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Clinical Sciences

Daniel R. Weinberger

Chief Executive Officer, Investigator
Danny

Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D., became the Director and CEO of the Institute in the summer of 2011 after leaving the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) where he was head of the Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program. Dr. Weinberger is regarded worldwide as perhaps the preeminent scientist in schizophrenia research, having been at the forefront of scientific investigation of this illness and related disorders for a generation. He attended college at the Johns Hopkins University, medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and did residencies in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and in neurology at George Washington University. He is board certified in both psychiatry and neurology. He was instrumental in focusing research on the role of abnormal brain development as a risk factor for schizophrenia. His lab identified the first specific genetic mechanism of risk for schizophrenia, and the first genetic effects that account for variation in specific human cognitive functions and in human temperament. In addition, he and his colleagues developed the first high-fidelity animal model of schizophrenia. In 2003, Science magazine highlighted the genetic research of his lab as the second biggest scientific breakthrough of the year, second to the discovery of the origins of the cosmos. He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the K.J. Zulch Neuroscience Prize of the Max Planck Society in Germany, the NIH's Directors Award, The William K. Warren Medical Research Institute Award, the Adolf Meyer Prize of the American Psychiatric Association, the Gold Medal Award of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the Foundation's Fund Prize from the American Psychiatric Association, and the Lieber Prize of the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (now the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation). He is past president of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, past president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Selected Publications

Law, AJ, Wang Y, Sei Y, O’Donnell P, Piantadosi P, Papaleo P; Straub RE, Huang R, Thomas CJ, Vakkalanka R, Besterman, Lipska BK, Hyde TM, Harrison PJ, Kleinman JE, Weinberger DR:  NRG1-ErbB4-p110δ signaling in schizophrenia and p110δ inhibition as a potential therapeutic strategy PNAS epub 2012 (1206118109).

Tan HY, Chen AG, Chen Q, Browne LB, Verchinski B, Kolachana B, Zhang F, Apud J, Callicott JH, Mattay VS, Weinberger DR:  Epistatic interactions of AKT1 on human medial temporal lobe biology and pharmacogenetic implications. Mol Psychiatry e-pub 7/26/2011.

Nicodemus KK, Law AJ, Radulescu E, Luna A, Kolachana B, Vakkalanka R, Rujescu D, Giegling I, Straub RE, McGee K, Gold B, Dean M, Muglia P, Callicott JH, Tan HY, Weinberger DR:  Biological validation of increased schizophrenia risk with NRG1, ERBB4, and AKT1 epistasis via functional neuroimaging in healthy controls. Arch Gen Psychiatry 67:991-1001, 2010.

S J Huffaker, J Chen, KK Nicodemus, F Sambataro, F Yang, V Mattay, BK Lipska, TM Hyde, J Song, D Rujescu, I Giegling, K Mayilyan, MJ Proust, A Soghoyan, G Caforio, JH Callicott, A Bertolino, A Meyer-Lindenberg, J Chang, Y Ji, MF Egan, TE Goldberg, JE Kleinman, B Lu, DR Weinberger. A primate-specific, brain isoform of KCNH2 affects cortical physiology, cognition, neuronal repolarization and risk of schizophrenia.  Nature Medicine 15:509-518, 2009.  PMID: 19412172

Law AJ, Lipska BK, Weickert CS, Hyde TM, Straub RE, Hashimoto R, Harrison PJ, Kleinman JE, Weinberger DR:  Neuregulin 1 transcripts are differentially expressed in schizophrenia and regulated by 5’ SNPs associated with the disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 103:6747-6752, 2006. PMID: 16618933

Pezawas L, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Drabant EM, Verchinski BA, Munoz K, Kolachana BS, Egan MF, Mattay VS, Weinberger DR:  5-HTTLPR polymorphism impacts human cingulate-amygdala interactions:  A genetic susceptibility mechanism for depression. Nature Neurosci 8:828-834, 2005. PMID: 15880108

Chen J, Lipska BK, Halim N, Ma QD, Matsumoto M, Melhem S, Kolachana BS, Hyde TM, Herman MM, Apud J, Egan MF, Kleinman JE, Weinberger DR:  Functional analysis of genetic variation in catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT): Effects on mRNA, protein, and enzyme activity in postmortem human brainAm J Hum Genet 75:807-821, 2004. PMID: 15457404

Egan MF, Kojima M, Callicott JH, Goldberg TE, Kolachana BS, Bertolino A, Zaitsev E, Gold B, Goldman D, Dean M, Lu B, Weinberger DR:  The BDNF val66met polymorphism affects activity-dependent secretion of BDNF and human memory and hippocampal function.  Cell 112:257-269, 2003. PMID: 12553913

Hariri AR, Mattay VS, Tessitore A, Kolachana B, Fera F, Goldman D, Egan MF, Weinberger DR:  Serotonin transporter genetic variation and the response of the human amygdala.  Science 297:400-403, 2002. PMID: 12130784

Saunders RC, Kolachana BS, Bachevalier J, Weinberger DR:  Neonatal lesions of the medial temporal lobe disrupt prefrontal cortical regulation of striatal dopamine in the monkey.  Nature 393:169-171, 1998. PMID: 9603519

Suddath RL, Christison GW, Torrey EF, Casanova ME, Weinberger DR:  Cerebral anatomical abnormalities in monozygotic twins discordant for schizophrenia.  N Engl J Med 322:789-794, 1990. PMID: 2308615

Jaffe, A., Waton, W., Straub, R., Marenco, S., Weinberger, DR.: Paternal age, de novo mutations and schizophrenia. Molecular Psychiatry 11 June 2013.

Callicott, JH, Feighery, EL, Mattay, VS, White, MG, Chen, Q, Baranger, DAA, Berman, KF, Lu, B, Song, H, Ming, G, Weinberger, DR: DISC1 and SLC12A2 Interaction Affects Human Hippocampal Function and Connectivity, Journal of Clinical Investigation 1 July 2013.