Dennis S. Charney

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Dennis S. Charney
Dennis S. Charney, MD.jpg
Dennis S. Charney, M.D.
Alma materPenn State, Yale School of Medicine
Scientific career
FieldsBiological psychiatry
InstitutionsIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dennis S. Charney is an American biological psychiatrist and researcher, with expertise in the neurobiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.[1] He is the author of Neurobiology of Mental Illness, The Physician's Guide to Depression and Bipolar Disorders and Molecular Biology for the Clinician, as well as the author of over 500 original papers and chapters.

He is a Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and currently Dean of the school.


Charney graduated from medical school at Penn State in 1977 and completed his residency in Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. A fellowship in Biological Psychiatry was completed at the Connecticut Medical Health Center.

Charney became the Dean of Research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2004, later becoming the Dean for Academic and Scientific Affairs, finally succeeding Kenneth L. Davis as Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2007.[2]

He has been named among the top 3 most highly cited authors of psychiatric research in the decade ending in 2000 by the Institute for Scientific Information, and listed in every edition of the “Best Doctors in America” since 1992.[3]

He owns patents in dopamine and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors in treatment of schizophrenia[4] and in intranasal administration of ketamine to treat depression.[5]

He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2000.[6]

On the morning August 29, 2016, Charney was shot and wounded by Hengjun Chao, as Charney left Lange’s Deli in Charney's hometown of Chappaqua, New York. Chao was a former Mount Sinai medical researcher who had been fired by Charney in 2010 for research fraud.[7][8][9] Chao's trial began on June 5, 2017, and eight days later Chao was convicted of attempted second degree murder and two other charges in Westchester County Court in White Plains. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison.[10][11][12][13][14]

In April 2019, Charney and the Icahn School were named in a lawsuit filed against Mount Sinai Health System and several employees of the hospital and the Icahn School's Arnhold Institute for Global Health[permanent dead link].[15] The suit was filed by eight current and former employees for age and sex discrimination as well as improper reporting to funding agencies, misallocation of funds, failing to obtain Institutional Review Board approval prior to conducting research in violation of Mount Sinai and federal guidelines, and failing properly to adhere to the guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA."[16] The school denies the claims. In May 2019, more than 150 students at the Icahn School signed a letter, addressed to the Board of Trustees, calling on Mount Sinai Health System "to further investigate allegations of gender and age discrimination" as a result of the legal filing.[17] As of May 2019, more than 400 Icahn and Mount Sinai Health System faculty have signed a similar letter to the Board of Trustees, calling for an investigation by an external consultant and a commitment to hold all parties accountable.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Charney is a grandfather and the father of several children. In 2014, his son Alex Charney became a practicing psychiatric resident at Mt Sinai hospital.[19]

2019 lawsuit[edit]

In April 2019, a lawsuit was filed against Dr. Charney, several other defendants, and the Mount Sinai Health System for sex and age discrimination at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine.[16] The suit was filed by eight current and former employees, all but one women.[15] In August 2019, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint alleging further allegations.[20]

Affiliations and positions[edit]

Awards and honors (partial list)[edit]

  • 2017 Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression – Named One of Top 10 on 2017 Health Care Innovations List [24]
  • 2017 American Heart Association Heart of Gold Award [25][26]
  • 2015 The World's Most Influential Minds[27]
  • 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine [28]
  • 2014 The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds[29]
  • 2012 Jacobi MEdallion Award, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai[30]
  • 2009 ACNP Julius Axelrod Mentorship Award [31]
  • 2006 The Gold Medal Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry[32]
  • 2004 CINP-Lilly Neuroscience Clinical Research Award
  • 2004 The American Psychiatric Association Award for Research [33]
  • 2002 The Heinz Lehman Award from the New York State Department of Mental Health
  • 1999 The American College of Psychiatrists Award for Depression Research
  • 1999 The Edward A. Strecker Award from Pennsylvania Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania [34]
  • 1999 The Edward J. Sacher Award from Columbia University
  • 1999 The Gerald L. Klerman Lifetime Achievement Award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)[35]
  • 1994-1995 Anna Monika Foundation Award for Research in Affective Disorders [36]
  • 1992 Daniel H. Efron Research Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology [37]

Books and publications (partial list)[edit]


