Michael S. Breen, PhD


Untitled2I am a psychiatric genomic scientist and educator living in Manhattan, New York. My work applies functional genomics and bio-statistical approaches to gain more nuanced and accurate insights into how key genes and molecular pathways underlie vulnerability for neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Departments of Psychiatry, Genetic and Genomic Sciences and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. I am funded through the Autism Science Foundation and the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment. I’ve held previous tenures as a Research Scientist the Centre of Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain and as a Bioinformatics Analyst at the University of California San Diego prior to obtaining my PhD in Bioinformatics and Genomics at the University of Southampton, UK.

My research is focused on the computational investigation of large-scale genetic (DNA sequences), transcriptomic (RNA-sequencing) and proteomic data (mass spectrometry) in pursuit of risk factors, biomarkers, and mechanisms for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Clinical samples under investigation are generally patient-derived surrogate tissues, including whole blood, umbilical cord blood,  post-mortem brain tissue and neuronal cellular systems (iNPCs, iNeurons and cerebral organoids). I am also involved in biomarker applications that consider neuroimaging measurements (DTI, sMRI), as well as data integrations using murine model systems. To make sense of these data, I apply machine-learning, biological network reconstruction algorithms and other inventive bio-statistical methods to better understand the molecular mechanism underlying human brain disorders. Under this realm of research, my expertise lay at the intersect of genomics, biostatistcs, bioinformatics and neuroscience.