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 AreasGenetics and Data Science [GDS], Neuroscience [NEU], Pharmacology and Therapeutics Discovery [PTD]
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