Dr. René Hen was born in Strasbourg, France, and received his Ph.D. from University Louis Pasteur under the mentorship of Pierre Chambon. After a postdoctoral stay in Richard Axel’s laboratory at Columbia University, Dr. Hen became an assistant professor in Strasbourg. He then returned to Columbia University, where he is presently a professor of pharmacology, psychiatry, and neuroscience and the director of the division of systems neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Hen’s laboratory is using animal models to explain the neural substrates that underlie mood and anxiety disorders. He has been studying the mechanism of action of antidepressant medications as well as hippocampal neurogenesis for the past 25 years and he has a strong background in molecular biology, pharmacology, gene targeting technologies, and in behavioral studies.
Luna VM, Anacker C, Burghardt N, Khandaker H, Andreu V, Millette A, Leary P, Ravenelle R, Jimenez J, Mastrodonato A, Denny CA, Fenton A, Scharfman H, Hen R. (2019); Adult-born hippocampal neurons bidirectionally modulate entorhinal inputs into the dentate gyrus. Science. 364(6440):578-583.
Jimenez JC, Su K, Goldberg AR, Luna VM, Biane JS, Ordek G, Zhou P, Ong SK, Wright MA, Zweifel L, Paninski L, Hen R, Kheirbek MA. (2018) Anxiety Cells in a Hippocampal-Hypothalamic Circuit. Neuron. 97(3):670-683.e6. PMID: 29397273.
Anacker C., Luna V., Stevens G., Millette A., Shores R., Jimenez JC., Chen B., Hen R (2018); Hippocampal neurogenesis confers stress resilience by inhibiting the ventral dentate gyrus; Nature, 559, 98-102.
Kheirbek, MA, Drew, L, Burghardt NS, Costantini DO, Tannenholz L, Ahmari SE, Zeng H, Fenton AA, Hen R. (2013) Differential control of learning and anxiety along the dorso-ventral axis of the dentate gyrus. Neuron. 6;77(5):955-68. PMCID: PMC3595120.
Sahay A, Scobie KN, Hill AS, O’Carroll CM, Kheirbek MA, Burghardt NS, Fenton AA, Dranovsky A, Hen R. (2011) Increasing adult hippocampal neurogenesis is sufficient to improve pattern separation. Nature. 472(7344):466-70. PMCID: PMC3084370.
Santarelli L, Saxe M, Gross C, Surget A, Battaglia F, Dulawa S, Weisstaub N, Lee J, Duman R, Arancio O,Belzung C, Hen R. (2003). Requirement of hippocampal neurogenesis for the behavioral effects of antidepressants. Science, 301(5634): 805-9. PMID: 12907793.
Gross, C., Zhuang, X., Stark, K., Ramboz, S., Oosting, R., Kirby, L., Santarelli, L., Beck, S., and Hen, R. (2002). Serotonin1A receptor acts during development to establish normal anxiety-like behaviour in the adult. Nature 416, 396-400.
T32 MH01574 (Hen) 07/01/06 – 06/30/21
Translational Neuroscience Training Grant
The purpose of this program, which is entering its 40th year, is to train postdoctoral fellows to do research on a variety of neuroscience topics relevant to psychiatric disorders.
Cellular Mechanisms of Antidepressant Action.
The major goal of this project is to study the contribution of adult hippocampal neurogenesis to the therapeutic effects of antidepressant medications.
RGA-13-003 (Hen) 01/01/11 – 09/30/23
Hope for Depression Foundation (HDRF)
A circuit and endophenotype-based approach to stratify and treat depression.
The major goal of this proposal is to explore novel mechanisms of antidepressant action, specifically within the opiate system.
2P50 MH090964 (Mann) 07/1/18 – 06/30/23
Antecedents of Suicidal Behavior Related Neurobiology. Project 2
The goal of this Silvio O. Conte Centers for Basic or Translational Mental Health Research (P50) is to determine the behavioral neurobiological, molecular and immune markers of suicide risk through both human and animal projects supported by statistical, molecular, human imaging and training cores.
The Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology
1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 40
New York, NY 10032