Schahram Akbarian, MD, PhD
- PROFESSOR | Neuroscience
- PROFESSOR | Psychiatry
Research Topics:Depression, Schizophrenia
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.
Visit Dr. Akbarian's Laboratory of Epigenetic Regulation of the Human Brain and Mount Sinai Conte Center on Epigenetic Mechanisms of Depression for more information.
Multi-Disciplinary Training AreasBiophysics and Systems Pharmacology [BSP], Genetics and Genomic Sciences [GGS], Neuroscience [NEU]
Internship, General Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center
Residency, Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. 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
Hoss AG, Kartha VK, Dong X, Latourelle JC, Dumitriu A, Hadzi TC, Macdonald ME, Gusella JF, Akbarian S, Chen JF, Weng Z, Myers RH. MicroRNAs Located in the Hox Gene Clusters Are Implicated in Huntington's Disease Pathogenesis. PLoS genetics 2014 Feb; 10(2).
Ginns EI, Mak SK, Ko N, Karlgren J, Akbarian S, Chou VP, Guo Y, Lim A, Samuelsson S, Lamarca ML, Vazquez-Derose J, Manning-Boğ AB. Neuroinflammation and α-synuclein accumulation in response to glucocerebrosidase deficiency are accompanied by synaptic dysfunction. Molecular genetics and metabolism 2014 Feb; 111(2).
Udagawa T, Farny NG, Jakovcevski M, Kaphzan H, Alarcon JM, Anilkumar S, Ivshina M, Hurt JA, Nagaoka K, Nalavadi VC, Lorenz LJ, Bassell GJ, Akbarian S, Chattarji S, Klann E, Richter JD. Genetic and acute CPEB1 depletion ameliorate fragile X pathophysiology. Nature medicine 2013 Nov; 19(11).
Mitchell AC, Bharadwaj R, Whittle C, Krueger W, Mirnics K, Hurd Y, Rasmussen T, Akbarian S. The Genome in Three Dimensions: A New Frontier in Human Brain Research. Biological psychiatry 2013 Aug;.
Bharadwaj R, Jiang Y, Mao W, Jakovcevski M, Dincer A, Krueger W, Garbett K, Whittle C, Tushir JS, Liu J, Sequeira A, Vawter MP, Gardner PD, Casaccia P, Rasmussen T, Bunney WE, Mirnics K, Futai K, Akbarian S. Conserved chromosome 2q31 conformations are associated with transcriptional regulation of GAD1 GABA synthesis enzyme and altered in prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2013 Jul; 33(29).
Tushir JS, Akbarian S. Chromatin-bound RNA and the neurobiology of psychiatric disease. Neuroscience 2013 Jul;.
Jakovcevski M, Bharadwaj R, Straubhaar J, Gao G, Gavin DP, Jakovcevski I, Mitchell AC, Akbarian S. Prefrontal cortical dysfunction after overexpression of histone deacetylase 1. Biological psychiatry 2013 Nov; 74(9).
Akbarian S, Halene T. The neuroepigenetics of suicide. The American journal of psychiatry 2013 May; 170(5).
Shulha HP, Cheung I, Guo Y, Akbarian S, Weng Z. Coordinated cell type-specific epigenetic remodeling in prefrontal cortex begins before birth and continues into early adulthood. PLoS genetics 2013 Apr; 9(4).
Akbarian S, Beeri MS, Haroutunian V. Epigenetic determinants of healthy and diseased brain aging and cognition. JAMA neurology 2013 Jun; 70(6).
Hope BT, Skinner MK, Kenny PJ, Akbarian S. Exploring the epigenetics of cocaine resistance. Nature medicine 2013 Feb; 19(2).
Akbarian S, Nestler EJ. Epigenetic mechanisms in psychiatry. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2013 Jan; 38(1).
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 2013 Jan; 38(1).
