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Anne Schaefer

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  • MD, Johannes Gutenberg University

  • MD, PhD, Charité University

  • Postdoc, The Rockefeller University


    Click here for more information on Dr. Schaefer's 2012 Director’s New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Dr. Schaefer is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry and a Seaver Fellow at the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She did her graduate studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the Charité University Berlin and The Rockefeller University in New York. In the fall of 2004 she joined Dr. Paul Greengard's Laboratory at The Rockefeller University where she completed her postdoctoral studies and was promoted to Research Associate in 2007 and Senior Research Associate in 2009. She joined the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine to start her own laboratory in 2011. Her research is focused on understanding how epigenetic mechanisms contribute to maintenance of specialized neuronal functions and their alteration during psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Anne Schaefer has been named a 2014 Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The Kavli program honors young scientists who are considered leaders in their fields and have made significant contributions to science. Jointly sponsored by the US National Academy of Sciences and The Kavli Foundation, the Kavli Frontiers of Science bring together some of the very best young scientists (under age 45) to discuss exciting advances and opportunities in their fields in a format that encourages informal collective, as well as one-on-one discussions among participants. Dr. Schaefer was invited to the Japanese-American Frontiers of Science ( JAFoS) Symposium that took place in Tokio in December 2014.

    Visit Anne Schaefer's Laboratory of Brain Epigenetics for more information.



  • 2014 - 2014
    Cure Challenge Award
    Cure Challenge

  • 2014 - 2014
    Technology Development Fund Award
    Mount Sinai Innovation

  • 2014 - 2014
    Kavli Frontiers in Science Fellow
    The National Academy of Science

  • 2012 - 2012
    Research Award
    Seaver Autism Center

  • 2012 - 2012
    NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

  • 2012 - 2012
    Chrissy Rossi Investigator
    Chrissy Rossi

  • 2011 - 2011
    NARSAD Young Investigator Award

  • 2006 - 2008
    Research Fellowship
    German Research Foundation DFG

  • 2005 - 2005
    Hans-Hench Award 2005
    German Society for Immunology, Germany

  • 2004 - 2004
    Summa cum lauden
    Charité University Berlin

  • 2003 - 2003
    Research Award
    Keystone Scholar Travel Award

  • 2001 - 2003
    USA Research Scholarship
    The German National Academic Foundation

  • 1999 - 2003
    German National Merit Foundation


Our research focuses on identifying the epigenetic basis of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. We study how miRNAs and histone modifying enzymes contribute to the establishment and maintenance of neuronal identity and specialized functions. We are particularly interested in understanding the epigenetic mechanisms of cellular plasticity and its role in regulation of microglia-neuron communication. One of the major focuses of our research lies in the development of animal models of human neurological disease associated with abnormal function of epigenetic regulators of different types. Using pioneering technologies including cell type specific analysis of mRNAs, miRNAs and chromatin modifications in neurons in vivo, our research aims at understanding the mechanism of neurological disorders and at their potential treatment by targeting the neuronal epigenome.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Melanie von Schimmelmann
Research Personnel: Philip Feinberg
Postdoctoral Fellow: Pinar Ayata
PhD Student: Andrew Browne
Prep Student: Miriam Akeju
Volunteer: Silas Mann


Gao Z, Lee P, Stafford JM, von Schimmelmann M, Schaefer A, Reinberg D. An AUTS2-Polycomb complex activates gene expression in the CNS. Nature 2014 Dec; 516(7531).

Lyons DB, Magklara A, Goh T, Sampath SC, Schaefer A, Schotta G, Lomvardas S. Heterochromatin-mediated gene silencing facilitates the diversification of olfactory neurons. Cell reports 2014 Nov; 9(3).

Maze I, Chaudhury D, Dietz DM, Von Schimmelmann M, Kennedy PJ, Lobo MK, Sillivan SE, Miller ML, Bagot RC, Sun H, Turecki G, Neve RL, Hurd YL, Shen L, Han MH, Schaefer A, Nestler EJ. G9a influences neuronal subtype specification in striatum. Nature neuroscience 2014 Apr; 17(4).

Tan CL, Plotkin JL, Venø MT, von Schimmelmann M, Feinberg P, Mann S, Handler A, Kjems J, Surmeier DJ, O'Carroll D, Greengard P, Schaefer A. MicroRNA-128 governs neuronal excitability and motor behavior in mice. Science (New York, N.Y.) 2013 Dec; 342(6163).

O'Carroll D, Schaefer A. General Principals of miRNA Biogenesis and Regulation in the Brain. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2012 Jun;.

Schaefer A, Tarakhovsky A, Greengard P. Epigenetic mechanisms of mental retardation. Progress in drug research. Fortschritte der Arzneimittelforschung. Progrès des recherches pharmaceutiques 2011; 67.

Schaefer A, Im HI, Venø MT, Fowler CD, Min A, Intrator A, Kjems J, Kenny PJ, O'Carroll D, Greengard P. Argonaute 2 in dopamine 2 receptor-expressing neurons regulates cocaine addiction. The Journal of Experimental Medicine 2010 Aug; 207(9): Cover page.

Maze I, Covington HE, Dietz DM, LaPlant Q, Renthal W, Russo SJ, Mechanic M, Mouzon E, Neve RL, Haggarty SJ, Ren Y, Sampath SC, Hurd YL, Greengard P, Tarakhovsky A, Schaefer A, Nestler EJ. Essential role of the histone methyltransferase G9a in cocaine-induced plasticity. Science 2010 Jan; 327(5962).

Schaefer A, Sampath SC, Intrator A, Min A, Gertler TS, Surmeier DJ, Tarakhovsky A, Greengard P. Control of cognition and adaptive behavior by the GLP/G9a epigenetic suppressor complex. Neuron 2009 Dec; 64(5).

Heiman M, Schaefer A, Gong S, Peterson JD, Day M, Ramsey KE, Suárez-Fariñas M, Schwarz C, Stephan DA, Surmeier DJ, Greengard P, Heintz N. A translational profiling approach for the molecular characterization of CNS cell types. Cell 2008 Nov; 135(4): Cover page.

Schaefer A, O'Carroll D, Tan CL, Hillman D, Sugimori M, Llinas R, Greengard P. Cerebellar neurodegeneration in the absence of microRNAs. The Journal of Experimental Medicine 2007 Jul; 204(7): Cover page .

Meffre E, Schaefer A, Wardemann H, Wilson P, Davis E, Nussenzweig MC. Surrogate light chain expressing human peripheral B cells produce self-reactive antibodies. The Journal of Experimental Medicine 2004 Jan; 199(1).

Wardemann H, Yurasov S, Schaefer A, Young JW, Meffre E, Nussenzweig MC. Predominant autoantibody production by early human B cell precursors. Science 2003 Sep; 301(5638).

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Schaefer did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2014 and/or 2015: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

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