  • 2013 Charney DS, Nestler EJ, Buxbaum JD, Sklar Pamela (eds). Neurobiology of Mental Illness, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, Fourth Edition ISBN 0199398461
  • 2011 Southwick SM, Litz BT, Charney DS, Friedman MJ Resilience and Mental Health: Challenges Across the Lifespan, Cambridge University Press ISBN 0521898390
  • 2012 Charney DS, Southwick SM Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, Cambridge University Press ISBN 0521195632
  • 2009 Stress-induced and Fear Circuitry Disorders: Refining the Research Agenda for Dsm-v by Gavin Andrews, Dennis S. Charney, Paul J. Sirovatka, Darrel A. Regier, American Psychiatric Publishing, ISBN 0-89042-344-X
  • 2006 The Physician's Guide to Depression & Bipolar Disorders by Dennis S. Charney, Lydia Lewis, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-144175-1 (0-07-144175-1)
  • 2003 Molecular Biology for the Clinician, by Dennis S. Charney, American Psychiatric Press, ISBN 978-1-58562-113-2
  • 2002 Pediatric Psychoparmacology: Principles and Practice by James F. Leckman, Dennis S. Charney, Lawrence Scahill, Andres Martin, Oxford Univ Pr, ISBN 0-19-514173-3 (0-19-514173-3)
  • 2002 Neuropsychopharmacology: The Fifth Generation of Progress by American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and Joseph T. Coyle and Charles Nemeroff and Dennis Charney and Kenneth L. Davis, Hardcover, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, ISBN 0-7817-2837-1 (0-7817-2837-1)
  • 1999 Neurobiology of Mental Illness by Eric J. Nestler, Dennis S. Charney, Oxford Press, ISBN 0-19-518980-9 (0-19-518980-9)
  • 1995 Neurobiological and Clinical Consequences of Stress: From Normal Adaptation to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Matthew J. Friedman, Dennis S. Charney, Ariel Y. Deutch, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, ISBN 0-7817-0177-5 (0-7817-0177-5)



  1. ^ National Institutes of Health Archived 2009-01-09 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Wisconsin Symposium on Human Biology". Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  4. ^ "Patent Abstract at Patent Storm". Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  5. ^ Patent Abstract at Fresh Patents
  6. ^ "Trauma, Culture & the Brain". Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  7. ^ Researcher fired by Mount Sinai Medical Center sues for targeting, reputation
  8. ^ Fired Professor Shot 2 Men Outside Chappaqua Deli, Police Say
  9. ^ After losing suit against former boss at top med school, a scientist shoots him, police say
  10. ^ Chao guilty of attempted murder in shooting of ex-boss in Chappaqua
  11. ^ Bromwich, Jonah Engel (August 29, 2016). "Fired Professor Shot 2 Men Outside Chappaqua Deli, Police Say". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Guarino, Ben (August 31, 2016). "After losing suit against former boss at top med school, a scientist shoots him, police say". Washington Post.
  13. ^ "Ex-researcher who shot dean found guilty of attempted murder". Retraction Watch. June 14, 2017.
  14. ^ "Man Sentenced In Shooting Of Mount Sinai Medical School Dean," CBS New York.
  15. ^ a b "Global health institute sued for age and sex discrimination," Science, 2 May 2019;
  16. ^ a b Atkinson et al v. Mount Sinai Health System, Inc. et al (1:19-cv-03779),
  17. ^ "150 Mount Sinai med students call for action after gender- and age-discrimination lawsuit," May 7, 2019, Crain's New York Business,
  18. ^ Strong, Sinai (2019-05-16). "#TimesUpMountSinai". Medium. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  19. ^ Dennis Charney shooting experience. September 21, 2017
  20. ^
  21. ^ ELSEVIER
  22. ^ American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  23. ^ Charney, Dennis S; Babich, Karen S (2002). "Foundation for the NIMH strategic plan for mood disorders research". Biological Psychiatry. 52 (6): 455–456. doi:10.1016/S0006-3223(02)01543-3. PMID 12361663. S2CID 34214821.
  24. ^ Healthcare IT News
  25. ^ American Heart Association of New York
  26. ^ American Heart Association of New York Facebook Page
  27. ^ Thomson Reuters Science
  28. ^ Penn State Alumni Association
  29. ^ Thomson Reuters Science
  30. ^ Mount Sinai Alumni
  31. ^ American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  32. ^ Society of Biological Psychiatry
  33. ^ The American College of Psychiatrists
  34. ^ Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania
  35. ^ DBSA Gerald L. Klerman Awards
  36. ^ Anna Monika Foundation
  37. ^ "American College of Neuropsychopharmacology". Archived from the original on 2015-03-08. Retrieved 2015-03-06.

External links[edit]