- PROFESSOR Neuroscience
- PROFESSOR Psychiatry
Internship, General Medicine
Beth Israel Medical Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
- Schahram Akbarian studied medicine and conducted his thesis work on the central representation of the primate vestibular system at the Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany. He is a board certified psychiatrist and molecular neuroscientist who trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge and the University of California at Irvine. In 2002, he joined the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester where he established a research program in psychiatric epigenetics and served as the Director of the Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute. Presently, he heads the Division of Psychiatric Epigenomics in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
He is a former recipient of the Klerman award from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the Judith Silver Memorial award of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the Outstanding resident award of the National Institute of Mental Health and the Eva King Killam Research Award of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr. Akbarian has been a principal investigator on National Institutes of Health-funded research projects and grants since 2001and published close to 100 articles in scientific journals and book chapters. He is a member of professional societies such as the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) and presently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF, formerly NARSAD), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS). He serves on Editorial Boards of various journals in the field, including Biological Psychiatry, Neuropsychopharmacology, Schizophrenia Bulletin and European Neuropsychopharmacology.
ResearchDr. Akbarian’s research interests include epigenetic determinants of normal and diseased human brain development, with implications for the neurobiology of major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and depression. This work is largely focused on charting DNA and histone modification landscapes, and more generally, genome organization, in specific cell types from brain. These clinical studies are complemented by preclinical research, exploring novel avenues for treatment of psychiatric disease in cell cultures and animal models with specific mutations in proteins regulating chromatin and chromosomal architectures.
Key words: nucleosome, epigenome, histone methylation, neuronal nucleus, prefrontal cortex, mood disorder, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder
Shulha HP, Cheung I, Whittle C, Wang J, Virgil D, Lin CL, Guo Y, Lessard A, Akbarian S, Weng Z. Epigenetic signatures of autism: trimethylated H3K4 landscapes in prefrontal neurons. Archives of general psychiatry 2012 Mar; 69(3).
Shulha HP, Crisci JL, Reshetov D, Tushir JS, Cheung I, Bharadwaj R, Chou H, Houston IB, Peter CJ, Mitchell AC, Yao W, Myers RH, Chen J, Preuss TM, Rogaev EI, Jensen JD, Weng Z, Akbarian S. Human-specific histone methylation signatures at transcription start sites in prefrontal neurons. PLoS Biology 2012; 10(11).
Rane P, Shields J, Heffernan M, Guo Y, Akbarian S, King JA. The histone deacetylase inhibitor, sodium butyrate, alleviates cognitive deficits in pre-motor stage PD. Neuropharmacology 2012 Jun; 62(7).
Qin J, Whyte WA, Anderssen E, Apostolou E, Chen HH, Akbarian S, Bronson RT, Hochedlinger K, Ramaswamy S, Young RA, Hock H. The polycomb group protein L3mbtl2 assembles an atypical PRC1-family complex that is essential in pluripotent stem cells and early development. Cell stem cell 2012 Sep; 11(3).
Peter CJ, Akbarian S. Balancing histone methylation activities in psychiatric disorders. Trends in molecular medicine 2011 Jul; 17(7).
Jiang Y, Jakovcevski M, Bharadwaj R, Connor C, Schroeder FA, Lin CL, Straubhaar J, Martin G, Akbarian S. Setdb1 histone methyltransferase regulates mood-related behaviors and expression of the NMDA receptor subunit NR2B. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2010 May; 30(21).
Jakovcevski M, Akbarian S. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological disease. Nature medicine 2012 Aug; 18(8).
Huang HS, Matevossian A, Whittle C, Kim SY, Schumacher A, Baker SP, Akbarian S. Prefrontal dysfunction in schizophrenia involves mixed-lineage leukemia 1-regulated histone methylation at GABAergic gene promoters. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2007 Oct; 27(42).
Houston I, Peter CJ, Mitchell A, Straubhaar J, Rogaev E, Akbarian S. Epigenetics in the Human Brain. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2012 May;.
Cheung I, Shulha HP, Jiang Y, Matevossian A, Wang J, Weng Z, Akbarian S. Developmental regulation and individual differences of neuronal H3K4me3 epigenomes in the prefrontal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2010 May; 107(19).
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. Akbarian did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2012 and/or 2013: 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 at http://icahn.mssm.edu/about-us/services-and-resources/faculty-resources/handbooks-and-policies/faculty-handbook. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.
CSM aka Primary Care Building Floor 9 Room 105
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