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Jacobo Mintzer

Jacobo Mintzer, MD, MBA
(United States), Past President

Jacobo Mintzer, MD, MBA, is a professor in the Department of Health Studies at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and a staff physician at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Healthcare System. He is also the former Executive Director of the Roper St. Francis Healthcare System Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute.  At MUSC, he developed the Geriatric Psychiatry and Alzheimer’s research program in 1991, which includes inpatient, outpatient, and consultation services as well as a fellowship program.  Dr. Jacobo Mintzer has been involved in clinical research on Alzheimer’s disease for the last 20 years. 

Dr. Mintzer is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Mintzer is a former treasurer and board member of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP). He is a former member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on Aging and Co-Chair of the Scientific Committee for the 2003 meeting of the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA). Additionally, he is the former Chair of the APA Committee on Ethnic Minority Elderly Committee. Dr. Mintzer’s clinical interests are concentrated on geriatric psychiatry and medicine, Alzheimer’s disease and psychopharmacology of Alzheimer’s disease, behavioral management of agitated demented patients, memory disorders, and mental health in the elderly as a function of ethnicity. 

Dr. Mintzer earned his medical degree at the University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He completed an internship and a five-year residency at the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine in Jerusalem, Israel, and a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the University of California in Los Angeles. Dr. Mintzer is fluent in five languages. 

Dr. Mintzer has considerable experience in research, and particularly relevant to IPA is his experience, in ethnic research and aging. To that effect, Dr. Mintzer studied patterns of caregiving for Hispanic patients with Alzheimer’s disease (served as PI on NIA-funded R29AG11248-01) and Ethnicity and Predictors of Functional Decline in Dementia (Co-Investigator, R29MH047589-01A1). Dr. Mintzer has been responsible for the educational core of federally and privately funded projects that aimed to train minority and rural populations in issues related to mental health and aging, such as project C.O.P.E. (CSH 00254-01-0 and the Mc Knight-Boyle Health Science Foundation Award). Dr. Mintzer completed a one-year term as Senior Scientific Advisor to NIMH. Dr. Mintzers’ tenure at NIMH resulted in a joint effort between the NIMH, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the Alzheimer’s Association, and four major pharmaceutical companies to organize a conference on genetics and ethnicity. The goal of the meeting, entitled GRACE (Genetics, Response and Cognitive Enhancers), was to evaluate the role of ethnicity in genetic research. The participants, under Dr. Mintzer's leadership, agreed on the critical role that the study of ethnically diverse populations should play in enhancing the understanding of the role of genetic background as a risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease, and in determining the response of specific populations to new pharmacological treatments. In addition, participants emphasized that the presence of highly qualified minority researchers in research teams is critical to facilitating the formulation of a research agenda that will serve the special needs of minority populations. 

Dr. Mintzer is also recognized for his expertise in many areas of late-life related psychiatric disorders including behavioral disturbances in dementia, psychopharmacology, behavioral treatments of Alzheimer’s Disease, and caregiving for demented patients in ethnic minority groups. He is a member of the Steering Committee and site Principal Investigator of NIA’s Alzheimer Disease Consortium (ADCS, U-01# G 10483); Co-Investigator on a NIA-funded estrogen prevention study (R01 AG 15922); Site Principal Investigator and member of the Site Selection and the Special Population Committees on Clinical Antipsychotic Trials in Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE), a NIMH – funded project (NO1 MH90001). Dr. Mintzer’s participation in the Special Population Committee is of relevance to IPA since this committee is charged with the identification and adaptation of the specific protocols to overcome possible cultural barriers to the participation of ethnic minorities in mental health aging research. Dr Mintzer is also PI for the Institute for Research Minority Training on Mental Health and Aging (IRMMA, 1 T32 AG21794-01), and Depression in Alzheimer’s Disease Study – 2 (DIADS; 1 R01 MH066136-01). Dr. Mintzer is the medical monitor on the Antipsychotic Discontinuation in Alzheimer’s Disease Study (1 R01 AG021488-01). Dr. Mintzer has served in standing on the Clinical Center and Special Projects Review Committee (CCSP) of the NIMH Initial Review Group and as an “ad hoc” member on review committees for both the NIA and the NIMH. Additionally, he has served on the IPA BPSD task force. He is the Co-chair of the IPA special expert meeting on Lewy Body Dementia. 

Dr. Mintzer has considerable experience as an administrator. He has been responsible for the development of a highly successful program in Geriatric Psychiatry at MUSC. Since his arrival at MUSC in 1991 he has developed a program that includes, in addition to the ACGME-recognized fellowship in geriatric psychiatry, three innovative clinical service lines. These services include the first Behavioral Intensive Care Unit (BICU) dedicated to the treatment of demented agitated patients and an innovative geriatric nursing home consultation service. Dr. Mintzer also developed a state-funded physician consultation “helpline” geared towards providing intimate, “peer to peer” consultation for primary care providers who deliver mental health care to elderly patients in rural areas. In addition, Dr. Mintzer founded and serves as a Co-Director of the MUSC Alzheimer’s Research and Clinical Programs (ARCP). This program, supported jointly by the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Neurology, includes in its ranks 15 active researchers holding undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. 

Dr. Mintzer has lectured extensively on the topics of depression, dementia, and pharmacological treatment of the elderly around the world. He is involved in the IPA Latin American and Asia Pacific Initiative. He serves in several editorial capacities and is a published author of over 120 articles and abstracts in such journals as the British Journal of Medicine,  Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Current Therapeutic Research, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and International Psychogeriatrics. 

Dr. Mintzer has been an active member of the IPA Board of Directors since 2003. He can be contacted at 


Acadia Pharmaceuticals Avanir Pharmaceuticals Cambridge University Press