René Kahn, MD, PhD - MIRECC / CoE
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René Kahn, MD, PhD

Following medical school, Dr. Kahn served in the Royal Army of the Netherlands as a first lieutenant, and then trained as a psychiatrist in Utrecht and as a neurologist in Amsterdam. He moved to New York City for a research fellowship in biological psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completed his psychiatry residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, and was chief of the psychiatry research unit at the Bronx VA. He moved back to the Netherlands to be chair of psychiatry at the University Medical Center, and led the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus—a hub of research in basic neuroscience, psychiatry, and neurology. In 2017, he returned to Manhattan for his current position as chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Dr. Kahn’s expertise is in the neurobiology of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. One of his most important contributions to the field was helping to establish proof that schizophrenia debuts with cognitive dysfunction, preceding the onset of the first incidence of psychosis by more than a decade. His group also showed that brain volume is one of the most heritable characteristics, paving the way to link brain volumes in health and disease to genetic variation.

Research Interests  

Schizophrenia, psychosis, clinical trials, neuroimaging


Dr. Kahn’s active grants are listed below; prior grants can be found here.

Combined Psychiatry Residency and PhD Training at Mount Sinai (2018-2023)

Role: Co-principal investigator. Funding source: NIH/NIMH.

Using the RDoC Approach to Understand Thought Disorder: A Linguistic Corpus-Based Approach to Understand Psychosis (2018-2020)

Role: Co-principal investigator. Funding source: NIMH.     

Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) Psychiatric Ratings using Intermediate Stratified Markers (2016-2019)

Role: Co-investigator. Funding source: IMI.

PSYSCAN: Translating Neuroimaging Findings for Research Into Clinical Practice (2014-2019)

Role: Co-principal investigator. Funding source: European Commission.

Why Some Children Thrive and Others Don’t (2012-2022)

Role: Co-principal investigator. Funding source: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Clinical Trials

Optimization of Treatment and Management of Schizophrenia in Europe

Start date: May 2011. Completion date: April 2016.  

Phenomics and Genomics of Clozapine Pharmacotherapy

Start date: January 2016. Completion date: December 2021.  

Placebo-controlled Trial in Subjects at Ultra-high Risk for Psychosis With Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Europe

Start date: September 2016. Completion date: March 2020.  

European Long-acting Antipsychotics in Schizophrenia Trial

Start date:  February 2015. Completion date:  September 2020. Condition(s): Schizophrenia

Functional Brain Activation Patterns in Schizophrenia, Measured Before and After Treatment

Start date:  December 2001. Completion date: September 2008.

Intranasal Ketamine for Suicidal Ideation in Veterans

Start date: January 2019. Completion date:  April 2020.

In the News  

Remission of Schizophrenia Seen With Amisulpride, Clozapine (Psychiatry Advisor, September 2018)

Switching anti-psychotic medications doesn't improve outcomes in first episode schizophrenia patient (Science Daily, August 2018)

Publications (Selected)

A full list of Dr. Kahn’s publications can be found here.

Kahn RS, Winter van Rossum I, Leucht S, McGuire P, Lewis SW, Leboyer M, Arango C, Dazzan P, Drake R, Heres S, Díaz-Caneja CM, Rujescu D, Weiser M, Galderisi S, Glenthøj B, Eijkemans MJC, Fleischhacker WW, Kapur S, Sommer IE; OPTiMiSE study group. Amisulpride and olanzapine followed by open-label treatment with clozapine in first-episode schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder (OPTiMiSE): a three-phase switching study. Lancet Psychiatry, 2018.     

Kahn RS, Sommer IE, Murray RM, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Weinberger DR, Cannon TD, O'Donovan M, Correll CU, Kane JM, van Os J, Insel TR. Schizophrenia. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 2015. 

Kahn RS, Keefe RS. Schizophrenia is a cognitive illness: time for a change in focus. JAMA Psychiatry, 2013.

van den Heuvel MP, Sporns O, Collin G, Scheewe T, Mandl RC, Cahn W, Goñi J, Hulshoff Pol HE, Kahn RS. Abnormal rich club organization and functional brain dynamics in schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry, 2013.  

Kahn RS, Fleischhacker WW, Boter H, Davidson M, Vergouwe Y, Keet IP, Gheorghe MD, Rybakowski JK, Galderisi S, Libiger J, Hummer M, Dollfus S, López-Ibor JJ, Hranov LG, Gaebel W, Peuskens J, Lindefors N, Riecher-Rössler A, Grobbee DE; EUFEST study group. Effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs in first-episode schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder: an open randomised clinical trial. Lancet, 2008.



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