Dennis S. Charney

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Dennis S. Charney
Dennis Charney.jpg
Alma materPenn State, Yale School of Medicine
Known forKetamine treatment for depression
SpouseAndrea Charney
AwardsElection to National Academy of Medicine
Scientific career
FieldsBiological psychiatry, research, author
InstitutionsDean, Icahn 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 600 original papers and chapters. In 2022, he was listed #52 on's "Top Medicine Scientists in the United States," with an h-index of 194 with 146,109 citations across 651 publications.[2] Charney is known for demonstrating that ketamine is effective for treating depression. Ketamine's use as a rapidly-acting anti-depressant is recognized as a breakthrough treatment in mental illness.[3][4]

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.

In 2007, he became the Dean of the School and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of what was then known as the Mount Sinai Medical Center. In 2013, he was named President of Academic Affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System and as of 2022 still holds these roles.

With Steven Southwick, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, Charney authored Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, which reflects on the science of resilience and identifies ten factors that contribute to highly reliant people.[5] With Eric J. Nestler, MD, he is author of Charney & Nestler's Neurobiology of Mental Illness, which went into its fifth edition in 2018.[6]


Education and career[edit]

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, then succeeding Kenneth L. Davis as dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2007.[7] He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2000.[8]

Charney led the Mood and Anxiety Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health, and earlier was on the faculty in the department of psychiatry at Yale Medical School.[3]


Based on publications, Charney's research focuses on ketamine, psychiatry, major depressive disorder, clinical psychology, and anesthesia.

Ketamine treatment development[edit]

Neuron published that Charney's neurobiological insights into ketamine are a novel approach to the underlying operation of mechanism-of-action for rapid-acting antidepressant efficacy and mood disorders[9] and is the first model of a rapid-acting antidepressant with efficacy for treatment-resistant symptoms of mood disorders. His intranasal ketamine treatment was approved by the FDA in 2019 and now produced under the brand name Spravato.[10] Scientific American published in 2018 that the development is the first new form of antidepressant since the 1950s.[11]


General psychiatry research includes work on anxiety, mood and psychopathology linked to work in injury prevention,[12] thereby connecting myriad disciplines of study. Research into depression shows elements of internal medicine and management. Clinical psychology includes psychological intervention and resilience. Anesthesia research shows themes of randomized controlled trials and Esketamine.[13] Traumatic stress is part of his psychology study and is frequently connected to suicide prevention, bridging the gap between various science disciplines and establishing new relationships. Other areas of study are bipolar disorder, endocrinology and oncology. The endocrinology research is multidisciplinary, relying on the orbitofrontal cortex and serotonin.[2][14]


Charney owns patents in dopamine and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of schizophrenia[15] and in intranasal administration of ketamine to treat depression.[16] In total, as of 2022, he holds five issued patents and six pending.[17]

Affiliations and positions[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

Partial list:

  • 2019 Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research[21]
  • 2017 Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression – Named One of Top 10 on 2017 Health Care Innovations List [22]
  • 2017 American Heart Association Heart of Gold Award [23][24]
  • 2017 - Fellow, National Academy of Inventors[2]
  • 2015 The World's Most Influential Minds[25]
  • 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine [26]
  • 2014 The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds[27]
  • 2009 ACNP Julius Axelrod Mentorship Award [28]
  • 2006 The Gold Medal Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry[29]2004 Research and Mood Disorders – American College of Psychiatrists
  • 2004 CINP-Lilly Neuroscience Clinical Research Award
  • 2004 The American Psychiatric Association Award for Research [30]
  • 2000 Election, Natinal Academy of Medicine
  • 1999 The American College of Psychiatrists Award for Depression Research
  • 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)[31]
  • 1994–1995 Anna Monika Foundation Award for Research in Affective Disorders [32]
  • 1992 Daniel H. Efron Research Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology[33]
  • 2014–2015 Distinguished Alumni Award, Pennsylvania State University[3]

Personal life[edit]

Charney is the father of five children and grandfather of eight. On the morning of 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.[34][35][36] 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.[37][38][39][40][41] These personal events contributed first-hand to his study of resilience and are discussed in this his book "Resilience".[5][42]


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. The suit was filed by eight current and former employees, all but one women.[43]

Books and publications[edit]

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.[44] He has been on the editorial board of 15 journals, including Biological Psychiatry, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Journal of Affective Disorders, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia, Journal of Psychopharmacology, Human Psychopharmacology, and Psychopharmacology Bulletin.


