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Elodie Drapeau

  • INSTRUCTOR Psychiatry
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    Dr. Drapeau is an Instructor at the Department of Psychiatry and a member of the Seaver Autism Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She received her PhD in Neurosciences and neuropharmacology at the University of Bordeaux in France in 2003 and completed a first post-doctoral training in the Laboratory of Dr. Fiona Doetsch at Columbia University, NY.

    In 2009 she joined Dr. Joseph Buxbaum’s Laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and was promoted to the position of Instructor at the Department of Psychiatry in 2015.

    Dr Drapeau's research aims to understand the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, using a multi-disciplinary approach ranging from animal models with targeted mutations to the use induced pluripotent stem cells and induced neurons from patients with autism or schizophrenia.


Aging, Alzheimer's Disease, Autism, Behavior, Brain, Cell Biology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Knockout Mice, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Schizophrenia, Seizure, Stem Cells, Transgenic Mice

Dr. Drapeau research interest aims to understand the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease with a long-term goal of revealing potential targets for therapeutic treatments. For this purpose, she uses a multi-disciplinary approach ranging from the characterization of animal models with targeted mutations to the use induced pluripotent stem cells and induced neurons from patients with autism or schizophrenia. The modelling of neurodevelopmental diseases using iPSCs and neurons derived from iPSCs relies to the collection of substantial numbers of samples and appropriate controls. To this aim, Dr. Drapeau has worked in collaboration with the Conte Center for Neuroscience of Mental Disorders and the Seaver Autism Research Center to build up collections of somatic cells suitable for iPSC reprogramming. To date, she has established primary cultures of fibroblasts for more 60 patients with schizophrenia and 60 controls and I have isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from more than 100 families affected by autism spectrum disorder including more than 30 families with Phelan McDermid Syndrome. From those samples, she has established several lines of iPSCs and performed in vitro differentiation of iPSC into Neuronal Precursor cells and mature glutamatergic neurons. She also used human embryonic stem cells and iPSC to generate several genetically modified cell lines carrying genes modifications known to be involved in autism spectrum disorders using TALENs and CRISPR technology to reproduce specific rare but highly penetrant genetic variants knows or shRNA combined with medium to high throughput technologies to silence large number of candidate genes at the same time. Additionally Dr. Drapeau has worked on the behavioral characterization of several mouse and rat models for monogenic forms of autism. Using different animal models of autism with a partial deletion of the Shank3 genes she has examined the influence of genetic background on the phenotype of the Shank3 deficient animals and has found that seizure sensitivity to pentilenetetrazol, a GABA antagonist is significantly reduced in Shank3 deficient animals while seizure sensitivity to kainic acid, a glutamatergic agonist, is not affected. In an ongoing study, she is characterizing another mouse model of Shank3 deficiency in which the Shank3 gene is fully knocked-out which leads to a more robust phenotype than the partial Shank3 knocked-out model. Furthermore, she has established strong collaborations with several groups of various expertise that have resulted in multiple projects including participation in the Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, the molecular validation of small exonic CNVs involved in autism spectrum disorder, the validation of PLXNA4, a gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease in post-mortem brain samples or the identification of the targets of ELAVL4, an RNA-binding protein involved in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease in the human brain using HITS-CLIP.


Regulatory consequences of neuronal ELAV-like protein binding to coding and non-coding RNAs in human brain Claudia Scheckel , Elodie Drapeau , Maria A. Frias , Christopher Y. Park , John Fak , Ilana Zucker-Scharff , Yan Kou , Vahram Haroutunian , Avi Ma'ayan , Joseph D. Buxbaum eLife 2016.;.

Döbrössy MD, Drapeau E, Aurousseau C, Le Moal M, Piazza PV, Abrous DN. Differential effects of learning on neurogenesis: learning increases or decreases the number of newly born cells depending on their birth date. Molecular psychiatry 2003 Nov; 8(12).

Montaron MF, Koehl M, Lemaire V, Drapeau E, Abrous DN, Le Moal M. Environmentally induced long-term structural changes: cues for functional orientation and vulnerabilities. Neurotoxicity research 2004; 6(7-8).

