Connecting European Neuroscience

Steven A. Kushner

Ordinary member, Programme Committee FENS Forum 2016

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and academic career


Institution and Location



Field of Study

University of California Los Angeles, USA




University of California Los Angeles, USA




University of Pennsylvania, USA






2009 to present  Professor of Neurobiological Psychiatry, Dept. of Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam

2008 to 2009      Associate Professor (Adjunct), Dept. of Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam

2008 to 2009      Visiting Scientist, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada

2005 to 2009      Postgraduate Resident in Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York



2012    NEJM Journal Watch Psychiatry

2009    Netherlands Innovational Research Vidi Award

2008    The Hospital for Sick Children: Research Center Award

2006    Arnold P. Gold Foundation Award, Columbia University Medical Center

2003    Michael Tennenbaum Creativity Initiative Award, UCLA

2001    National Institutes of Mental Health – National Research Service Award

1995    Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

1992    National Kidney Foundation Fellowship

1991    American Statistical Association Prize


General administrative and organisational experience

European Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society (EMCCS), Executive Committee (2012 – Present)

Dutch Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Organizing Committee (2012 – Present), 2016 Chair Elect

Medical Research Advisory Committee (Mrace) for Erasmus MC Translational Research Grants (2011 – Present)

Founding member of the Expertise Center in Hereditary Neurocognitive Disorders at Erasmus MC (ENCORE Center for Clinical Care and Translational Research) (2011 – Present)

Chair, Scientific Committee, Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus MC (2010 – Present)


Research interests

Our lab is interested in the fundamental mechanisms underlying plasticity, and the pathophysiology of severe mental illness. Towards this goal, we are focused on studies investigating the neural basis of social behaviour and emotional learning in mice, as well as clinical and genetic studies in relevant patient cohorts.


Selected Publications

  • Gouty-Colomer LA, Hosseini B, Marcelo IM, Schreiber J, Slump DE, Yamaguchi S, Houweling AR, Jaarsma D, Elgersma Y, Kushner SA (2015). Arc expression identifies the lateral amygdala fear memory trace.  Molecular Psychiatry, in press.
  • Bergink V, Burgerhout KM, Koorengevel KM, Lambregtse-van den Berg MP, Kushner SA (2015). Treatment of psychosis and mania in the postpartum period.  American Journal of Psychiatry, 172(2): 115–123.
  • van den Berg WE, Lamballais S, Kushner SA (2015). Sex-specific mechanism of social hierarchy in mice.  Neuropsychopharmacology, doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.319.
  • Achterberg KG, Buitendijk GH, Kool M, Goorden SM, Post L, Slump DE, Silva AJ, van Woerden GM, Kushner SA, Elgersma Y (2014). Temporal and region-specific requirements of aCaMKII in spatial and contextual learning.  Journal of Neuroscience, 34(34): 11180-11187.
  • Yiu AP, Mercaldo V, Yan C, Richards B, Rashid AJ, Hsiang HL, Pressey J, Mahadevan V, Tran MM, Kushner SA, Woodin MA, Frankland PW, Josselyn SA (2014). Neurons are recruited to a memory trace based on relative neuronal excitability immediately before training.  Neuron, 83(3): 722-735.
  • Ellegood J, Markx S, Lerch JP, Steadman PE, Genç C, Provenzano F, Kushner SA, Henkelman RM, Karayiorgou M, Gogos JA (2014). Neuroanatomical phenotypes in a mouse model of the 22q11.2 microdeletion.  Molecular Psychiatry, 19(1): 99-107.
  • Galliano E, Potters JW, Elgersma Y, Wisden W, Kushner SA, De Zeeuw CI, Hoebeek FE (2013). Synaptic transmission and plasticity at inputs to murine cerebellar Purkinje cells are largely dispensable for standard nonmotor tasks.  Journal of Neuroscience, 33(31): 12599-12618.
  • Bergink V, Bouvy PF, Vervoort JS, Koorengevel KM, Steegers EA, Kushner SA (2012). Prevention of Postpartum Psychosis and Mania in Women at High Risk. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169(6): 609-615.
  • van Woerden GM, Hoebeek FE, Gao Z, Nagaraja RY, Hoogenraad CC, Kushner SA, Hansel C, de Zeeuw CI, Elgersma Y (2009).  bCaMKII controls the direction of plasticity at parallel fiber–Purkinje cell synapses.  Nature Neuroscience, 12(7): 823-825.
  • Han JH, Kushner SA, Yiu AP, Hsiang HL, Buch T, Waisman A, Bontempi B, Neve RL, Frankland PW, Josselyn SA (2009). Selective erasure of a fear memory. Science, 323(5920): 1492-1496.
  • Han JH, Kushner SA, Yiu AP, Cole CA, Matynia A, Brown RA, Neve R, Guzowski JF, Silva AJ, Josselyn SA (2007). Neuronal competition and selection during memory formation. Science, 316(5823): 457-460.
  • Kushner SA, Elgersma Y, Murphy GG, Jaarsma D, van Woerden GM, Hojjati MR, Cui Y, LeBoutillier JC, Marrone DF, Choi ES, De Zeeuw CI, Petit TL, Pozzo-Miller L, Silva AJ (2005). Modulation of presynaptic plasticity and learning by the H-ras / extracellular signal-regulated kinase / synapsin I signaling pathway. Journal of Neuroscience, 25(42): 9721-34.


Steven A. Kushner

Erasmus University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry
Wytemaweg 80, EE1442
3015 CN Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 704 3533
Fax: +31 10 703 3217