  • 2018 Charney DS, Nestler EJ, Charney & Nestler's Neurobiology of Mental Illness, Oxford University Press; Fifth Edition, ISBN 978-0190681425
  • 2018 Charney DS, Southwick SM, Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, Cambridge University Press, Second Edition, ISBN 9781108441667
  • 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)


Charney's most cited publications are:[45]

  • Goodman WK, Price LH, Rasmussen SA, et al. The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale: I. Development, Use, and Reliability.[46] Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(11):1006–1011. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810110048007 PMID 2684084 (8092 citations)
  • Blake DD, Weathers FW, Nagy LM, Kaloupek DG, Gusman FD, Charney DS, Keane TM. The development of a Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. J Trauma Stress.[47] 1995 Jan;8(1):75-90. doi: 10.1007/BF02105408. PMID 7712061. (5703 citations)
  • Krystal JH, Karper LP, Seibyl JP, Freeman GK, Delaney R, Bremner JD, Heninger GR, Bowers MB Jr, Charney DS. Subanesthetic effects of the noncompetitive NMDA antagonist, ketamine, in humans. Psychotomimetic, perceptual, cognitive, and neuroendocrine responses. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994 Mar;51(3):199-214. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950030035004.[48] PMID 8122957. (3505 citations)

Other notable articles:

  • Berman RM, Cappiello A, Anand A, Oren DA, Heninger GR, Charney DS, Krystal JH: Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine in Depressed Patients. Biological Psychiatry, 2000; 47:351-354.[49]
  • Charney DS: Psychobiological Mechanisms of resilience and vulnerability: Implications for the successful adaptation to extreme stress. Am J Psychiatry, 2004; 161:195-216.[50]
  • Zarate CA Jr, Singh JB, Quiroz JA, De Jesus G, Denicoff KK, Luckenbaugh DA, Manji HK, Charney DS A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of memantine in the treatment of major depression. Am J Psychiatry. 2006; 163(1):153-5.[51]
  • Murrough JW, Iosifescu DV, Chang LC, Al Jurdi RK, Green CE, Perez AM, Iqbal S, Pillemer S, Foulkes A, Shah A, Charney DS, Mathew SJ. Antidepressant efficacy of ketamine in treatment-resistant major depression: a two-site randomized controlled trial. Am J Psychiatry. 2013 Oct 1;170(10):1134-42.[52]
  • Feder A, Parides MK, Murrough JW, Perez AM, Morgan JE, Saxena S, Kirkwood K, Aan Het Rot M, Lapidus KA, Wan LB, Iosifescu D, Charney DS. Efficacy of Intravenous Ketamine for Treatment of Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014 Jun;71(6):681-8.[53]
  • Iacoviello BM, Wu G, Alvarez E, Huryk K, Collins KA, Murrough JW, Iosifescu DV, Charney DS. Cognitive-Emotional Training as an Intervention for Major Depressive Disorder. Depress Anxiety. 2014 Aug;31(8):699-706.[54]
  • Feder A, Fred-Torres S, Southwick SM, Charney DS. The Biology of Human Resilience: Opportunities for Enhancing Resilience Across the Life Span. Biol Psychiatry. 2019 Sep 15;86(6):443-453.[55]
  • Krystal JH, Charney DS, Duman RS. A New Rapid-Acting Antidepressant. Cell. 2020 Apr 2;181(1):7.[56]
  • Charney AW, Katz C, Southwick SM, Charney DS. A Call to Protect the Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19 in the United States. Am J Psychiatry. 2020 Jul 31.[57]
  • Feder A, Costi S, Rutter SB, Collins AB, Govindarajulu U, Jha MK, Horn SR, Kautz M, Corniquel M, Collins KA, Bevilacqua L, Glasgow AM, Brallier J, Pietrzak RH, Murrough JW, Charney DS. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Repeated Ketamine Administration for Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2021 Feb 1;178(2).[58]  


