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Paul Kenny

  • PROFESSOR & CHAIR Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics
  • DIRECTOR Experimental Therapeutics Institute
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  • BA, Trinity College Dublin

  • PhD, University of London



  • 2012 -
    Mathilde Solowey Lecture Award in the Neurosciences
    Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences

  • 2010 -
    Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award
    Society for Neuroscience


The Kenny Laboratory is focused on understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of drug addiction, obesity and schizophrenia, with an emphasis on the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in these processes. They employ a multidisciplinary approach that includes complex behavioral paradigms, physiological analyses and molecular biological techniques. Current projects include the utilization of vector-based delivery systems to modify gene expression in the brains of rodents to identify novel signaling cascades that may play a role in addiction-like behaviors.


Heyer MP, Kenny PJ. MicroRNA-mediated repression combats depression. Neuron 2014 Jul; 83(2).

Kenny PJ. The food addiction. Scientific American 2013 Sep; 309(3).

Kenny PJ, Voren G, Johnson PM. Dopamine D2 receptors and striatopallidal transmission in addiction and obesity. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 2013 Aug; 23(4).

Bali P, Kenny PJ. MicroRNAs and Drug Addiction. Frontiers in Genetics 2013 May; 4(43).

Hope BT, Skinner MK, Kenny PJ, Akbarian S. Exploring the epigenetics of cocaine resistance. Nature Medicine 2013 Feb; 19(2).

Heyer MP, Pani AK, Smeyne RJ, Kenny PJ, Feng G. Normal midbrain dopaminergic neuron development and function in miR-133b mutant mice. Journal of Neuroscience 2012 Aug; 32(32).

Jiang R, Song X, Bali P, Smith A, Bayona CR, Lin L, Cameron MD, McDonald PH, Kenny PJ, Kamenecka TM. Disubstituted piperidines as potent orexin (hypocretin) receptor antagonists. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2012 Jun; 22(12).

Im HI, Kenny PJ. MicroRNAs in neuronal function and dysfunction. Trends in Neurosciences 2012 May; 35(5).

Bali P, Im HI, Kenny PJ. Methylation, memory and addiction. Epigenetics 2011 Jun; 6(6).

Fowler CD, Lu Q, Johnson PM, Marks MJ, Kenny PJ. Habenular α5 nicotinic receptor subunit signalling controls nicotine intake. Nature 2011 Mar; 471(7340).

Kenny PJ. Reward mechanisms in obesity: new insights and future directions. Neuron 2011 Feb; 69(4).

Im HI, Hollander JA, Bali P, Kenny PJ. MeCP2 controls BDNF expression and cocaine intake through homeostatic interactions with microRNA-212. Nature Neuroscience 2010 Sep; 13(9).

Hollander JA, Im HI, Amelio AL, Kocerha J, Bali P, Lu Q, Willoughby D, Wahlestedt C, Conkright MD, Kenny PJ. Striatal microRNA controls cocaine intake through CREB signalling. Nature 2010 Jul; 466(7303).

Johnson PM, Kenny PJ. Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats. Nature Neuroscience 2010 May; 13(5).

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.

Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Kenny during 2014 and/or 2015. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Equity (Stock or stock options valued at greater than 5% ownership of a publicly traded company or equity of any value in a privately held company)

  • Eolas Therapeutics, Inc.

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.

Insurance Information

Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS) physicians - including those employed by MSHS - do not always participate in the same health plans in which MSHS hospitals or facilities participate.

Information regarding insurance participation and billing by this physician may be found on this page or obtained by contacting this provider directly.

Insurance plans that the Mount Sinai Health System hospitals or facilities participate in can be found on the Mount Sinai Health System website.

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