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Mady Hornig, M.A., M.D.

  • Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University
  • Director of Translational Research, Jerome L. and Dawn Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Dr. Mady Hornig - Send email to mh2092@columbia.edu

Mady Hornig directs translational research activities at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University. A physician-scientist board-certified in psychiatry, she is widely recognized for her investigations using animal models and in clinical psychiatric populations on the "three strikes" hypothesis, examining the interplay of genes (first dimension) with the environment (second dimension) in the context of maturation (the third dimension of timing), and their mutual influence on the development of neurodevelopmental disorders.

A College Scholar at Cornell (AB, Biology, Law, and Society, 1978), Dr. Hornig later earned MA (Psychology, New School for Social Research, 1983) and MD degrees (Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1988). After completing residency in psychiatry (University of Vermont, 1992), she received an NIMH National Research Service Award in neuropsychopharmacology and served under its auspices as a Fellow on the Depression Research Unit at the University of Pennsylvania until 1994, when she joined the faculty. She remained at Penn until 1998, after a sabbatical year at UC Irvine spent developing the "three strikes" hypothesis and its implications for understanding autism and other neuropsychiatric conditions. There, Dr. Hornig joined forces with the molecular biologist and neurologist W. Ian Lipkin, moving to Columbia with him in 2002 to establish the CII, and continues to pursue research on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Hornig has particular interest in understanding how environmental factors -- viruses, bacteria, toxicants, and psychosocial stressors -- may trigger or amplify genetic programming to disturb brain structure and function. In 1997, she discovered a link between stress hormones, blood flow to brain regions regulating emotion and memory and treatment failure in major depression, setting the stage for development of biomarkers to match patients to the interventions most likely to help them. In 2004, with a newly developed mouse model of immune-mediated pediatric brain disorder, Hornig was the first to show heightened risk for neurodevelopmental damage in immunogenetically susceptible mice after exposure to subtoxic mercury levels comparable to those in the environment, foods, and some biologic products. She also employs epidemiologic approaches, including a large, prospective birth cohort study in Norway that is identifying how genetic, maturational and environmental factors may interact to lead to autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. She is the editor of four books and has published widely on the effects of immune, infectious, and endocrine factors on brain development and function.

Representative Publications:

Locke SE, Hornig-Rohan M, eds. Mind and Immunity: Behavioral Immunology. New York, NY: Praeger Press/Institute for the Advancement of Health, 1983

Amsterdam JD, Mozley PD, Hornig-Rohan M. 123I-iofetamine (IMP) SPECT brain imaging in depressed patients: normalization of temporal lobe asymmetry during clinical recovery. Depression 1995/6;3:273-7

Mozley PD, Hornig-Rohan M, Woda AM, Kim H-J, Alavi A, Payer F, Amsterdam JD. Cerebral HMPAO SPECT in patients with major depression and healthy volunteers. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 1996;20:443-58

Amsterdam JD, Fava M, Maislin G, Rosenbaum J, Hornig-Rohan M. TRH stimulation test as a predictor of acute and long-term antidepressant response in major depression. J Affective Disord 1996;38:165-72

Hornig-Rohan M, Amsterdam JD, eds. Treatment-Resistant Depression. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders, 1996

Hornig M, Mozley PD, Amsterdam JD. HMPAO SPECT brain imaging in treatment-resistant depression. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 1997;21:1097-114

Hornig M, Goodman DBP, Kamoun M, Amsterdam JD. Positive and negative acute phase proteins in affective subtypes. J Affective Disord 1998;49:9-18

Hornig M, Amsterdam JD, Kamoun M, Goodman DBP. Autoantibody disturbances in affective disorders: a function of age and gender? J Affective Disord 1999;55:29-37

Hornig M, Weissenböck H, Horscroft N, Lipkin WI. An infection-based model of neurodevelopmental damage. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1999;96:12102-7

Lipkin WI, Hornig M. Neurovirology. Microbes and the brain. Lancet 1999;352:SIV21

Amsterdam JD, Hornig M, Nierenberg A, eds. Treatment-Resistant Depression. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001

Sluzewska A, Rybakowski J, Hornig M, Amsterdam JD. Immunological factors in refractory depression. In: Amsterdam JD, Hornig M, Nierenberg A, eds. Treatment-Resistant Depression. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001:142-56

Hornig M, Lipkin WI. Infectious and immune factors in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders: epidemiology, hypotheses, and animal models. Mental Retardation Dev Disabil Res Rev (Current Progressive Neurological Disorders, guest editor, I Lott) 2001;7:200-10

Hornig-Rohan M, Amsterdam JD. Venlafaxine versus stimulant therapy in patients with dual diagnosis ADD and depression. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2002;26:585-9

Hornig M, Mervis R, Hoffman K, Lipkin WI. Infectious and immune factors in neurodevelopmental damage. Mol Psychiatry 2002;7:S34-5

Hornig M, Amsterdam JD. Psychiatric aspects of insulin, prolactin, growth hormone, glucagon and parathyroid hormone. In: Wolkowitz O, Rothschild A, eds. Psychoneuroendocrinology: The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, Inc., 2003:129-61

Sheikh JI, Cassidy EL, Doraiswamy PM, Salomon RM, Hornig M, Holland PJ, Mandel FS, Clary CM, Burt T. Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of sertraline in patients with late-life depression and comorbid medical illness. J Am Geriatr Sci 2004;52:86-92

Hornig M, Chian D, Lipkin WI. Neurotoxic effects of postnatal thimerosal are mouse strain-dependent. Mol Psychiatry 2004;9:833-845 (Nature View feature, Nature Publishing Group website, http://www.nature.com/nature/view/040617.html)

Publications by Dr. Hornig