Drapeau E, Mayo W, Aurousseau C, Le Moal M, Piazza PV, Abrous DN. Spatial memory performances of aged rats in the water maze predict levels of hippocampal neurogenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2003 Nov; 100(24).

Dupret D, Montaron MF, Drapeau E, Aurousseau C, Le Moal M, Piazza PV, Abrous DN. Methylazoxymethanol acetate does not fully block cell genesis in the young and aged dentate gyrus. The European journal of neuroscience 2005 Aug; 22(3).

Riquelme PA, Drapeau E, Doetsch F. Brain micro-ecologies: neural stem cell niches in the adult mammalian brain. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences 2008 Jan; 363(1489).

Montaron MF, Drapeau E, Dupret D, Kitchener P, Aurousseau C, Le Moal M, Piazza PV, Abrous DN. Lifelong corticosterone level determines age-related decline in neurogenesis and memory. Neurobiology of aging 2006 Apr; 27(4).

Drapeau E, Nora Abrous D. Stem cell review series: role of neurogenesis in age-related memory disorders. Aging cell 2008 Aug; 7(4).

Drapeau E, Montaron MF, Aguerre S, Abrous DN. Learning-induced survival of new neurons depends on the cognitive status of aged rats. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2007 May; 27(22).

Gusev A, Lee SH, Trynka G, Finucane H, Vilhjálmsson BJ, Xu H, Zang C, Ripke S, Bulik-Sullivan B, Stahl E, Kähler AK, Hultman CM, Purcell SM, McCarroll SA, Daly M, Pasaniuc B, Sullivan PF, Neale BM, Wray NR, Raychaudhuri S, Price AL. Partitioning heritability of regulatory and cell-type-specific variants across 11 common diseases. American journal of human genetics 2014 Nov; 95(5).

Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature 2014 Jul; 511(7510).

Jun G, Asai H, Zeldich E, Drapeau E, Chen C, Chung J, Park JH, Kim S, Haroutunian V, Foroud T, Kuwano R, Haines JL, Pericak-Vance MA, Schellenberg GD, Lunetta KL, Kim JW, Buxbaum JD, Mayeux R, Ikezu T, Abraham CR, Farrer LA. PLXNA4 is associated with Alzheimer disease and modulates tau phosphorylation. Annals of neurology 2014 Sep; 76(3).

Drapeau E, Dorr NP, Elder GA, Buxbaum JD. Absence of strong strain effects in behavioral analyses of Shank3-deficient mice. Disease models & mechanisms 2014 Jun; 7(6).

Bulik-Sullivan BK, Loh PR, Finucane HK, Ripke S, Yang J, Patterson N, Daly MJ, Price AL, Neale BM. LD Score regression distinguishes confounding from polygenicity in genome-wide association studies. Nature genetics 2015 Mar; 47(3).

Poultney CS, Goldberg AP, Drapeau E, Kou Y, Harony-Nicolas H, Kajiwara Y, De Rubeis S, Durand S, Stevens C, Rehnström K, Palotie A, Daly MJ, Ma'ayan A, Fromer M, Buxbaum JD. Identification of small exonic CNV from whole-exome sequence data and application to autism spectrum disorder. American journal of human genetics 2013 Oct; 93(4).

Vilhjálmsson BJ, Yang J, Finucane HK, Gusev A, Lindström S, Ripke S, Genovese G, Loh PR, Bhatia G, Do R, Hayeck T, Won HH, Kathiresan S, Pato M, Pato C, Tamimi R, Stahl E, Zaitlen N, Pasaniuc B, Belbin G, Kenny EE, Schierup MH, De Jager P, Patsopoulos NA, McCarroll S, Daly M, Purcell S, Chasman D, Neale B, Goddard M, Visscher PM, Kraft P, Patterson N, Price AL. Modeling Linkage Disequilibrium Increases Accuracy of Polygenic Risk Scores. American journal of human genetics 2015 Oct; 97(4).

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. Drapeau did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2015 and/or 2016: 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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