Yasmin Hurd, PhD
img_Yasmin Hurd
PROFESSOR | Pharmacological Sciences
PROFESSOR | Neuroscience
PROFESSOR | Psychiatry
Research Topics
Addiction, Anatomy, Basal Ganglia, Behavior, Brain, Developmental Biology, Gene Expressions, Gene Regulation, Genetics, Neurobiology, Neuropeptides, Neuroscience, Neurotransmitters, Opioid/Cannabinoid Receptors
Multi-Disciplinary Training Area
Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutics (DMT), Neuroscience [NEU]
The research group investigates the neurobiology underlying drug abuse and related psychiatric disorders. The work is focused on the systematic study of the human brain of drug abusers and subjects with psychiatric disorders in relation to opioid neuropeptide, cannabinoid and dopamine neuronal systems. Drug abuse and, e.g., major depression are associated with alterations of mood, cognition, and motivation, thus, an important goal is to identify and map specific genes in the mesocorticolimbic system, which regulate emotional function. Techniques such as in situ hybridization, RT-PCR, DNA microarray, RNA-sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation, in vitro autoradiography, and general biochemical assays are used for the detailed analyses of genes, and respective protein products, in discrete mesocorticolimbic brain areas. Molecular, biochemical, and in vivo studies of the human brain are assessed in relation to individual genotype in order to identify neurobiological correlates of functional genetic polymorphisms linked to addiction and affective disorders. Epigeneic mechanisms, e.g., DNA methylation and histone modifications, are also evaluated in relation to the regulation of gene expression.

A significant area of investigation is related to assessing the impact of early developmental cannabis exposure on the human brain and translational animal models that may enhance later risk for substance abuse and psychiatric disturbances. Recent efforts involve combined in vivo imaging and molecular pharmacogenetic strategies to provide quantitative, dynamic and cell type-specific functional circuit mapping throughout the brain relevant to normal behavior and pathological states underlying neuropsychiatric disorders.

As complement to studies of the human brain, animal models are used to monitor in vivo neural activity and to virally manipulate specific genes and epigenetic mechanisms within discrete cell populations in specific brain areas during behavior such as operant drug self-administration behavior (particularly heroin). The animal studies are also designed to mimic the prenatal and adolescent drug exposure (particularly cannabis) seen in humans, and to track the protracted impact on adult behavior and molecular events in the same subject or across generations. The group also conducts human clinical trials in developing novel treatments for opioid use disorders such as the use of cannabidiol.

For more information, please visit the Hurd Laboratory website.

PhD, Karolinska Institute

Clinical Neuroendocrinology Branch, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Neuroscience Center at St. Elizabeth's Hospital


Selected Publications

Profiling neuronal methylome and hydroxymethylome of opioid use disorder in the human orbitofrontal cortex. Gregory Rompala, Sheila T. Nagamatsu, José Jaime Martínez-Magaña, Diana L. Nuñez-Ríos, Jiawei Wang, Matthew J. Girgenti, John H. Krystal, Joel Gelernter, Victor E. Alvarez, David Benedek, Alicia Che, Dianne A. Cruz, David A. Davis, Matthew J. Girgenti, Ellen Hoffman, Paul E. Holtzheimer, Bertrand R. Huber, Alfred Kaye, John H. Krystal, Adam T. Labadorf, Terence M. Keane, Mark W. Logue, Ann McKee, Brian Marx, Mark W. Miller, Crystal Noller, Janitza Montalvo-Ortiz, William K. Scott, Paula Schnurr, Thor Stein, Robert Ursano, Douglas E. Williamson, Erika J. Wolf, Keith A. Young, Yasmin L. Hurd, Janitza L. Montalvo-Ortiz. Nature Communications

Prenatal exposure to a natural disaster and early development of psychiatric disorders during the preschool years: stress in pregnancy study. Yoko Nomura, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Christine Ginalis, Catherine Heitz, Jeenia Zaki, Farzana Khan, Mardia Nasrin, Kathryn Sie, Donato DeIngeniis, Yasmin L. Hurd. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines

Transcriptional signatures of heroin intake and relapse throughout the brain reward circuitry in male mice. Caleb J. Browne, Rita Futamura, Angélica Minier-Toribio, Emily M. Hicks, Aarthi Ramakrishnan, Freddyson J. Martínez-Rivera, Molly Estill, Arthur Godino, Eric M. Parise, Angélica Torres-Berrío, Ashley M. Cunningham, Peter J. Hamilton, Deena M. Walker, Laura M. Huckins, Yasmin L. Hurd, Li Shen, Eric J. Nestler. Science advances

View All Publications

Yasmin Hurd, PhD, Director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Hurd did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2022 and/or 2023: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.