Division of Endocrinology & Diabetes

Dr. Sofiya Milman, M.D.

Sofiya Milman, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Endocrinology)

Professional Interests

Dr. Sofiya Milman is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of Endocrinology and Geriatrics and is the Director of Human Longevity Studies at Einstein’s Institute for Aging Research . Dr. Milman’s research focuses on a unique population of centenarians and their families who are generally free of age-related diseases. Healthy longevity runs in most of these families, suggesting a heritable basis for this phenomenon. Dr. Milman's team conducts translational research focused on the discovery of genomic mechanisms that regulate endocrine and metabolic pathways that protect against common age-related diseases, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's. 

Many of the discovered longevity genes and phenotypes are related to hormonal pathways. Changes in most hormones are observed throughout the human lifespan, but it remains unknown whether the observed changes cause aging, are associated with age but are not the cause of aging, or are protective for the aging body. Identification of protective endocrine parameters will inform our understanding of the mechanisms of healthy aging and lead to the discovery of interventions that protect from age-related diseases.

A biological pathway that has been repeatedly implicated in aging is the somatotropic axis that involves signaling via growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I).  Substantial evidence exists that diminished signaling via this pathway delays aging, resulting in longer lifespan and health-span, not only in animal models, but also in humans. In fact, Dr. Milman's research demonstrated that lower IGF-I levels were associated with longer survival and better cognition in humans with exceptional longevity and provided evidence against supplementing older adults with growth hormone in an attempt to delay aging. Dr. Milman's team uses computational approaches to integrade genetic information, such as whole-exome sequencing, with rich phenotype data in families with inherited longevity to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms that lead to protective effects of low IGF-I. 

