Director


about_director

Berislav Zlokovic, MD, PhD is the director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute (ZNI), as well as the director of the Center for Neurodegeneration and Regeneration at ZNI, and professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Keck School of Medicine. Driven by his passion for scientific discovery and his desire to change the lives of millions of people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders, Zlokovic is an internationally recognized leader in Alzheimer’s disease and stroke research.

He’s published more than 250 articles in journals such as:

  • Nature
  • Nature Medicine
  • Nature Cell Biology
  • Nature Neuroscience
  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience
  • Neuron
  • Science and Journal of Clinical Investigation

He has received numerous awards for his Alzheimer’s disease and stroke research, including:

  • The MetLife Award
  • The Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology
  • The Javits Award from the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke
  • MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging

Zlokovic’s vision is to “enhance an already very strong neuroscience base and try to make USC the number one place in the neurosciences in the country and the world.”

Under his leadership, ZNI is breaking new ground in multi-disciplinary science. He demonstrates and encourages collaborations across departments, disciplines and schools with a focus on strengthening the integration of diverse clinical, pre-clinical and basic discovery efforts within the Keck School of Medicine and University Park campus-based neurosciences. He hopes this collaboration will lead to new opportunities and breakthrough, original neuroscience discoveries at ZNI and USC.

“I’m so excited about what we’re doing at USC – we’ve already started the process of working with colleagues from so many different departments to reduce the gap between experimental and clinical findings,” said Zlokovic.

Prior to returning to USC in 2011 from the University of Rochester Medical Center, Zlokovic spent 11 years at the Keck School of Medicine.

Zlokovic received his bachelor’s degree from Belgrade College of Sciences in what is now Serbia. For his medical degree and doctorate, he attended the University of Belgrade, where he also completed his residency in clinical physiology (neurology and intensive care). He completed fellowships in transport biology at Queen Elizabeth College in the United Kingdom, as well as in neurobiology and blood-brain barrier transport at King’s College London and an additional fellowship in neurobiology and transport physiology at St. Thomas’ Hospital London.
In addition to his academic research interests, Zlokovic is also an active biotech entrepreneur, inventor and holder of several patents. He co-founded three companies with Selim Zilkha, a member of the Keck School Board of Overseers and major donor to ZNI. One such company is ZZ Biotech, which is dedicated to developing new treatments for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

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