Eric J. Nestler

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Eric J. Nestler
Alma mater
Scientific career
FieldsMolecular neurobiology
Molecular neuropharmacology
Clinical neuroscience

Eric J. Nestler is the Dean for Academic and Scientific Affairs and Director of the Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.[1][2] His focus in neuropsychopharmacology concentrates on forming a molecular approach to psychiatry and furthering the understanding of the molecular basis of both depression and drug addiction, using animal models to study the way drug use or stress affects the brain.[1] His addiction research largely centers around ΔFosB (a master control protein that induces addiction) and associated epigenetic remodeling in the medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens.[3][4][5]

Nestler is the author (with Dennis S. Charney) of Neurobiology of Mental Illness (ISBN 0195189809), of Molecular Neuropharmacology (with Steven E. Hyman and Robert C. Malenka; ISBN 978-0-07-148127-4), and more than 550 chapters and peer-reviewed publications.[6] He is active in seven research projects funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health.



Nestler is a graduate of Herricks High School in New Hyde Park, New York. He received his B.A., his Ph.D. and his M.D. from Yale University. He completed his residency in psychiatry at both McLean Hospital in Massachusetts and Yale in 1987.[1]


Nestler served as the Director of the Division of Molecular Psychiatry at Yale until 2000, and as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.[1] He joined Mount Sinai in 2008. He has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, on the National Advisory Mental Health Council for the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Advisory Drug Abuse Council for the National Institute on Drug Abuse,[7] as Council Member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (for which he served as president in 2011) and the Society for Neuroscience (for which he served as president in 2017). He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (now known as the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation) and of the International Mental Health Research Organization,[8] as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the McKnight Endowment Fund in Neuroscience.[9] He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1998 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.[9][10]


Dr. Nestler's awards and honors include the Pfizer Scholars Award (1987), the Sloan Research Fellowship (1987), the McKnight Scholar Award (1989), the Jordi-Folch-Pi Memorial Award from the American Society of Neurochemistry (1990), the Efron Award of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (1994), the Pasarow Foundation Award for Neuropsychiatric Research (1998), the NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award (1996), the Bristol-Myers Squibb Freedom to Discover Neuroscience Research Grant (2004), the Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic Award and the Falcone Prize both from NARSAD (2008, 2009),[11] and the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the Institute of Medicine (2010). He received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University in Sweden in 2011, and the Anna Monika Prize in Depression Research (2012).[12][13]

In 2017, he was awarded the Wilbur Cross Medal by Yale University[14] to a distinguished alumnus from the graduate school, and the Paul Hoch Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.[15]

Grants and research[edit]

Role Source, Title Identifier
Principal Investigator NIDA, Molecular Neurobiology of Drug Addiction[16] P01 DA08227
Principal Investigator NIMH, Pharmacological Actions of Stress & Antidepressants Treatments[17] R01 MH51399
Principal Investigator NIDA, Role of Neurotrophic Factors in the Actions of Drugs of Abuse[18] R01 DA14133
Principal Investigator NIDA, Molecular Studies of Cocaine Action in Brain[19] R01 DA07359
Principal Investigator NIMH, Epigenetic Mechanisms of Depression[20] P50 MH096890
Principal Investigator NIMH, Pharmacological Actions of Stress & Antidepressants Treatments R01 MH51399

Publications (partial list)[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Mount Sinai Hospital Doctor Profile". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  2. ^ "McGraw Hill Medical". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  3. ^ Whalley K (December 2014). "Psychiatric disorders: a feat of epigenetic engineering". Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 15 (12): 768–769. doi:10.1038/nrn3869. PMID 25409693. Chronic exposure to stress or drugs of abuse causes widespread changes in the activity of chromatin remodelling enzymes. However, it has been difficult to determine the relative functional importance of drug- or stress-induced epigenetic modifications of individual genes. Nestler and colleagues have now employed gene- and brain-region-specific chromatin remodelling to examine the role of one particular gene, [ΔFosB], in addiction- and depression-related changes in the brain and behaviour. ... This study shows that single epigenetic modifications can modulate both [ΔFosB] expression and its behavioural effects. A similar approach may be used to target other genes of interest and elucidate further the changes in molecular pathways that underlie psychiatric disorders.
  4. ^ Heller, Elizabeth A; et al. (2014). "Locus-specific epigenetic remodeling controls addiction- and depression-related behaviors". Nature Neuroscience. 17 (12): 1720–1727. doi:10.1038/nn.3871. ISSN 1097-6256. PMC 4241193. PMID 25347353.
  5. ^ Dennis S. Charney (2003). "Preface". In Charney, Dennis S. Molecular neurobiology for the clinician. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub. pp. xvi–xvii. ISBN 9781585627332. Dr. Nestler, in Chapter 4, presents an extremely creative and potentially groundbreaking view of the molecular mechanisms and neural circuitry of reward and how they might relate to vulnerability to addictive behaviors. ... Dr. Nestler focuses on two transcription factors, CREB (cAMP response element binding protein) and ΔFosB
  6. ^ "PubMed". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  7. ^ "National Institute on Drug Abuse". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  8. ^ "International Mental Health Research Organization". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  9. ^ a b "The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Center for Brain Health". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  11. ^ "NARSAD". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  13. ^ "New York Social Diary". 2008-10-23. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Yale Graduate School honors four alumni with Wilbur Cross Medals". Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Eric Nestler given the ACNP Paul Hoch Distinguished Service Award". Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  16. ^ Nestler EJ (2001). "Molecular neurobiology of addiction". Am J Addict. 10 (3): 201–17. doi:10.1080/105504901750532094. PMID 11579619.
  17. ^ Malberg JE, Eisch AJ, Nestler EJ, Duman RS (December 2000). "Chronic antidepressant treatment increases neurogenesis in adult rat hippocampus". J. Neurosci. 20 (24): 9104–10. PMID 11124987.
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  19. ^ "Labome". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  20. ^ Vialou V, Feng J, Robison AJ, Nestler EJ (2013). "Epigenetic Mechanisms of Depression and Antidepressant Action". Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 53: 59–87. doi:10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010611-134540. PMC 3711377. PMID 23020296.

External links[edit]