Saul Villeda, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Anatomy
Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research
+1 415 502-1929
Research Description: 

My lab has previously shown that systemic manipulations such as heterochronic parabiosis (in which the circulatory system of an old and young animal are connected), administration of young blood plasma, or administration of exercise-induced blood factors can partially reverse age-related loss of plasticity in the aged brain. As a consequence, we can now consider reactivating latent plasticity dormant in the aged brain as a means to rejuvenate regenerative, synaptic and cognitive functions late in life. Interestingly, work from my lab has revealed bi-directionality in the influence of the systemic environment indicating pro-youthful factors in young blood or following exercise elicit rejuvenation while pro-aging factors in old blood drive pre-mature aging. Our work has further indicated that mitigating the effect of pro-aging factors in old blood may also provide an effective approach to rejuvenate aging phenotypes. The goal of my research program is to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms that can be targeted to halt the aging process or promote rejuvenation in the old brain, as a means to counteract dementia-related neurodegenerative disease in the elderly, providing a unique therapeutic approach.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
Research Summary: 
Mechanisms of Brain Aging and Rejuvenation



Corrigendum: Long-Term Cognitive Impairments and Pathological Alterations in a Mouse Model of Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Frontiers in neurology

Luo J, Nguyen A, Villeda S, Zhang H, Ding Z, Lindsey D, Bieri G, Castellano JM, Beaupre GS, Wyss-Coray T

Microglial GPR56 is the molecular target of maternal immune activation-induced parvalbumin-positive interneuron deficits.

Science advances

Yu D, Li T, Delpech JC, Zhu B, Kishore P, Koshi T, Luo R, Pratt KJB, Popova G, Nowakowski TJ, Villeda SA, Piao X

Exerkines in health, resilience and disease.

Nature reviews. Endocrinology

Chow LS, Gerszten RE, Taylor JM, Pedersen BK, van Praag H, Trappe S, Febbraio MA, Galis ZS, Gao Y, Haus JM, Lanza IR, Lavie CJ, Lee CH, Lucia A, Moro C, Pandey A, Robbins JM, Stanford KI, Thackray AE, Villeda S, Watt MJ, Xia A, Zierath JR, Goodpaster BH, Snyder MP


Innovation in Aging

Saul Villeda

MHC class I H2-Kb negatively regulates neural progenitor cell proliferation by inhibiting FGFR signaling.

PLoS biology

Lin K, Bieri G, Gontier G, Müller S, Smith LK, Snethlage CE, White CW, Maybury-Lewis SY, Villeda SA