Nathaniel Heintz is a neuroscientist interested in the molecular and cellular basis of mammalian brain function. He is known for his contributions to the identification and characterization of CNS cell types, and for his co-discovery of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mammalian genomes. Heintz was born and raised in Clinton, NY. He received his BA with honors from Williams College and his Ph.D. in Biology from The State University of New York at Albany. Heintz completed his postdoctoral studies with Dr. Robert Roeder at Washington University and was named to the Faculty of The Rockefeller University in 1983, where he has remained. He is the James and Marilyn Simons Professor at the Rockefeller University, and an Investigator of The Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Heintz was a Pew Scholar, and is currently a Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

My laboratory is interested in the molecular basis of neuronal function and dysfunction. To pursue this interest, we have developed and employed novel technologies that enable comprehensive transcriptional, translational and epigenetic profiling of specific cell types in the mammalian nervous system. Our present studies are focused on the identification of cell types and circuits that contribute to complex behaviors, on dissection of the pathways that allow these cell types of perform their unique functions in the nervous system, and on investigation of the specific functions of 5-hyroxymethylcytosine in post-mitotic neurons. The aim of these studies is to identify molecular events that are altered in the context of human CNS disorders, including obsessive compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorders, generalized anxiety disorder and drug addiction. Our ultimate goal is to use this understanding to generate new strategies for therapeutic intervention in human psychiatric and neurological disease.

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Primary Section

Section 24: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience