Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University
Psychiatrist and Research Scientist, New York State Psychiatric Institute
Co-Director, Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Center for Precision Psychiatry & Mental Health
Over the past two decades, Dr. Kushner has built a research program focused on elucidating the genetic and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders, through a combination of clinical, translational, and fundamental neuroscience approaches, with the long-term goal of developing improved clinical strategies for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of severe mental illness. During this time, he was a founding member of the ENCORE Center for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Director of the Center for Population Neuroscience at Erasmus MC, Program Director at the Institute for human Organ and Disease Model Technologies (hDMT), and a FENS Kavli Network Scholar. Dr. Kushner has led and contributed to numerous psychiatric genetics and functional genomics studies aimed at identifying causal neurobiological mechanisms of psychiatric illness. His group established a highly successful international consortium for the ascertainment of large multiplex families exhibiting hereditary severe mental illness, as well as the largest prospective cohort of women with first-onset postpartum psychosis, which led to the establishment of a highly effective protocol for the prophylactic prevention of postpartum psychosis in women at high risk. Dr. Kushner’s ongoing studies involve genetic discovery studies of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, in addition to fundamental neuroscience approaches to investigating the underlying biological mechanisms. More recently, his group has been focusing on studies seeking to advance deep learning approaches for predicting clinical outcomes from genomic sequencing and electronic health records to improve diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness.