Mount Sinai Welcomes Pamela Sklar, MD, PhD

Following a national search, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry has recruited Dr. Sklar as the founding Chief of its Division of Psychiatric Genomics.

New York, NY
 – January 31, 2011 /Press Release/  –– 

Following a national search, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry has recruited Pamela Sklar as the founding Chief of its Division of Psychiatric Genomics. This is a high priority area for the School of Medicine and both the Genomics and Brain Institutes. The Department is also recommending her for Professor with Tenure.

Dr. Sklar 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 work at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has been to identify susceptibility genes for psychiatric diseases by applying tools developed for understanding and characterizing human sequence variation.

In her role as Division Chief, Dr. Sklar will focus on building a world-class psychiatric genomics unit that will be a leader in developing applications of human genetic insights to the clinical practice of psychiatry. Using the superb basic and clinical resources offered by Mount Sinai as a foundation, she will build an infrastructure for improving the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric diseases.

The proposed Division of Psychiatric Genomics will have a molecular, genomic, and translational focus. In addition to tackling schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, she will lead collaborative efforts to study the genomics of other major psychiatric disorders of interest to other investigators at Mount Sinai. Dr. Sklar's role will span multiple institutes, departments, and scientific disciplines. Her recruitment to Mount Sinai will be transformational and should lead to a rapid growth in funding.

She is a founding member of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute and serves as Director of Genetics for the Stanley Center. Dr. Sklar has long been involved in a leadership position for genetic studies of bipolar disorder through the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) network and has completed genome-wide association analyses in bipolar disorder. More recently, Dr. Sklar has organized and is leading an International Schizophrenia Consortium that has completed a genome-wide study of schizophrenia. Her work has made substantial contributions to the understanding of gene variants and structural variants that influence the risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Her primary laboratory is located in the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit (PNGU) in the Center for Human Genetics Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is the associate director of the PNGU. She is also Associate Professor of psychiatry and Adjunct Associate Professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, as well as attending physician in the psychiatry department at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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 research training in the laboratories of Solomon Snyder (Johns Hopkins Medical School) and Nobel Laureate Richard Axel (Columbia University).