Vishwa Deep Dixit, DVM, PhD, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Comparative Medicine and Immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, will be appointed as Director of the Yale Center for Research on Aging (Y-Age) and Professor of Pathology on January 1, 2022.
The appointment was announced by Chen Liu, MD, PhD, Anthony N. Brady Professor of Pathology and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Tamas L. Horvath, DVM, PhD, Jean and David W. Wallace Professor of Comparative Medicine and Chair of Department of Comparative Medicine at Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Dixit’s lab is focused on understanding the interactions between metabolic and immune systems with the goal of revealing molecular targets that can be harnessed to control inflammation and immune dysfunction as means to enhance the healthspan. He and his team discovered that innate immune sensor NLRP3 inflammasome is a predominant mechanism that instigates inflammation during aging, including immune-senescence and leads to the development of several chronic diseases. His research team identified that the switch from glycolysis to ketogenesis deactivates the NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent chronic inflammatory diseases and that ketones protect from viral infections by expanding gamma-delta T cells. Publishing in Nature, they revealed that inflamed aged macrophages impair fat metabolism by degradation of catecholamines produced from sympathetic nerves in adipose tissue, opening new avenues of research on the role of nerve-associated macrophages in health and disease. His findings are published in several prominent journals including Nature Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science Immunology, Cell Metabolism, Nature, and Nature Metabolism.
Dr. Dixit has received several awards in recognition of his research achievements including the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging and the National Institute on Aging’s Nathan Shock Award of Excellence in Basic Biology of Aging. He serves as a permanent member of the National Institute of Aging (NIA)’s Board of Scientific Counselors and is on the advisory board of NIA’s Division of Aging Biology.
Dr. Dixit received his DVM in 1994 and his MVSc in 1996 from Haryana Agricultural University. He was selected for a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) fellowship to do PhD research at the University of Hannover, Germany. Upon obtaining his PhD, he moved to the United States to do postdoc training at the Morehouse School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health. His independent lab was set up on November 1, 2006 at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
In 2013, Dr. Dixit was recruited to Yale School of Medicine by the Department of Comparative Medicine, where he has made substantial contributions to the academic success of the department and its program in Integrative Cell Signaling and Neurobiology of Metabolism.
As the Director of Yale Center for Research on Aging (Y-Age), Dr. Dixit will lead expanding and exciting interdisciplinary research programs in Geroscience, the Biology of Aging, and the Pathology of Aging with significant opportunities for program growth at Yale.
Drs. Liu and Horvath thanked search committee members for their work: Co-Chairs Qin Yan and Morgan Levine, Ruth Montgomery, Anita Huttner, Albert Shaw, Yajaira Suarez, David Stern, Jamie Grutzendler and Thomas Gill.