Bharadwaj R, Peter CJ, Jiang Y, Roussos P, Vogel-Ciernia A, Shen EY, Mitchell AC, Mao W, Whittle C, Dincer A, Jakovcevski M, Pothula V, Rasmussen TP, Giakoumaki SG, Bitsios P, Sherif A, Gardner PD, Ernst P, Ghose S, Sklar P, Haroutunian V, Tamminga C, Myers RH, Futai K, Wood MA, Akbarian S. Conserved Higher-Order Chromatin Regulates NMDA Receptor Gene Expression and Cognition. Neuron 2014 Dec; 84(5).
Maze I, Shen L, Zhang B, Garcia BA, Shao N, Mitchell A, Sun H, Akbarian S, Allis CD, Nestler EJ. Analytical tools and current challenges in the modern era of neuroepigenomics. Nature neuroscience 2014 Nov; 17(11).
Hoss AG, Kartha VK, Dong X, Latourelle JC, Dumitriu A, Hadzi TC, Macdonald ME, Gusella JF, Akbarian S, Chen JF, Weng Z, Myers RH. MicroRNAs located in the Hox gene clusters are implicated in huntington's disease pathogenesis. PLoS genetics 2014 Feb; 10(2).
Gascon E, Lynch K, Ruan H, Almeida S, Verheyden JM, Seeley WW, Dickson DW, Petrucelli L, Sun D, Jiao J, Zhou H, Jakovcevski M, Akbarian S, Yao WD, Gao FB. Alterations in microRNA-124 and AMPA receptors contribute to social behavioral deficits in frontotemporal dementia. Nature medicine 2014 Dec; 20(12).
Roussos P, Mitchell AC, Voloudakis G, Fullard JF, Pothula VM, Tsang J, Stahl EA, Georgakopoulos A, Ruderfer DM, Charney A, Okada Y, Siminovitch KA, Worthington J, Padyukov L, Klareskog L, Gregersen PK, Plenge RM, Raychaudhuri S, Fromer M, Purcell SM, Brennand KJ, Robakis NK, Schadt EE, Akbarian S, Sklar P. A role for noncoding variation in schizophrenia. Cell reports 2014 Nov; 9(4).
Ginns EI, Mak SK, Ko N, Karlgren J, Akbarian S, Chou VP, Guo Y, Lim A, Samuelsson S, LaMarca ML, Vazquez-DeRose J, Manning-Boğ AB. Neuroinflammation and α-synuclein accumulation in response to glucocerebrosidase deficiency are accompanied by synaptic dysfunction. Molecular genetics and metabolism 2014 Feb; 111(2).
Shen E, Shulha H, Weng Z, Akbarian S. Regulation of histone H3K4 methylation in brain development and disease. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences 2014 Sep; 369(1652).
Shen EY, Ahern TH, Cheung I, Straubhaar J, Dincer A, Houston I, de Vries GJ, Akbarian S, Forger NG. Epigenetics and sex differences in the brain: A genome-wide comparison of histone-3 lysine-4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) in male and female mice. Experimental neurology 2014 Aug;.
Chen CT, Hehnly H, Yu Q, Farkas D, Zheng G, Redick SD, Hung HF, Samtani R, Jurczyk A, Akbarian S, Wise C, Jackson A, Bober M, Guo Y, Lo C, Doxsey S. A unique set of centrosome proteins requires pericentrin for spindle-pole localization and spindle orientation. Current biology : CB 2014 Oct; 24(19).
Akbarian S. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 2014 Sep; 16(3).
Mitchell A, Roussos P, Peter C, Tsankova N, Akbarian S. The future of neuroepigenetics in the human brain. Progress in molecular biology and translational science 2014; 128.
Amaral AC, Jakovcevski M, McGaughy JA, Calderwood SK, Mokler DJ, Rushmore RJ, Galler JR, Akbarian SA, Rosene DL. Prenatal protein malnutrition decreases KCNJ3 and 2DG activity in rat prefrontal cortex. Neuroscience 2014 Nov;.