  1. ^ National Institutes of Health Archived 2009-01-09 at the Wayback Machine
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  3. ^ a b c "Distinguished Alumni Awards" (PDF). Penn State University. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Google Patents". Retrieved 2022-04-03.
  5. ^ a b "Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges". YaleNews. 2018-05-03. Retrieved 2022-06-27.
  6. ^ Charney, Dennis S; Nestler, Eric J; Sklar, Pamela; Buxbaum, Joseph D, eds. (2017). Charney & Nestler's Neurobiology of Mental Illness. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/med/9780190681425.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-069885-0.
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  11. ^ "In an Old Drug, New Hope for Depression". Scientific American. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
  12. ^ Insel, Thomas R.; Charney, Dennis S. (2003-06-18). "Research on Major DepressionStrategies and Priorities". JAMA. 289 (23): 3167–3168. doi:10.1001/jama.289.23.3167. ISSN 0098-7484. PMID 12813123.
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  15. ^ "Patent Abstract at Patent Storm". Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  16. ^ Patent Abstract at Fresh Patents
  17. ^ US 10478405, Charney, Dennis S. & Feder, Adriana, "Method for treating post-traumatic stress disorder", published 2019-11-19, assigned to Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 
  18. ^ ELSEVIER
  19. ^ American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
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  22. ^ Healthcare IT News
  23. ^ American Heart Association of New York
  24. ^ American Heart Association of New York Facebook Page
  25. ^ Thomson Reuters Science
  26. ^ Penn State Alumni Association
  27. ^ Thomson Reuters Science
  28. ^ American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  29. ^ Society of Biological Psychiatry
  30. ^ The American College of Psychiatrists
  31. ^ DBSA Gerald L. Klerman Awards
  32. ^ Anna Monika Foundation
  33. ^ "American College of Neuropsychopharmacology". Archived from the original on 2015-03-08. Retrieved 2015-03-06.
  34. ^ Researcher fired by Mount Sinai Medical Center sues for targeting, reputation
  35. ^ Fired Professor Shot 2 Men Outside Chappaqua Deli, Police Say
  36. ^ After losing suit against former boss at top med school, a scientist shoots him, police say
  37. ^ Chao guilty of attempted murder in shooting of ex-boss in Chappaqua
  38. ^ Bromwich, Jonah Engel (August 29, 2016). "Fired Professor Shot 2 Men Outside Chappaqua Deli, Police Say". The New York Times.
  39. ^ Guarino, Ben (August 31, 2016). "After losing suit against former boss at top med school, a scientist shoots him, police say". The Washington Post.
  40. ^ "Ex-researcher who shot dean found guilty of attempted murder". Retraction Watch. June 14, 2017.
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  43. ^ "Global health institute sued for age and sex discrimination," Science, 2 May 2019;
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  46. ^ Goodman, Wayne K.; Price, Lawrence H.; Rasmussen, Steven A.; Mazure, Carolyn; Fleischmann, Roberta L.; Hill, Candy L.; Heninger, George R.; Charney, Dennis S. (1989-11-01). "The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale: I. Development, Use, and Reliability". Archives of General Psychiatry. 46 (11): 1006–1011. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810110048007. ISSN 0003-990X. PMID 2684084.
  47. ^ Blake, Dudley David; Weathers, Frank W.; Nagy, Linda M.; Kaloupek, Danny G.; Gusman, Fred D.; Charney, Dennis S.; Keane, Terence M. (1995). "The development of a clinician-administered PTSD scale". Journal of Traumatic Stress. 8 (1): 75–90. doi:10.1002/jts.2490080106. PMID 7712061.
  48. ^ Krystal, John H.; Karper, Laurence P.; Seibyl, John P.; Freeman, Glenna K.; Delaney, Richard; Bremner, J. Douglas; Heninger, George R.; Bowers, Malcolm B., Jr; Charney, Dennis S. (1994-03-01). "Subanesthetic Effects of the Noncompetitive NMDA Antagonist, Ketamine, in Humans: Psychotomimetic, Perceptual, Cognitive, and Neuroendocrine Responses". Archives of General Psychiatry. 51 (3): 199–214. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950030035004. ISSN 0003-990X. PMID 8122957.
