Center for Contemporary Sciences: New Chief Science Officer
An Alternatives to Animal Testing, Experimentation and Dissection Article from

FROM Center for Contemporary Sciences
August 2021

Zaher is a strong advocate for relevant study designs and credible research models in medicine, especially in complex and misunderstood diseases.

Center for Contemporary Sciences

The serious stuff:

Zaher Nahle is an award-winning scientist, consultant, and biomedical executive. His background spans the fields of cancer, diabetes, stem cell biology, post-viral syndrome, and heart disease. Earlier in his career, he served on the faculty at leading universities and published in top journals, including Nature, Nature Cell Biology, Acta Neuropathologica, JBC, and Oncogene. He was the Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President for Research at the nonprofit Solve ME/CFS, focusing on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) - a disease with strong symptom similarity to Long-Covid. He was also the CEO of the Arthritis National Research Foundation and has deep personal interest in arthritis and autoimmune diseases.

Zaher received his PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Stony Brook University/Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in New York. His doctoral work - conducted in the laboratory of his mentor Scott W. Lowe at CSHL - identified new mechanisms for viral oncogenes in genomic instability and programmed cell death. He went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard University. In addition, he received a fellowship certificate in Public Policy and Management from Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government (HKS), where he was a Mason Fellow.

For his academic and nonprofit work, Zaher earned many recognitions. He is an awardee of the American Heart Association (AHA), the Department of Defense (DoD)-Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), The American Cancer Society (ACS) Scholar Award program (Pay if), and the National Priorities Research Program of the Qatar Foundation. Recently, he was a founding investigator of an NIH U24 Data Management and Coordinating Center (DMCC) grant dedicated to ME/CFS. And, a recipient of the Whitelabel PEER award from Genetic Alliance, a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to bolster patient-centered research, create Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, and improve clinical outcomes research.

Zaher is a strong advocate for relevant study designs and credible research models in medicine, especially in complex and misunderstood diseases. For years, he has been making the case for change through written professional publications, contributions to committees and panels, appearance on public television, engagement with health officials, and advocacy on Capitol Hill. To that end, he led strategic planning for global programs, organizations, and healthcare initiatives. This includes launching research grant programs on four continents, developing medical education tools for patients and healthcare professionals, and creating trans-Atlantic coalitions for investigative research purposes. Zaher also directed targeted investment programs with dozens of medical centers, government agencies, and industry partners to accelerate the discovery process in biomedical sciences. He is a frequent organizer, moderator, and speaker at international conferences in the US and Europe, and served on specialized workgroups at federal agencies, including the NIH and the CDC.

The fun stuff:

Zaher is a Harley-Davidson enthusiast and enjoys riding his V-Rod up and down the Pacific Coast Highway every chance he gets. He likes volunteering for worthy causes. His most fulfilling volunteer experience was being a mentor for the 'prep for prep' program designed to help talented minority students attain higher education and become effective leaders in the fields of Arts and Sciences. Zaher is also passionate about the disability agenda, founded an initiative to advocate for equity and human rights for the disabled, and is an animal lover - specifically a cat person. He is 'kind of' ok with dogs!

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