The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (N C C A M): Part of the National Institutes of Health

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Alberto Rivera-Rentas, Ph.D.

Portrait of Alberto Rivera-Rentas
Program Officer

Division of Extramural Research
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
6707 Democracy Boulevard II, Suite 401
Bethesda, MD 20892 (Courier Service - 20817)


As an NCCAM program officer, Alberto Rivera-Rentas, Ph.D., oversees the HIV/AIDS and special populations portfolio. He is also the Center’s training officer, managing and coordinating with other area-specific program officers a variety of research training mechanisms—including traditional training mechanisms, research education grants, career development awards, fellowships, diversity supplements, and the Loan Repayment Program.

Prior to joining NCCAM Dr. Rivera-Rentas was a program director at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), where he managed a portfolio of various research training grants and programs, as well as grants in the area of cell biology and biophysics. In addition, he was responsible for two NIH-wide programs: the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (ENDURE) program and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. In 2011, he received the NIGMS Diversity Awareness Award for his commitment to inclusion and an evidence-based/data-driven approach to research training.

His main interests are the interdisciplinary aspects of research. Before moving to NIH, his research focused on understanding the role of environmental and anthropogenic factors in respiratory and neurodegenerative conditions in Puerto Rico. His work addressed asthma—a health disparity affecting the Hispanic population. With his diverse background in basic science and medicine, he was able to create crosscutting interdisciplinary projects in science, research, and education.

He is also a former member of the science advisory board of the Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research. His publications include peer reviewed articles in areas of neuroscience, toxicology, environmental sciences, public health, and science education.

Dr. Rivera-Rentas earned his Ph.D. in biology with a concentration in neurobiology at the University of Puerto Rico. Here, his research focused on the biological, chemical, and physical factors associated with natural products and agents that have toxicological actions in the nervous system.