Selected Publications

  1. Milman S, Huffman DM, Barzilai N. The Somatotropic Axis in Human Aging: Framework for the Current State of Knowledge and Future Research. Cell Metab 2016; 23(6):980-9. PMCID: PMC4919980
  2. Milman S, Barzilai N. Dissecting the Mechanisms Underlying Unusually Successful Human Health Span and Life Span. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2015 Dec 4. PMCID: PMC4691799 
  3. MilmanS, AtzmonG, HuffmanDM, WanJ,CrandallJP, CohenP, Barzilai N. Low Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 Level Predicts Survival in Humans with Exceptional Longevity. Aging Cell 2014; 13(4):769-71
  4. Eny KM, Lutgers H, Maynard J, Klein B, Lee KE, Atzmon G, Monnier VM, van Vliet – Ostaptchouk JV, Graaff R, van der Harst P, Snieder H, van der Klauw MM, Sell DR, Hosseini SM, Cleary PA, Braffett BH, Orchard TJ, Lyons TJ, Howard K, Klein R, Crandall JP, Barzilai N, Milman S, Ben-Avraham D, LifeLines Cohort Study, DCCT/EDIC Research Group, Wolffenbuttel BHR, Paterson AD. GWAS identifies a N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) acetylator status tag single nucleotide polymorphism to be a major locus for skin fluorescence. Diabetologia 2014; 57(8):1623-34
  5. Ayers E, Barzilai N, Crandall J, Milman S, Verghese J. Association Of Exceptional Parental Longevity and Physical Function in Aging.Age (Dordr) 2014; 36(4):9677
  6. Deluty J, Atzmon G, Crandall JP, Barzilai N, Milman S. The Influence of Gender on Inheritance of Exceptional Longevity. Aging 2015;7(6):412-8. PMCID: PMC4505167
  7. Ismail K, Nussbaum L, Sebastiani P, Andersen S, Perls T, Barzilai N, Milman S. Compression of Morbidity is Observed Across Cohorts with Exceptional Longevity. J Am Geriatr Soc 2016; 64(8):1583-91. PMCID: PMC4988893
  8. Newman JC, Milman S, Hashmi SK, Austad S, Kirkland J, Halter J, Barzilai N. Strategies and Challenges in Clinical Trials Targeting Human Aging. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2016; 71(11):1424-1434. PMCID: PMC5055653
  9. Perice L, Barzilai N, Verghese J, Weiss EF, Holtzer R, Cohen P, Milman S. Lower Circulating Insulin-like Growth Factor-I is Associated with Better Cognition in Females with Exceptional Longevity Without Compromise to Muscle Mass and Function. Aging Albany NY) 2016; 8(10): 2414-2424. PMCID: PMC5115897
  10. Ayers E, Shapiro M, Holtzer R, Barzilai N, Milman S, Verghese J. Symptoms of apathy independently predict incident frailty and disability in community-dwelling older adults. J Clin Psychiatry 2017; 78(5):e529-e536
  11. Ayers E, Barzilai N, Crandall JP, Milman S, Verghese J. Association of Family History of Exceptional Longevity with Decline in Physical Function in Aging. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2017, in press
  12. Sathyan S, Barzilai N, Atzmon G, Milman S, Ayers E, Verghese J. Association of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 polymorphisms with Motoric Cognitive Risk syndrome in an Ashkenazi Jewish Population. Neurobiol Aging 2017, in press
  13. Gubbi S, Barzilai N, Crandall JP, Verghese J, Milman S. The role of dietary patterns and exceptional parental longevity in healthy aging. Nutr Healthy Aging 2017, in press
  14. Gubbi S, SchwartzE, Crandall JP, Verghese J, Holtzer R, Atzmon G, Braunstein R, Barzilai N, Milman S. Effect of Exceptional Parental Longevity and Lifestyle Factors on Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease in Offspring. Am J Cardiol 2017, in press
  15. Klein L, Gao T, Barzilai N, Milman S. Association between sleep patterns and health in families with exceptional longevity. Front Med 2017, in press
  16. Milman S, Whitney K, Fleischer N. Metastatic Medullary Thyroid Cancer Presenting With Elevated Levels of CA 19-9 and CA 125. Thyroid 2011; 21(8):913-6
  17. Milman S, Epstein EJ. Proton Pump Inhibitor-Induced Hypocalcemic Seizure in a Patient with Hypoparathyroidism. Endocr Pract 2011; 17(1):104-7
  18. Vele S, Milman S, Shamoon H, Gabriely I. Opioid Receptor Blockade Improves Hypoglycemia-Associated Autonomic Failure in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011; 96(11):3424-31
  19. Milman S, Leu J, Shamoon H, Vele S, Gabriely I. Magnitude of Exercise-induced β-endorphin Response is Associated with Subsequent Development of Altered Hypoglycemia Counterregulation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012; 97(2):623-31
  20. Milman S, Leu J, Shamoon H, Vele S, Gabriely I. Opioid receptor blockade prevents exercise-associated autonomic failure in humans. Diabetes 2012; 61(6):1609-15
  21.  Milman S, Schulder-Katz M, Deluty J, Zimmerman ME, Crandall JP, Barzilai N, Melamed ML, Atzmon G. Individuals with Exceptional Longevity Manifest a Delayed Association between Vitamin D Insufficiency and Cognitive Impairment.J Am Geriatr Soc 2014; 62:153-15
  22. Milman S, Arnold JL, Price M, Negassa A, Surks MI, Fleischer N, Whitney KD. Medullary Thyroid Cancer that Stains Negative for CA 19-9 has Decreased Metastatic Potential.Endocr Pract 2015; 25:1-15
  23. Milman S, Crandall JP. Mechanisms of Vascular Complications in Pre-Diabetes. Med Clin North Am 2011; 95(2):309-25
  24. Milman S, Atzmon G, Crandall J, Barzilai N. Phenotypes and Genotypes of High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Exceptional Longevity. Curr Vasc Pharmacol 2014; 12(5):690-69




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Research Information

In the News

VICE interviews Dr. Sofiya Milman on the link between genetics and longevity.

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