Mark Mattson

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Ph.D., Biology, The University of Iowa, 1986
M.S., Biology, North Texas State University, 1982
B.S., Zoology, Iowa State University, 1979


Eugene Spaziani

Current Location

Baltimore, MD

Where am I now?

Currently, Dr. Mattson is the Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore.


Mark Mattson, Ph.D. Biology, 1986, received the Alumni Fellows Award from the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) in 2012. Each year, the award recognizes up to six CLAS alumni for their outstanding contributions to society, their professions, the College, and the University of Iowa.

Dr. Mattson earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Biology in 1986. As a graduate student in Dr. Eugene Spaziani’s lab, Mattson played a key role in establishing much of what is known about the cell biology of hormonal control in crustaceans. He is the author of over 500 original research articles and the editor of 10 books in the fields of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. As a result of his numerous publications and accomplishments, he is one of the most highly cited neuroscientists in the world.

He has received numerous awards for his major contributions to the understanding, prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and stroke. Currently, Dr. Mattson is the Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore where he researches ways to put aging-related disease on hold using cutting-edge technologies aimed at understanding brain aging and the development of neurodegenerative disorders. He is specifically interested in discovering whether calorie restriction can help avoid brain damage and disease. Dr. Mattson is also a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.

The Alumni Fellows program was established by former CLAS Dean Linda Maxson in 1999. Recipients of the award are invited to campus for a two-day visit and are given the opportunity to visit their home department to speak to classes, meet with small groups of faculty and students, and make a public presentation about their experience since leaving the University of Iowa. For more information about the Alumni Fellows program, please visit