Columbia University Medical Center


Martin Picard, PhD

Martin Picard, PhD
  • Department of Psychiatry
    Division of Behavioral Medicine
  • Department of Neurology
    Division of Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative (CTNI)
  • Herbert Irving Assistant Professor of Behavioral Medicine (in Psychiatry and Neurology)

Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative (CTNI) Scholar


Martin Picard, PhD is the Herbert Irving 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 of 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.

Education & Training

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

    NYSPI-Kolb Research Building

    40 Haven Avenue
    4th floor, Room 405
    New York, NY 10032

    Lab Phone:
    (646) 774-5026

    CUMC/Presbyterian Hospital and Vanderbilt Clinic

    622 West 168th Street
    PH 1540 N
    New York, NY 10032

    (646) 774-8967

    Contact Information

    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
    Systems Biology
    Clinical Mitochondrial Disease

    Lab Members


    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.