Jeff Iliff, PhD

Personal Statement

I focus on neurodegeneration and traumatic brain injury research at the VA Puget Sound and at the UW Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

My work has probed the ‘glymphatic’ system, a brain-wide network of perivascular spaces that facilitates the clearance of waste products, including amyloid beta and tau, from the brain interstitium during sleep. Previously at OHSU, my group demonstrated that the glymphatic system fails in the aging brain and in the young brain after traumatic brain injury. The studies suggest that impairment of glymphatic function may be one factor that renders the aging brain vulnerable to protein aggregation and neurodegeneration and may link brain trauma early in life with the development of dementia in the decades that follow. My ongoing work seeks to define the molecular and cellular underpinnings of impaired glymphatic function in the aging and post-traumatic brain, and to use novel MRI-based imaging approaches to extend these findings into clinical Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic populations.

As the leader of the ADRC’s new Research Education Component, I oversee the effort to train and develop a community of clinical, basic and translational Alzheimer’s disease researchers with the necessary clinical, scientific and technical competence to effectively collaborate to define the mechanistic and biological underpinnings of Alzheimer’s and related dementia, and to translate this understanding to improve the lives of those living with memory loss and dementia.

Department Affiliations

Recent Publications

Quantitative analysis of macroscopic solute transport in the murine brain.
(2021 Dec 7)
Fluids Barriers CNS 18(1): 55
Ray LA, Pike M, Simon M, Iliff JJ, Heys JJ

Woes with flows under pressure.
Brain Commun 3(2): fcab094
Jansson DJ, Iliff JJ

Emerging roles for dynamic aquaporin-4 subcellular relocalization in CNS water homeostasis.
(2021 Sep 9)
Salman MM, Kitchen P, Halsey A, Wang MX, Tornroth-Horsefield S, Conner AC, Badaut J, Iliff JJ, Bill RM

The Bidirectional Link Between Sleep Disturbances and Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms: A Role for Glymphatic Dysfunction?
(2021 Jul 14)
Biol Psychiatry
Piantino JA, Iliff JJ, Lim MM

Aquaporin 4 and glymphatic flow have central roles in brain fluid homeostasis.
(2021 Oct)
Nat Rev Neurosci 22(10): 650-651
Salman MM, Kitchen P, Iliff JJ, Bill RM

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