NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

‘Young blood, old brains’

Wyss-Coray To Deliver Mahoney Lecture, Mar. 31

Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray
Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray will present the Mahoney Lecture on Aging on Mar. 31.

Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray, a leading researcher in brain aging and neurodegeneration with a focus on age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, will present “Young Blood for Old Brains,” the Mahoney Lecture on Aging, on Wednesday, Mar. 31 at 3 p.m., via NIH videocast. 

Wyss-Coray is the D. H. Chen professor in the department of neurology and neurological sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine; associate director, Center for Tissue Regeneration, Repair and Restoration Center of Excellence, Veterans Administration Rehabilitation R&D Service; and co-director, NIH Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He and the Wyss-Coray research team are following up on earlier discoveries that showed that circulatory blood factors can modulate brain structure and function, and that factors from young organisms can rejuvenate old brains and, vice versa, factors from old mice are detrimental for young mice and impair cognition. 

Evidence has indicated that the cerebrovasculature is an important target and that brain endothelial cells show prominent age-related transcriptional changes in response to plasma. 

Scientists also have discovered that plasma proteins are taken up broadly into the brain and that this process varies between individual endothelial cells and with aging. Researchers are currently exploring the relevance of these findings for neurodegeneration. They also are seeking potential applications toward therapies on the molecular basis of this systemic communication with the brain by employing a combination of genetic, cell biology and proteomics approaches in model organisms and humans.

Wyss-Coray’s lab is part of the Glenn Center for Aging at Stanford University, the Stanford Neurosciences Institute’s Brain Rejuvenation Project and NIH Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He and his team are funded by the American Heart Association/Allen Initiative, NIA and the NOMIS Foundation. 

He received his bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D., and postdoctoral fellowship in the Institute of Clinical Immunology from the University of Bern, Switzerland. In 1993, Wyss-Coray moved to the United States to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute. 

Wyss-Coray joined Stanford in 2002. Prior to that, he was at the University of California, San Francisco; Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease; and Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. 

He has received numerous awards, including the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and the NOMIS Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award. TIME Magazine named him among the “Health Care 50” most influential people transforming health care. Wyss-Coray is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, American Association for the Advancement of Science and International Society for Neuroimmunology. 

Mahoney lectures are sponsored by NIA and named in honor of Florence Stephenson Mahoney (1899–2002), who devoted much of her life to successfully advocating for the creation of NIA and increased support for NIH.

Visit, to watch the lecture.

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