Researcher’s Profile

Martin Picard, PhD

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.


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.