Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein

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Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein
Sackner-Bernstein in 2019
Born1961 (age 61–62)
Alma materMiami Beach Senior High School
University of Pennsylvania
Moore School of Electrical Engineering
Jefferson Medical College
Organization(s)Mt. Sinai Hospital
Columbia University
Food and Drug Administration
Known forBiotech, Medtech, Clinical Research
SpouseAudrey S. Bernstein

Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein is an American physician. He has published around 80 scientific articles, which have been cited more than 4,000 times.[1] His research has ranged from cardiac care to the efficacy of drugs. His research led to increased scrutiny of Nesiritide, a widely marketed drug, which led to its decline in its use.[2]


Sackner-Bernstein graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering in 1983 (BSEE),. He completed his MD from Jefferson Medical College, during which he moonlit writing code.[3] He completed a residency in internal medicine and subsequently cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. In addition, Sackner-Bernstein completed a research fellowship in heart failure under Milton Packer at Mount Sinai.[4]

Academic, clinical and research experience[edit]

Sackner-Bernstein joined the Columbia University faculty in 1993 in the Division of Circulatory Physiology, where he established its clinical research program. He accumulated a large experience with the beta-blocker carvedilol prior to the application by its developer (GlaxoSmithKline) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[5]

His most cited research focused on whether the newly marketed heart failure drug nesiritide (hr-BNP, Natrecor) was safe and effective, with a call for large-scale clinical trials prior to widespread use.[6][7][8] While nesiritide was projected to generate $1 billion in sales in 2006,[9] these studies triggered controversy[10][11] that eventually led to markedly lower use by physicians.[12]

Other frequently cited articles include work on Carvedilol [13] and cardiac hypertrophy.[14]

He is also the author of a book on heart disease, Before It Happens To You.[15]

US government projects[edit]

Sackner-Bernstein joined the FDA in 2008 as Associate Center Director, leading Post Market Operations as well as Technology and Innovation programs.[16] As the Center's first Associate Center Director for Technology and Innovation, Sackner-Bernstein launched the Innovation Initiative in 2011,[17] which subsequently led to the Early Feasibility Program and laid the foundation for the Breakthrough Device Program.

He also helped establish a formal relationship between FDA and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency),[18] then serving as architect for the initial Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Program. sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) [19]

Commercial projects[edit]

Sackner-Bernstein conducted the first study to estimate the amount of dopamine free in the cytosol of the dopaminergic neurons in people with Parkinson's.[20] While confirming that tissue levels of dopamine are markedly reduced, statistical adjustments for the loss of neurons, axons and intracellular vesicles demonstrated that free dopamine levels trended higher in the caudate and were significantly elevated in the putamen. In parallel, multiple preclinical studies showed that use of a drug to reduce dopamine improved biology and function.[21][22][23] The data suggest that the neurons that drive Parkinson's experience the disease as a state of dopamine excess - not deficiency, relevant because of potential for dopamine's break-down products causing neuronal toxicity. Sackner-Bernstein launched a company to test such a drug treatment strategy in Parkinson's.


  1. ^ "jonathan sackner bernstein - Google Scholar".
  2. ^ Saul, Stephanie (2005-05-17). "The Marketing and Success of Natrecor". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Creative Computing Magazine (December 1983) Volume 09 Number 12. December 1983.
  4. ^ "Medscape: Medscape Access".
  5. ^ European Heart Journal (abstract P1651):
  6. ^ Sackner-Bernstein, JD; Skopicki, HA; Aaronson, KD (Mar 2005). "Risk of worsening renal function with nesiritide in patients with acutely decompensated heart failure". Circulation. 111 (12): 1487–91. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000159340.93220.E4. PMID 15781736.
  7. ^ Sackner-Bernstein, JD; Kowalski, M; Fox, M; Aaronson, K (2005). "Short-term risk of death after treatment with nesiritide for decompensated heart failure: a pooled analysis of randomized controlled trials". JAMA. 293 (15): 1900–5. doi:10.1001/jama.293.15.1900. PMID 15840865.
  8. ^ Aaronson, KD; Sackner-Bernstein, J (2006). "Risk of death associated with nesiritide in patients with acutely decompensated heart failure". JAMA. 296 (12): 1465–6. doi:10.1001/jama.296.12.1465. PMID 17003394.
  9. ^ "Heart drug's usage causes concern among some doctors".
  10. ^ Saul, Stephanie (2005-05-04). "Heart Clinic May End or Curtail Use of a Drug". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  11. ^ Saul, Stephanie (2005-05-17). "The Marketing and Success of Natrecor". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  12. ^ Hauptman, PJ; Schnitzler, MA; Swindle, J; Burroughs, TE (Oct 2006). "Use of nesiritide before and after publications suggesting drug-related risks in patients with acute decompensated heart failure". JAMA. 296 (15): 1877–84. doi:10.1001/jama.296.15.1877. PMC 2840641. PMID 17047218.
  13. ^ Wilson S. Colucci (1996). "Carvedilol Inhibits Clinical Progression in Patients With Mild Symptoms of Heart Failure". Circulation. 94 (11): 2800–2806. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.94.11.2800. PMID 8941105.
  14. ^ Thomas M. Behr (2001). "Hypertensive End-Organ Damage and Premature Mortality Are p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase–Dependent in a Rat Model of Cardiac Hypertrophy and Dysfunction". Circulation. 104 (11): 1292–1298. doi:10.1161/hc3601.094275. PMID 11551882.
  15. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Before It Happens to You: A Breakthrough Program for Reversing or Preventing Heart Disease by Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein". February 2004.
  16. ^ "Sackner-Bernstein moves to the FDA". Medscape. Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  17. ^ "Perspective: CDRH's Innovation Pathway: Will It Get Your Device to Market Faster?". Retrieved March 3, 2023.
  18. ^ Dec 2010:
  19. ^[bare URL PDF]
  20. ^ Sackner-Bernstein, J (2021). "Estimates of Intracellular Dopamine in Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis". Journal of Parkinson's Disease. 11 (3): 1011–1018. doi:10.3233/JPD-212715. PMC 8461729. PMID 34024786.
  21. ^ Choi, SJ; Panhelainen, A; Schmitz, Y; Larsen, KE; Kanter, E; Wu, M; Sulzer, D; Mosharov, EV (Mar 2015). "Changes in neuronal dopamine homeostasis following 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) exposure". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 290 (11): 6799–6809. doi:10.1074/jbc.M114.631556. PMC 4358106. PMID 25596531.
  22. ^ Burbulla, LF; Song, p; Mazzuli, JR; Zampese, E; Wong, YC; Jeon, S; Santos, DP; Blanz, J; Obermaier, CD; Strojny, C; Savas, JN; Kiskinis, E; Zhuang, X; Kruger, R; Surmeier, DJ; Krainc, D (2017). "Dopamine oxidation mediates mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction in Parkinson's disease". Science. 357 (6357): 1255–1261. doi:10.1126/science.aam9080. PMC 6021018. PMID 28882997.
  23. ^ Zhou, ZD; Saw, WT; Ho, PGH; Zhang, ZW; Zeng, L; Chang, YY; Sun, AXY; Ma, DR; Wang, HY; Zhou, L; Lim, KL; Tan, E-K (Nov 2022). "The role of tyrosine hydroxylase-dopamine pathway in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis". Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 79 (12): 599. doi:10.1007/s00018-022-04574-x. PMC 9678997. PMID 36409355.

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