain. Dr. Villeda has made the exciting discovery that the aging process in the brain can be reversed by altering levels of circulating factors in blood. This work challenges traditional views that the aged brain lacks the inherent ability necessary to combat the effects of aging, which results in permanent functional impairments. Dr. Villeda’s research is best known for the use of innovative heterochronic parabiosis and blood plasma administration approaches to investigate the influence that exposure to young blood has in promoting molecular and cellular changes underlying cognitive rejuvenation. His work has garnered accolades that include a National Institutes of Health Director’s Independence Award, the W.M. Keck Foundation Medical Research Award, and the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging.

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