Maura Boldrini, M.D., Ph.D

Dr. Maura Boldrini, Research Scientist, Conte Center for Suicide Prevention, Project 1

Maura Boldrini, M.D., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Clinical Neurobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. She is a co-Investigator in the Conte Center for Suicide Prevention, Project 1, “Neurobiology of Suicide: Childhood Adversity, Neuroinflammation and Genomics”.

Research Focus

Dr. Boldrini is a pioneer in detecting and measuring adult neurogenesis in postmortem human hippocampus. She has been studying adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the human brain since 2006, assessing how it is affected by antidepressants treatment, psychopathology and aging. The hippocampus is a brain region known to be involved in stress responses and whose structural plasticity is affected by stress exposure. Dr. Boldrini is interested in studying the relationship between childhood adversity and neuroplasticity in the hippocampus, and the effect of genetic and epigenetic factors on it

Previously Dr. Boldrini focused her studies on neurobiological changes associated with suicide and mood disorders at the level of the brainstem. She studied serotonin 1A receptor, tryptophan hydroxylases and serotonin transporter detecting alterations of their expression at the regional and cellular level and mapping their distribution along the rostro-caudal axis of the raphe nucleus in depression and suicide.

In the Conte Center, Dr. Boldrini will study brains from depressed suicides and non-suicides and individuals without psychopathology, assessing the relationship between history of childhood adversity, levels of neuroinflammatory markers and the total number of neurons in the hippocampal subfields. The project aims to distinguish the effect of psychopathology from that of adversity. The inclusion of a group with no psychopathology but history of adversity allows studying the morphological, genetic and epigenetic characteristics of a resilient phenotype.

Dr. Boldrini’s research in mood disorders and suicide has been continuously funded by private foundations, New York State and NIH since 1999. She has been the PI of several grants studying the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric diseases in postmortem human brain. She is currently the PI of an NIMH R01 entitled “Adult hippocampal neuroplasticity and depression”, an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Standard Investigator Award entitled “Brain proteomics to understand suicidal behavior biosignatures”, and a NINDS U01 subcontract entitled “Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) Translational Research Alliance (SUTRA); The Neuropathology of SUDEP: The Central Autonomic Network, Serotonin, and Adenosine”. She was the PI on a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF, formerly NARSAD) Independent Investigator Grant entitled “Inflammatory cytokines and hippocampal neuroplasticity in mood disorders”, and a co-Investigator in a NYSTEM Imaging Core Facility grant entitled “Imaging Stem Cells in the Brain for Studying Neuropsychiatric Disorders”.

Select Publications

1. *Tartt AN, Mariani M, Hen R, Mann JJ, Boldrini M. Electroconvulsive therapy-a shocking inducer of neuroplasticity? Molelcular Psychiatry 2023 Mar 3. doi: 10.1038/s41380-023-02015-0. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36869226.

2. Zhang D, Deng Y, Kukanja P, Agirre E, Bartosovic M, Dong M, Ma C, Ma S, Su G, Bao S, Liu Y, Xiao Y, Rosoklija GB, Dwork AJ, Mann JJ, Leong KW, Boldrini M, Wang L, Haeussler M, Raphael BJ, Kluger Y, Castelo-Branco G, Fan R. Spatial epigenome-transcriptome co-profiling of mammalian tissues. Nature 2023 Mar 15. doi: 10.1038/s41586-023-05795-1. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36922587.

3. Bartlett EA, Yttredahl AA, Boldrini M, Tyrer AE, Hill KR, Ananth MR, Milak MS, Oquendo MA, Mann JJ, DeLorenzo C, Parsey RV. In vivo serotonin 1A receptor hippocampal binding potential in depression and reported childhood adversity. Eur Psychiatry 2023 Jan 24;66(1):e17. doi: 10.1192/j.eurpsy.2023.4. PMID: 36691786.

4. *Soung AL, Vanderheiden A, Nordvig AS, Sissoko CA, Canoll P, Mariani MB, Jiang X, Bricker T, Rosoklija GB, Arango V, Underwood M, Mann JJ, Dwork AJ, Goldman JE, Boon ACM, Boldrini M#, Klein RS#. COVID-19 induces CNS cytokine expression and loss of hippocampal neurogenesis. Brain 2022 Dec 19;145(12):4193-4201. doi: 10.1093/brain/awac270. PMID: 36004663.

5. Deng Y, Bartosovic M, Ma S, Zhang D, Kukanja P, Xiao Y, Su G, Liu Y, Qin X, Rosoklija GB, Dwork AJ, Mann JJ, Xu ML, Halene S, Craft JE, Leong KW, Boldrini M, Castelo-Branco G, Fan R. Spatial profiling of chromatin accessibility in mouse and human tissues. Nature 2022 Sep;609(7926):375-383. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05094-1. Epub 2022 Aug 17. PMID: 35978191.

