Dr. Makoto Ishii is a board-certified neurologist and a physician-scientist dedicated to both patient care and biomedical research focusing primarily on neurodegenerative and neuroendocrine disorders. Dr. Ishii was raised in Houston and earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. He then enrolled in the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program in New York City receiving his PhD from Rockefeller University and his MD from Weill Cornell Medical College. He received his clinical training as a neurology resident at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he was also chief resident. After his residency, Dr. Ishii joined the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College and received a Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellowship to conduct his initial research studies, which were the first to demonstrate that amyloid-beta, a major pathogenic factor in Alzheimer’s disease, can disrupt specific brain cells in the leptin pathway, an essential regulator of body weight, leading to body weight and metabolic deficits prior to any cognitive dysfunction. Based on these early achievements, Dr. Ishii was awarded the Paul B. Beeson Clinical Development Award in Aging, an honor supported by the National Institute on Aging (part of the NIH) and private foundations including the American Federation for Aging Research and The John A. Hartford Foundation, where he joins past recipients who are currently top academic leaders in the field. Ongoing studies continue to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the body weight and neuroendocrine deficits in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Ishii moved back to Texas to join the faculty at UTSW in 2023, where he continues to conduct his research and see patients in the Memory Clinic.


Medical School
Weill Cornell Medical College (2008)
New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell Medical Center (2012), Neurology

Research Interest

  • Alzheimer's disease and related dementias
  • Hypothalamus
  • Neuroendocrinology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Comparing the effects of four common drug classes on the progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia using electronic health records.
Xu J, Wang F, Zang C, Zhang H, Niotis K, Liberman AL, Stonnington CM, Ishii M, Adekkanattu P, Luo Y, Mao C, Rasmussen LV, Xu Z, Brandt P, Pacheco JA, Peng Y, Jiang G, Isaacson R, Pathak J, Sci Rep 2023 May 13 1 8102
Midlife dyslipidaemia as a modifiable risk factor for later-life dementia.
Ishii M, Lancet Healthy Longev 2021 Aug 2 8 e453-e454
A Novel Neurovascular Liaison Governing the Blood-Brain Barrier.
Ishii M, Iadecola C, Neuron 2020 Jul 107 2 205-207
Risk factor for Alzheimer's disease breaks the blood-brain barrier.
Ishii M, Iadecola C, Nature 2020 May 581 7806 31-32
Plasma lipocalin-2 levels in the preclinical stage of Alzheimer's disease.
Eruysal E, Ravdin L, Kamel H, Iadecola C, Ishii M, Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2019 Dec 11 646-653
Apolipoprotein B as a New Link Between Cholesterol and Alzheimer Disease.
Ishii M, JAMA Neurol 2019 Jul 76 7 751-753

Honors & Awards

  • Paul B. Beeson Clinical Scientist Development Award in Aging, National Institute on Aging
  • Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellowship, Leon Levy Foundation
  • Resident Teaching Award, Weill Medical College of Cornell University Department of Neurology
  • Distinguished Housestaff Award, Weill Medical College of Cornell University Department of Neurology

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART) (2012)
  • American Academy of Neurology (2010)
  • American Neurological Association (2019)