Nunzio Pomara, M.D.

Nunzio Pomara, M.D.

Department Director
Geriatric Psychiatry

Nunzio Pomara, MD, is the Director of the Geriatric Research Division and the Geriatric Psychiatry Research Program at NKI and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Pathology at the New York University School of Medicine.  Dr. Pomara has been involved in research pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Geriatric Psychopharmacology for more than 30 years and has made many important contributions in these areas. He has been involved in many of the clinical trials that led to the FDA approval of medications currently used to treat AD. These medications include Memantine and Rivastigmine. Dr. Pomara has made many important and original contributions in this area of study as well as to our understanding of AD and related disorders, such as late-life major depression.

A major focus of his research for over 30 years has been to elucidate the cognitive toxicity associated with commonly prescribed medications in the elderly. He has also studied pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors that may contribute to individual vulnerability to drug-induced cognitive and psychomotor toxicity. He has shown that certain forms of the APOE and TOMM40 genes increase the risk for drug-induced adverse events unrelated to pharmacokinetic factors and likely reflect pharmacodynamic mechanisms.

Dr. Pomara has received numerous grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), published extensively, and presented at various national and international scientific meetings. He is a member of numerous scientific organizations, including the American and European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Dr. Pomara and his research team established a Center at NKI designed to address important clinical needs of the elderly such as providing free cognitive assessments to individuals with memory complaints through the Memory Education and Research Initiative (MERI) program. The Center also offers access to cutting-edge clinical trials of diverse experimental compounds for the prevention and treatment of AD.

  • Award for Excellence in Psychiatric Research, New York State Office of Mental Health
  • Elected to European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Elected to American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Permanent Member, Interventions Committee for Disorders Related to Schizophrenia, Late Life, or Personality (ITSP), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Member, Ziskind-Somerfeld Research Award Committee, Society of Biological Psychiatry

Select Publications

  • Pomara N, Bruno D. Major Depression May Lead to Elevations in Potentially Neurotoxic Amyloid Beta Species Independently of Alzheimer Disease. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2016 Sep;24(9):773-5. PMID: 27421616.

  • Pomara N, Bruno D, Osorio RS, Reichert C, Nierenberg J, Sarreal AS, Hernando RT, Marmar CR, Wisniewski T, Zetterberg H, Blennow K. State-dependent alterations in cerebrospinal fluid Aβ42 levels in cognitively intact elderly with late-life major depression. Neuroreport. 2016 Sep 28;27(14):1068-71. PMID: 27508979.

  • Bruno D, Nierenberg J, Cooper TB, Marmar CR, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Hashimoto K, Pomara N. The recency ratio is associated with reduced CSF glutamate in late-life depression. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2017 May;141:14-18. PMID: 28323201.

  • Pomara N, Bruno D. Pathological Increases in Neuronal Hyperactivity in Selective Cholinergic and Noradrenergic Pathways May Limit the Efficacy of Amyloid-β-Based Interventions in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2018 Oct 3;2(1):165-167. PMID: 30480259.

  • Bruno D, Gleason CE, Koscik RL, Pomara N, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Johnson SC. The recency ratio is related to CSF amyloid beta 1-42 levels in MCI-AD. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2019 Mar;34(3):415-419. PMID: 30430632.