6. *Borsini A, Gacobbe J, Mandal G, Boldrini M. A Systematic Review of the Effect of Stress in Animals During Adolescence, and Its Long-Term Consequences during Adulthood: Focus on Hippocampal Neurogenesis, Cognitive Function and Behavioural Outcomes. 2022, 2022060343. Received: 23 June 2022 / Approved: 27 June 2022 / Online: 27 June 2022 (03:18:28 CEST),

7. *Tartt AN, Mariani MB, Hen R, Mann JJ, Boldrini M. Dysregulation of adult hippocampal neuroplasticity in major depression: pathogenesis and therapeutic implications. Molecular Psychiatry 2022 Jun;27(6):2689-2699. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01520-y. Epub 2022 Mar 30. PMID: 35354926.

8. *Boldrini M, Mann JJ. (2023) Depression and Suicide. In: Neurobiology of Brain Disorders. Biological Basis of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders. 2nd Edition. Pages: 861-883. Editors: Michael Zigmond, Clayton Wiley, Marie-Françoise Chesselet. Elsevier, San Diego, CA, USA, May 19, 2022.

9. Fan R, Zhang D, Deng Y, Kukanja P, Bartosovic M, Su G, Bao S, Liu Y, Xiao Y, Ma S, Rosoklija GB, Dowrk AJ, Mann JJ, Leong K, Boldrini M, Castelo-Branco G. Spatially resolved epigenome-transcriptome co-profiling of mammalian tissues at the cellular level, 13 June 2022, Preprint (Version 1) available at Research Square, Published 15 Mar, 2023,

10. Lopez-Morinigo JD, Boldrini M, Ricca V, Oquendo MA, Baca-García E. Aggression, Impulsivity and Suicidal Behavior in Depressive Disorders: A Comparison Study between New York City (US), Madrid (Spain) and Florence (Italy). Journal of Clinical Medicine 2021 Jul 9;10(14):3057. doi: 10.3390/jcm10143057. PMID: 34300222.

11. *Boldrini M, Canoll PD, Klein RS. How COVID-19 Affects the Brain. JAMA Psychiatry 2021 Jun 1;78(6):682-683. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0500. PMID: 33769431.

12. *Tartt AN, Galfalvy H, Dwork AJ, Rosoklija GB, Fulmore CA, Carazo Arias E, Anacker C, Arango V, Hen R, Mann JJ, Boldrini M. Blunted Neurogenesis in Major Depression and Normal Levels in High Functioning Antidepressant-Treated Subjects. Cell Stem Cell SSRN 2021 Jan 20, doi:

13. *Boldrini M. The Many Avenues Leading to Adult Neurogenesis Adaptations. Biological Psychiatry 2020 Oct 15;88(8):588-590. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.07.018. PMID: 32972512.

14. Calati R, Boldrini M, Bensassi I, Maller JJ, Meslin C, Ritchie MWK, Courtet P, Artero S, Lopez-Castroman J. Commentary on smaller hippocampal volume in current but not in past depression in comparison to healthy controls: minor evidence from an older adult sample. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology 2019 Apr 28:891988719845504. doi: 10.1177/0891988719845504. PMID: 31030625.

15. *Boldrini M, Galfalvy H, Dwork AJ, Rosoklija GB, Trencevska-Ivainovska I, Palovski G, Hen R, Arango V, Mann JJ. Resilience Is Associated with Larger Dentate Gyrus while Suicide Decedents with Major Depressive Disorder have Fewer Granule Neurons. Biological Psychiatry 2019 May 15;85(10):850-862. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.12.022. PMID: 30819514.

16. *Tartt AN, Fulmore CA, Liu Y, Rosoklija GB, Dwork AJ, Arango V, Hen R, Mann JJ, Boldrini M. Considerations for assessing the extent of hippocampal neurogenesis in the adult and aging human brain. Cell Stem Cell. 2018 Dec 6 PMID: 30526880, DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.10.025.

17. Besnard A, Langberg T, Levinson S, Chu D, Vicidomini C, Scobie KN, Dwork AJ, Arango V, Rosoklija GB, Mann JJ, Hen R, Leonardo ED, Boldrini M, Sahay A. Targeting Kruppel-like factor 9 (Klf9) in excitatory forebrain 1 neurons protects against chronic stress-induced dendritic spine enlargement and maladaptive fear responses. Cell Reports 2018 Jun 12;23(11):3183-3196. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.05.040. PMID: 29898391.

18. *Boldrini M, Fulmore CA, Tartt AN, Simeon LR, Pavlova I, Poposka V, Rosoklija GB, Stankov A, Arango V, Dwork AJ, Hen R, Mann JJ. Human Hippocampal Neurogenesis Persists Throughout the Eighth Decade of Life. Cell Stem Cell 2018 Apr 5;22(4):589-599.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.03.015. PMID: 29625071.