The Friedman Brain Institute


The leadership team at The Friedman Brain Institute includes experts from throughout the Mount Sinai Health System dedicated to advancing our understanding of the nervous system.

Message from the Director

Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD
Director, The Friedman Brain Institute

The nervous system is the last frontier of the molecular revolution in medicine. Thanks to remarkable advances in studying the brain and spinal cord—many developed and in practice at Mount Sinai—we have made impressive strides in understanding how the nervous system functions under normal conditions and malfunctions in disease. Now, we are uniquely poised to take these advances and translate them into fundamentally new and improved treatments of brain and spinal cord disorders.

Our goal is to coordinate all neuroscience research at Mount Sinai—both basic and clinical carried out in numerous departments—and build translational bridges to clinical treatment programs throughout Mount Sinai Health System. Our clinical faculty members are national and international leaders, committed to the understanding of the nervous system and to significant clinical advances in diagnosis and treatment.

Leadership Team

Our leadership team represents many educational, research, and clinical departments across the School and the Health System.

Alison Goate, DPhil
Dr. Goate is a renowned neuropsychiatric researcher and molecular geneticist whose pioneering work falls within two areas: gene discovery and modeling disease mutations. She identified the first gene mutation linked to an inherited form of Alzheimer's disease and discovered that a rare mutation in the PLD3 gene doubles the risk of developing late onset Alzheimer's disease, among other significant discoveries. Contact Michael Reid.

Anne Schaefer, MD, PhD
Dr. Schaefer is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry and a Seaver Fellow at the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Barbara G. Vickrey, MD, MPH
Dr. Vickrey is System Chair for the Department of Neurology

Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD
Dr. Nestler is the Director of The Friedman Brain Institute, the Nash Family Professor, Professor of Psychiatry, and Dean For Academic And Scientific Affairs. Dr. Nestler is a renowned neuroscientist, molecular biologist and psychiatrist whose work focuses on the molecular mechanisms of drug addiction and depression.

Helen S Mayberg, MD
Dr. Mayberg is a neurologist renowned for her study of brain circuits in depression and for her pioneering deep brain stimulation research. She is also the founding Director of Mount Sinai Health System's the Nash Family Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics

John F Crary, MD, PhD
Dr. Crary is a professor in Pathology and Neuroscience with certifications in Anatomic Pathology & Neuropathology

Joseph Buxbaum, MSc, PhD
Dr. Buxbaum, the director of the Seaver Autism Center, is Professor and Vice-Chairman of the Psychiatry Department. He is also a Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, and Neuroscience. Dr. Buxbaum is a molecular geneticist who leads research into human psychiatric and neurological diseases.

Joshua B. Bederson, MD
Dr. Bederson is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery. He is an expert in skull base, trans-nasal minimally invasive and cerebrovascular surgeries. His neurosurgery specialty interests include meningiomas, skull base and brain tumors, brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVM), cavernous malformations, pituitary tumors, pituitary adenomas, acoustic neuromas, and trigeminal neuralgia.

Kristen Brennand, PhD
Kristen Brennand, PhD, Director, Alper Neural Stem Cell Center, is a stem cell biologist working to bridge the fields of developmental neuroscience and psychiatry. A major focus of her work is developing in vitro models for schizophrenia in order to identify novel insights into the molecular and cellular phenotypes of mental illness.

Kristen Dams-O'Connor, PhD
Professor Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine and Neurology

Mark G. Baxter, PhD
Dr. Baxter is a Professor of Neuroscience, Anesthesiology, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Baxter founded the Glickenhaus Laboratory of Neuropsychology through a generous gift from Seth and Sarah Glickenhaus.

Nathalie Jette, MD

Nathalie Jette, MSc, MD, FRCPC is a Professor of Neurology and Population Health Science & Policy, and the Bludhorn Professor of International Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS).

Schahram Akbarian, MD, PhD
Dr. Akbarian is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. 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.

Patrick Hof, MD
Dr. Hof is the Vice-Chair for the Nash Family Department of Neuroscience. He is also a Professor in Neuroscience, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, and Ophthalmology. Dr. Hof leads the Kastor Neurobiology of Aging Laboratories. His laboratory has extensive expertise in the pathology of neuropsychiatric disorders and has established an international reputation in quantitative approaches to neuroanatomy and studies of brain evolution.

Paul Kenny, PhD
Dr. Kenny is Chair of the Nash Family Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Kenny also serves as the Director of the Drug Discovery Institute. His multidisciplinary research involves the study of behavioral paradigms, physiological analyses, and the molecular underpinnings of neurobehavioral disorders.

Paul Slesinger, PhD
Dr. Slesinger is a Professor of Neuroscience. His research focuses on the function of potassium ion channels, which generate one of the inhibitory signals in the brain.

Priti Balchandani, PhD
Priti Balchandani, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Radiology and Director of the High Field MRI Program at the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Rene S Kahn, MD, PhD
Dr René Kahn is the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor and System Chair of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Sam Gandy, MD, PhD
Dr. Gandy is a Professor of Alzheimer's Disease Research, Neurology, and Psychiatry. He is also the Associate Director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and Chairman Emeritus of the National Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer's Association. Dr. Gandy is an international expert in the metabolism of the substance called amyloid that clogs the brain in patients with Alzheimer's. In 1989, he and his team discovered the first drugs that could lower formation of amyloid.

Scott J. Russo, PhD
Dr. Russo is the Director of The Center for Affective Neuroscience and Associate Professor of Neuroscience. Dr. Russo is internationally known for his contributions to understanding the neural and immunological basis of affective illnesses.

Yasmin Hurd, PhD
Dr. Hurd is a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics and the Ward-Coleman Chair in Translational Research. She is also the Director of the Center for Addictive Disorders at the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System. Her multidisciplinary molecular, pharmacological and behavioral research integrates translational preclinical and clinical laboratory studies.

The Friedman Brain Institute's Commitment to a Healthy Work Environment

The Friedman Brain Institute and the Nash Family Department of Neuroscience have instituted a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any sort. We encourage people of all genders and ranks to notify the leadership of any misconduct. Knowing that this may be difficult for some, this form is anonymous. If you wish to receive a response to any of your comments, please send us your name and email address here.

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