Meet the Director
Pamela Sklar, MD, PhD
Chief, Division of Psychiatric Genomics
Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Genetic and Genomic Sciences
Pamela Sklar, MD, PhD is a neuroscientist, human geneticist and clinical psychiatrist investigating the genetic causes of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A major focus of her prior work at the Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School was to identify susceptibility genes for psychiatric diseases by applying tools developed for understanding and characterizing human sequence variation.
Dr. Sklar joined the Icahn School of Medicine as a Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Genetic and Genomic Sciences. She moved to Mount Sinai in 2011 from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute. In Boston, she was a founding member of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and served as its Director of Genetics for the Stanley Center from 2007-2010. Pamela has long been involved in genetic studies of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia through her leadership positions in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) genetics program, the International Schizophrenia Consortium (ISC), the International Cohort Collection for Bipolar Disorder (ICCBD), an the Psychiatric Genome-wide association disorder consortium (PGC).
Dr. Sklar’s recent accomplishments include:
- She developed a world-renowned program for genetic study of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
- She led the identification of two novel deletions strongly associated with schizophrenia and gave strong confirmation of chr22 as a risk factor for schizophrenia
- She discovered that schizophrenia is caused by genetic risk factors that overlap with bipolar disorder
- She led the identification of the first replicated genetic finding in bipolar disorder (ANK3)
- She developed new programs in genetics and translational research in the areas of next-generation sequencing, stem cell biology, proof-of-concept drug trials, and large-scale sample collections
Dr. Sklar earned her BA in Classics and Philosophy from St. John's College. She received an MD and PhD in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins Medical School. She completed clinical training in Psychiatry at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and the New York State Psychiatric Institute in Manhattan and postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Richard Axel at Columbia University.