schaefer lab
Laboratory of Brain Epigenetics

Our research focuses on identifying the epigenetic basis of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. We study how miRNAs and histone modifying enzymes contribute to the establishment and maintenance of neuronal identity and specialized functions. We are particularly interested in understanding the epigenetic mechanisms of cellular plasticity and its role in regulation of microglia-neuron communication. One of the major focuses of our research lies in the development of animal models of human neurological disease associated with abnormal function of epigenetic regulators of different types. Using pioneering technologies including cell type specific analysis of mRNAs, miRNAs and chromatin modifications in neurons in vivo, our research aims at understanding the mechanism of neurological disorders and at their potential treatment by targeting the neuronal epigenome.


Anne Schaefer, PhD

Meet the team →

Tan CL, Plotkin JL, Ven∅ MT, von Schimmelmann M, Feinberg P, Mann S, Handler A, Kjems J, Surmeier DJ, O'Carroll D, Greengard P, Schaefer A. MicroRNA - 128 governs neuronal excitability and motor behavior in mice. Science (New York, N.Y.) 2013 Dec; 342(6163)
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Mount Sinai Innovation Partners
Single microRNA powers motor activity: Findings have implications for treating sever treatment-refractory epilepsy, says Mount Sinai researcher. Read more→

Science Daily
Dec. 5, 2013 — New research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai shows that microRNA-128 is one of the strongest regulators of nerve cell excitability and motor activity, and that it does so by adjusting an entire neuronal signaling pathway. Read more→

Yahoo! Groups
Sagital brain section of a miR-128 deficient mouse. Immunostaining shows normal striatal neurons and their projections to the substantia nigra (green fluorescent protein shown in green) in wild-type and miR-128 deficient mice. Read more→

New Research Links miR-128 with Motor Hyperactivity, Epilepsy Read more→

Research on mice shows that microRNA-128 has a direct effect on the musculoskeletal system. When it is increased, neuron activity is lowered - reducing uncontrolled movements in connection with epilepsy or Parkinson’s. When decreased, microRNA-128 boosts neuron activity. Read more→

Anne Schaefer, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine Receives Prestigious National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award
Anne Schaefer, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, and Psychiatry, at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has been recognized with the highly celebrated 2012 Director's New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Schaefer is among 51 recipients of the award nationwide. Read more→