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Martin Picard, PhD

  • Herbert Irving Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology (in Behavioral Medicine)
  • CTNI Scholar
Martin Picard, PhD

Martin Picard, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Medicine (in Psychiatry and Neurology). Dr. Picard received his BSc Honours in neuroimmunology at McGill University in 2007. He remained at McGill for his graduate work with Drs. Taivassalo, Hepple, and Burelle and obtained his PhD in mitochondrial biology of aging in 2012. Dr. Picard then moved to the University of Pennsylvania for a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine with Doug Wallace. There, he worked on mitochondria-mitochondria interactions, mitochondrial reprogramming of the nuclear transcriptome, and mitochondrial stress pathophysiology along with Bruce McEwen. In 2015, he joined the faculty at Columbia University.

Dr. Picard’s translational research program investigates the mechanisms by which acquired and inherited mitochondrial defects contribute to the damaging effects of metabolic and neuroendocrine stressors. His laboratory addresses this question by combining genetic and molecular manipulation of mitochondrial structure and functions, with systems biology approaches to capture meaningful patterns of (dys)regulation. Experimental systems used in his research include cellular, animal, and human disease models. Dr. Picard’s work integrates knowledge from basic mitochondrial biology, neuroscience, stress physiology, and mitochondrial medicine to explore conserved organizing principles of mitochondrial signal transduction, and examine the underlying mechanisms operating across levels of complexity – from organelle to organism.

Departmental Appointments

  • Department of Psychiatry
    Division of Behavioral Medicine
  • Department of Neurology
    Division of Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative (CTNI)

Languages Spoken

(in addition to English)

  • French

Education & Training

  • PhD, 2012 Mitochondrial biology of aging, McGill University
  • Fellowship: University of Pennsylvania

Lab Locations

  • NYSPI-Kolb Research Building

    40 Haven Avenue
    4th floor, Room 405
    New York, NY 10032
    Lab Phone:
    (646) 774-5026
  • Presbyterian Hospital Building (PH)

    622 West 168th Street
    PH 1540 N
    New York, NY 10032
    (646) 774-8967

Contact Info

Honors & Awards

2006 Alvin Shrier Physiology Scholarship, McGill University, Department of Physiology
2008 Masters Training Scholarship, Fonds de Recherche en Sante du Quebec
2008 Alexander Graham Bell Canada Masters Graduate Scholarship, NSERC
2009 Alexander Graham Bell Canada Doctoral Graduate Scholarship, NSERC
2009 McGill Provost’s Graduate Fellowship, McGill University
2011 Age+ Prize, Canadian Institute of Health Research
2011 David L. Montgomery Award for Leadership and Excellence, McGill University
2011 Prix Acfas Desjardins 2011 (Doctoral, All disciplines), ACFAS
2012 Journal of Cell Science Traveling Fellowship, Journal of Cell Science (London)
2013 Young Investigator Colloquium Award, American Psychosomatic Society
2013 Albert Renold Travel Fellowship, European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (Stockolm)
2015 Fellow, Gray Matters at Columbia
2017 Research Fellow, Columbia University Aging Center
2017 Herbert Irving Scholar, Columbia Irving Institute

Research Interests

  • Mitochondrial genetics (mtDNA)
  • Cellular Signaling
  • Mitochondrial Synapses and Network Behavior
  • Stress Pathophysiology
  • Epigenetics
  • Systems Biology
  • Clinical Mitochondrial Disease

NIH Grants


    Sep 1 2016 - May 31 2021


    Jun 1 2017 - May 31 2019


Picard M, McEwen BS, Epel ES, Sandi C. An energetic view of stress: Focus on mitochondria. Front Neuroendocrinol 2018 (in press)

Vincent AE, Turnbull DM, Hajnoczky G, Eisner V, Picard M. Mitochondrial nanotunnels. Trends Cell Biol 2017; 27(11):787-799

Picard M, Wallace DC, Burelle Y. The rise of mitochondria in medicine. Mitochondrion 2016; 30:105-16.

Picard M, McManus MJ, Gray J, Nasca C, Moffat C, Kopinsky P, Seifert E, McEwen BS, Wallace DC. Mitochondrial functions modulate neuroendocrine, metabolic, inflammatory and transcriptional responses to psychological stress. PNAS 2015; 112(48):E6614-23.

Picard M, McManus MJ, Csordas G, Varnai P, Dorn GW, Williams D, Hajnoczky G, Wallace DC. Inter-mitochondrial coordination of cristae at regulated membrane junctions. Nat Commun 2015; 6:6259.

Picard M. Mitochondrial synapses: Intracellular communication and signal integration. Trends Neurosci 2015; 38(8):468-474.

Picard M, Zhang J, Hanecock S, Derbeneva O, Golhar R, Golik P, O’Hearn S, Levy SE, Potluri P, Lvova M, Davila A, Lin CS, Perin JC, Rappaport EF, Hakonarson H, Trounce I, Procaccio V, Wallace DC. Progressive increase in mtDNA 3243A>G heteroplasmy results in abrupt transcriptional remodeling. PNAS 2014; 111(38):E4033;4042.

For a complete list of publications, please visit