  49. ^ Berman, R. M.; Cappiello, A.; Anand, A.; Oren, D. A.; Heninger, G. R.; Charney, D. S.; Krystal, J. H. (2000-02-15). "Antidepressant effects of ketamine in depressed patients". Biological Psychiatry. 47 (4): 351–354. doi:10.1016/s0006-3223(99)00230-9. ISSN 0006-3223. PMID 10686270. S2CID 43438286.
  50. ^ Charney, Dennis S. (2004). "Psychobiological mechanisms of resilience and vulnerability: implications for successful adaptation to extreme stress". The American Journal of Psychiatry. 161 (2): 195–216. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.161.2.195. ISSN 0002-953X. PMID 14754765. S2CID 337765.
  51. ^ Zarate, Carlos A.; Singh, Jaskaran B.; Quiroz, Jorge A.; De Jesus, Georgette; Denicoff, Kirk K.; Luckenbaugh, David A.; Manji, Husseini K.; Charney, Dennis S. (2006). "A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of memantine in the treatment of major depression". The American Journal of Psychiatry. 163 (1): 153–155. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.163.1.153. ISSN 0002-953X. PMID 16390905.
  52. ^ Murrough, James W.; Iosifescu, Dan V.; Chang, Lee C.; Al Jurdi, Rayan K.; Green, Charles E.; Perez, Andrew M.; Iqbal, Syed; Pillemer, Sarah; Foulkes, Alexandra; Shah, Asim; Charney, Dennis S. (2013). "Antidepressant efficacy of ketamine in treatment-resistant major depression: a two-site randomized controlled trial". The American Journal of Psychiatry. 170 (10): 1134–1142. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.13030392. ISSN 1535-7228. PMC 3992936. PMID 23982301.
  53. ^ Feder, Adriana; Parides, Michael K.; Murrough, James W.; Perez, Andrew M.; Morgan, Julia E.; Saxena, Shireen; Kirkwood, Katherine; Aan Het Rot, Marije; Lapidus, Kyle A. B.; Wan, Le-Ben; Iosifescu, Dan (2014). "Efficacy of intravenous ketamine for treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized clinical trial". JAMA Psychiatry. 71 (6): 681–688. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.62. ISSN 2168-6238. PMID 24740528.
  54. ^ Iacoviello, Brian M.; Wu, Gang; Alvarez, Evan; Huryk, Kathryn; Collins, Katherine A.; Murrough, James W.; Iosifescu, Dan V.; Charney, Dennis S. (2014). "Cognitive-emotional training as an intervention for major depressive disorder". Depression and Anxiety. 31 (8): 699–706. doi:10.1002/da.22266. ISSN 1520-6394. PMID 24753225. S2CID 205736356.
  55. ^ Feder, Adriana; Fred-Torres, Sharely; Southwick, Steven M.; Charney, Dennis S. (2019-09-15). "The Biology of Human Resilience: Opportunities for Enhancing Resilience Across the Life Span". Biological Psychiatry. 86 (6): 443–453. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.07.012. ISSN 1873-2402. PMID 31466561. S2CID 199544779.
  56. ^ Krystal, John H.; Charney, Dennis S.; Duman, Ronald S. (2020-04-02). "A New Rapid-Acting Antidepressant". Cell. 181 (1): 7. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2020.02.033. ISSN 1097-4172. PMID 32243798. S2CID 214754831.
  57. ^ Charney, Alexander W.; Katz, Craig; Southwick, Steven M.; Charney, Dennis S. (2020-10-01). "A Call to Protect the Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19 in the United States". The American Journal of Psychiatry. 177 (10): 900–901. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20040535. ISSN 1535-7228. PMID 32731814. S2CID 220893056.
  58. ^ Feder, Adriana; Costi, Sara; Rutter, Sarah B.; Collins, Abigail B.; Govindarajulu, Usha; Jha, Manish K.; Horn, Sarah R.; Kautz, Marin; Corniquel, Morgan; Collins, Katherine A.; Bevilacqua, Laura (2021-02-01). "A Randomized Controlled Trial of Repeated Ketamine Administration for Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder". The American Journal of Psychiatry. 178 (2): 193–202. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20050596. ISSN 1535-7228. PMID 33397139. S2CID 230658032.

External links[edit]