Meet The CEO | Zaher Nahle, PhD, MPA

The Nahles

Dr. Zaher Nahle took the helm of The Arthritis National Research Foundation in early April 2018.


“We were determined to find a uniquely qualified individual who is simultaneously an inspirational leader, a proven executive, and a compassionate soul” read a statement from the search committee “We found all that and more in Dr. Nahle – We cannot be more thrilled to welcome him to our fold to lead the new era of growth and development. ANRF is poised to play an even more dynamic role in the disease space and this development is a tremendous step forward.”


Dr. Nahle is an award-winning scientist with interdisciplinary training in biomedical research and public administration. He has a history of securing prestigious funding in healthcare and patient-oriented research. He holds an MPA from Harvard University, where he also completed a fellowship in Public Policy and Management at the John F. Kennedy School of Government; and a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Stony Brook University/Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (New York).

“I am very humbled to be the one entrusted by this truly committed board of directors, working alongside an all-star Scientific Advisory Board, a dedicated group of colleagues, and our wonderful volunteers,” Dr. Nahle said. “This is an incredible opportunity to serve patients through finding solutions to a complex, multifactorial disease. I live with inflammatory (Gout) Arthritis myself, as does my father. My mother, too, had a knee replacement surgery as a result of her severe Osteoarthritis, so I know the challenges firsthand. For the longest time, I have been impressed by the work of ANRF – The Foundation supports the most promising ideas from the brightest MD and PhD investigators at formative stages in their careers. Going forward, we remain laser-focused on that mission as we expand our reach and bolster our impact in the disease space. I truly believe that our contributions at ANRF will markedly accelerate the discovery process and challenge the status quo.”


Prior to joining ANRF, Dr. Nahle was the Chief Scientific Officer at a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization. In that capacity, he oversaw a comprehensive investment program with medical centers and industry partners to increase biomedical research in the fields of Women’s Health, Autoimmunity, Bioenergetics and Pain management. He also directed a robust scientific portfolio including peer-review grant programs in basic, translational and epidemiology research, as well as specialized biobanking services and Electronic Health Record and patient registry platforms.


Dr. Nahle is a frequent speaker at international conferences and served on specialized committees and panels at federal agencies, including the NIH and the CDC. Earlier in his career, he was on the faculty of leading universities, such as Weill Cornell Medicine and Vanderbilt University and developed numerous medical education and community engagement initiatives in various disciplines. Dr. Nahle’s research work is featured in prestigious journals like Science and Nature. During his academic career, he received numerous awards including ones from the American Heart Association (AHA), the US Department of Defense (DoD), the American Cancer Society (pay if), the Qatar Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) – Genetic Alliance (GA). He was an Edward Mason fellow at Harvard University. While at Harvard, he co-founded a nonprofit organization focused on the disability agenda in Africa.


The late Gale A. Granger, PhD (Annual Report Page 24), whose groundbreaking work shaped therapeutic modalities in Arthritis and cancer research, put forward that, “Dr. Nahle’s recruitment will help propel the Foundation to new heights and make ANRF the key driver of scientific innovation in Arthritis and associated diseases.” The Hon. Sally Anne Sheridan, who is on the ANRF board and served as the Mayor of the City of Irvine agrees: “We were very impressed with Dr. Nahle’s vision and background and have great confidence in his ability to lead our Foundation at this critical point in its growth.”


Dr. Nahle and his wife, Irina Yarovaya (pictured), live in Long Beach, California. He is a Harley Davidson enthusiast and together they enjoy attending theater and ballet productions.

Dr. Nahle and friend, U.S. Navy Captain Mark Asuncion, with their Harleys in Harvard Square while classmates at Harvard.