René Hen, Ph.D.

René Hen, Ph.D.


Professor of Neuroscience
New York State Psychiatric Institute
Columbia University

Dr. Hen’s laboratory is using animal models to elucidate the neural substrates that underlie mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Hen has studied the contribution of serotonin receptors to pathological states such as depression and anxiety. Recently his lab has been investigating the function of the ventral hippocampus and the contribution of hippocampal neurogenesis to mood and cognition. Specifically, they have shown that antidepressants stimulate the production of new neurons in the adult hippocampus. Furthermore, they have shown that hippocampal neurogenesis is required for some of the behavioral effects of antidepressants and for pattern separation. Novel therapies aimed at directly targeting hippocampal stem cells are currently under investigation for the treatment of mood disorders and age-related memory impairments.

Dr. Hen completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry and neurophysiology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de St. Cloud in France and his Ph.D. degree in molecular biology at the Université Louis Pasteur in France.

NARSAD Grants: Independent Investigator 1998, Distinguished Investigator 2003 and 2009