Alexander Neumeister, MD

NeumeisterDr. Neumeister is a Professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Radiology and the Director of the Molecular Imaging Program for Mood and Anxiety Disorders, New York University Langone Medical Center (NYULMC). Prior to joining NYULMC, he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vienna in Austria. In 2001 he was recruited to the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program in the Intramural Program of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD. From 2004-2010 he was the Director of the Molecular Imaging Program at the National Center of Posttraumatic Stress Disorders and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. From 2010-November 2011 he directed the Translational Research Program for Mood and Anxiety Disorders at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Dr. Neumeister has received federal funding from NIH and the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct molecular imaging studies of stress-related disorders, i.e. posttraumatic stress disorder, depression or addiction disorders and to determine the neurobiological underpinnings with the ultimate goal to identify novel targets for treatment development. He has been awarded numerous national and international awards, notably the Max Hamilton Award of the CINP and the A.E. Bennett Award of the Society of Biological Psychiatry. He has published in the leading neuroscience journals serves on many federal and private institutions scientific councils.

The Molecular Imaging Program for Mood and Anxiety Disorders

The Molecular Imaging Program at the New York University Langone Medical Center (NYULMC) aims to evaluate brain mechanisms which contribute to the development of major psychiatric disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression or addiction disorders. Using positron emission tomography (PET) as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we aim to understand the neural mechanisms that cause these diseases. The ultimate goal is to identify novel mechanisms in the etiology of these disorders with the possibility of finding novel targets that are suitable for treatment development and prevention strategies.

The main goals of the Program are:

  • Understanding the neurobiology of major psychiatric disorders using brain imaging with a  focus on PET
  • Identifying brain mechanisms that moderate the risk of an individual to develop psychiatric phenotypes in the context of stress
  • Developing novel treatments for patients with mood and anxiety as well as addiction disorders
  • Developing strategies to prevent PTSD, depression and addiction


Representative Publications

  1. Neumeister A, Praschak-Rieder N, Heßelmann B, Vitouch O, Rauh M, Barocka A, Tauscher J, Kasper S (1998) Effects of tryptophan depletion in drug-free depressed patients who responded to total sleep deprivation. Arch Gen Psychiatry 55: 167-172
  2. Neumeister A, Turner EH, Matthews JR, Postolache TT, Barnett RL, Rauh M, Vetticad R, Kasper S, Rosenthal NE (1998) Effects of tryptophan depletion vs catecholamine depletion in patients with seasonal affective disorder in remission with light therapy. Arch Gen Psychiatry 55: 524-530
  3. Neumeister A, Konstantinidis A, Stastny J, Schwarz M, Vitouch O, Willeit M, Praschak-Rieder N, Zach J, deZwaan M, Bondy B, Ackenheil M, Kasper S (2002) Association between serotonin transporter gene promotor polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and behavioral responses to tryptophan depletion in healthy women with and without family history of depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry 59: 613-620
  4. Neumeister A, Bain E, Nugent AC, Carson R, Bonne O, Luckenbaugh DA, Eckelman W, Herscovitch P, Charney DS, Drevets WC (2004) Reduced serotonin type 1A receptor binding in panic disorder. J Neuroscience 24(3): 589-591
  5. Neumeister A, Nugent AC, Waldeck T, Geraci M, Schwarz M, Bonne O, Bain E, Luckenbaugh D, Herscovitch P, Charney DS, Drevets WC (2004) Neural and behavioral responses to tryptophan depletion in unmedicated patients with remitted major depressive disorder and controls. Arch Gen Psychiatry 61:765-773
  6. Neumeister A, Charney DS, Belfer I, Geraci M, Holmes C, Alim T, Sharabi Y, Bonne O, Luckenbaugh DA, Manji H, Goldman D, Goldstein DS (2005) Sympathoneural and Adrenomedullary Functional Effects of α2C-Adrenoreceptor Gene Polymorphism in Healthy Humans. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics 15: 143-149
  7. Neumeister A, Drevets WC, Belfer I, Luckenbaugh DA, Henry S, Bonne O, Herscovitch P, Goldman D, Charney DS (2006) Effects of a α2C-Adrenoreceptor Gene Polymorphism On Neural Responses to Facial Expressions in Depression. Neuropsychopharmacology 31: 1750-1756
  8. Neumeister A, Hu X-Z, Luckenbaugh DA, Schwarz M, Nugent AC, Bonne O, Herscovitch P, Goldman D, Drevets WC, Charney DS (2006) Differential effects of 5HTTLPR genotypes on the behavioral and neural responses to tryptophan depletion in patients with major depressive disorder and healthy controls. Arch Gen Psychiatry 63: 978-986
  9. Czermak C, Staley JK, Kasserman S, Bois F, Young T, Henry S, Tamagnan G, Seibyl JP, Krystal JH, Neumeister A (2008) β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor availability in posttraumatic stress disorder. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 11: 419-424
  10. Hu J, Henry S, Gallezot JD, Ropchan J, Neumaier JF, Potenza MN, Sinha R, Krystal JH, Huang Y, Ding YS, Carson RE, Neumeister A (2010) Serotonin 1B receptor imaging in alcohol dependence. Biol Psych 67(9): 800-803
  11. Murrough JW, Henry S, Hu J, Gallezot JD, Planeta-Wilson B, Neumaier JF, Neumeister A (2011) Reduced ventral striatal/ventral pallidum serotonin 1B receptor binding potential in major depressive disorder. Psychopharmacol 213: 547-553
  12. Murrough JW, Czermak C, Henry S, Nabulsi N, Gallezot J-D, Guerguieva R, Planeta-Wilson B, Krystal JH, Neumaier JF, Huang Y, Ding Y-S, Carson RE, Neumeister A (2011) The Effect of Early Trauma Exposure on Serotonin Type 1B Receptor Expression Revealed by Reduced Selective Radioligand Binding. Arch Gen Psychiatry 68(9): 892-900
  13. Potenza MN, Walderhaug E, Henry S, Gallezot J-D, Planeta-Wilson B, Ropchan J, Neumeister A (2011) Serotonin 1B receptor imaging in pathological gambling. World J Biol Psychiatry Sep 22.
  14. Murrough JW, Huang Y, Hu J, Henry S, Williams W, Gallezot J-D, Bailey CR, Krystal JH, Carson RE, Neumeister A (2011) Reduced amygdala serotonin transporter binding in posttraumatic stress disorder. Biol Psychiatry 7(11): 1033-1038
  15. Feder A, Iacoviello BM, Saxena S, Alim TN, Bailey CR, Lawson WB, Neumeister A (2012) Resilience to meet the challenge of addiction: psychobiology and clinical considerations. Alcohol Res & Health (in press)