Harris A. Gelbard, M.D., Ph.D.

Harris A. Gelbard, M.D., Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 645
Rochester, NY 14642

Fax: (585) 276-1947
Administrative: (585) 273-1749
Office: (585) 273-1473
Lab: (585) 275-7391

Research Bio

Dr. Gelbard is the Director of the Center for Neural Development and Disease and Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Gelbard has 25 years of experience as a molecular neuropharmacologist, working in experimental models of neuroAIDS and HIV-1 neuroinflammation since 1992. As the leader of the NeuroAIDS research group in the UR's NIH-funded Development Center for AIDS Research and PO1 MH64570, in collaboration with Drs. Steve Dewhurst and Sanjay Maggirwar from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dr. Gelbard has worked to develop new therapies for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) over the past several years with a programmatic effort funded by the NIMH for over 10 years.

Our approach is to develop strategies to target mixed lineage kinase (MLK)-3, an upstream kinase that regulates neuroinflammation and neuronal function/fate through effects on downstream kinases, including Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Working with our industry partner, Califia Bio (San Diego, CA), we have developed novel, brain-penetrant small molecules that efficiently inhibit MLK-3, Dr. Gelbard's lab is in the process of testing these new inhibitors in in vitro and in vivo models for HAND. Dr. Gelbard serves on numerous advisory boards of Center, U-level and P-level grants investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of HAND. He is the chair of the external advisory committee to the CNS HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy Effects Research ("CHARTER," NIMH and NINDS N01 MH22005, 2002-2015), and a member of the Neurology Scientific Advisory Board to the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS) network (NICHD U01 HD052104, 2009-2014). Dr. Gelbard is the associate editor for the 3rd edition of The Neurology of AIDS (Oxford Press).

Awards & Honors (National)

National Merit Scholar 1972

Awards & Honors (Local)

Child Neurology Young Investigator Award 1990
Buswell Memorial Fellowship, University of Rochester 1990
First Prize, Wyeth-Ayerst Award or New Psychiatric Research, VIII World Congress of Psychiatry, Athens, Greece 1989
Sigma Xi, Thesis Research 1980


A Selectively Non-Selective Mixed Lineage Kinase 3 Inhibitor Potentiates the Effectiveness of Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV/AIDS

United States Serial NO.: 14/648,404
Filed Date: November 30, 2013
Title: MIxed Lineage Kinase Inhibitors for HIV/AIDS Therapies
Invented by: Harris Gelbard, Stephen Dewhurst, Howard Gendelman

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 103 available »

2014 Apr
Polesskaya O, Wong C, Lebron L, Chamberlain JM, Gelbard HA, Goodfellow V, Kim M, Daiss JL, Dewhurst S. "MLK3 regulates fMLP-stimulated neutrophil motility." Molecular immunology. 2014 Apr; 58(2):214-22. Epub 2014 Jan 03.
2014 Jan 28
Kapetanovic S, Griner R, Zeldow B, Nichols S, Leister E, Gelbard HA, Miller TL, Hazra R, Mendez AJ, Malee K, Kammerer B, Williams PL, . "Biomarkers and neurodevelopment in perinatally HIV-infected or exposed youth: a structural equation model analysis." AIDS. 2014 Jan 28; 28(3):355-64.
2013 Nov 1
Tremblay MÈ, Marker DF, Puccini JM, Muly EC, Lu SM, Gelbard HA. "Ultrastructure of microglia-synapse interactions in the HIV-1 Tat-injected murine central nervous system." Communicative & integrative biology. 2013 Nov 1; 6(6):e27670. Epub 2013 Dec 31.
2013 Oct 24
Goodfellow VS, Loweth CJ, Ravula SB, Wiemann T, Nguyen TX, Xu Y, Todd DE, Sheppard DW, Pollack S, Polesskaya O, Marker DF, Dewhurst S, Gelbard HA. "Discovery, synthesis, and characterization of an orally bioavailable, brain penetrant inhibitor of mixed lineage kinase 3." Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2013 Oct 24; 56(20):8032-48. Epub 2013 Oct 03.
2013 Oct 22
Gelbard HA, Gendelman HE. "Lipids and cognition make good bedfellows for neuroAIDS." Neurology. 2013 Oct 22; 81(17):1480-1. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

Current Appointments

Director - Center for Neural Development & Disease - Primary Administrative
Professor - Department of Neurology, Center for Neural Development & Disease (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Department of Microbiology and Immunology (SMD)
Professor - Department of Pediatrics (SMD)


Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology - American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology


MD | Medicine | Northwestern Univ Medical Sch1983
PhD | Pharmacology | Northwestern Univ-Chicago Cmp1983
BS | Arts & Sciences | Northwestern Univ-Chicago Cmp1976

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Fellowship in Developmental Neuropharmacology at McLean Hospital09/01/1988 - 06/30/1990
Fellowship in Neurology at Children s Hospital09/01/1988 - 06/30/1990
Residency in Neurology at Children s Hospital07/01/1985 - 06/30/1988
Residency in Pediatrics at Children s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University07/01/1984 - 06/30/1985
Internship in Pediatrics at Children s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University07/01/1983 - 6/30/1984