Nikolaos P. Daskalakis, MD, PhD

Nikolaos P. Daskalakis, MD, PhD

McLean Hospital Title
  • Director, Neurogenomics and Translational Bioinformatics Laboratory

Harvard Medical School Title
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry


Nikolaos P. Daskalakis, MD, PhD, is the director of the Neurogenomics and Translational Bioinformatics Laboratory, part of the Advanced Bioinformatics and Computational Discovery Hub, at McLean Hospital and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is also an affiliate member of the Broad Institute, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the National Center for PTSD. Dr. Daskalakis received his MD from the University of Athens, his PhD in neuropsychopharmacology from Leiden University, and completed post-doctoral research fellowships in clinical neuroendocrinology at Leiden University and in systems biology at the Icahn School of Medicine.

Dr. Daskalakis focuses on the interaction between stress and the brain, conducting translational studies and following an integrative systems biology approach. His lab uses transcriptomic and epigenomic profiling of brain and blood samples to identify gene networks associated with vulnerability and resilience to PTSD. Dr. Daskalakis leads the Systems Biology working group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium for PTSD. He is an editor for Brain Sciences and Frontiers (in Behavioral Neuroscience, Endocrinology, Neuroscience, and Psychiatry).

Research Focus:

Combining his training as a medical doctor with his expertise as a translational neuroscientist and data scientist, Dr. Daskalakis conducts research focused on the connection between stress and brain functions. Dr. Daskalakis’ Neurogenomics and Translational Bioinformatics Laboratory employs functional genomics to dissect functional epigenetic and cell-type-specific regulatory elements and risk loci underlying the genetics of stress-related mental disorders, such as PTSD, and then engages in translational research using cell culture and animal models to validate causal gene and variants.

In addition, the lab employs “big data” and machine learning to investigate genotype-to-phenotype relationships related to complex neuropsychiatric traits to gain a deeper understanding of the individual differences in the expression of symptoms. Dr. Daskalakis and his lab pursue research on these fronts and, ultimately, seek to identify novel mechanisms and treatments for these devastating mental disorders.

Recently, Dr. Daskalakis was awarded the Jonathan Edward Brooking Mental Health Research Fellowship and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Young Investigator Award to support his research on the role and regulation of the gene for SNRNP35, a small nuclear ribonucleoprotein involved in U12 splicing, in stress-related mental disorders.

  • Silviu-Alin Bacanu, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Sabina Berretta, McLean Hospital
  • Costis Daskalakis, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stratos Idreos, PhD, Harvard University
  • Manolis Kellis, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Mark Logue, PhD, Boston University, Boston
  • Vasiliki Michopoulos, PhD, Emory University
  • Mark Miller, PhD, Boston University
  • Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, McLean Hospital
  • Bart Rutten, MD, PhD, Maastricht University
  • Ioannis Sotiropoulos, PhD, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
  • Eleni Tzavara, PhD, Pierre and Marie Curie University
  • Charalampos Tzoulis, MD, PhD, University of Bergen
  • Christiaan Vinkers, MD, PhD, VU University Amsterdam
Selected Publications:

McCullough KM, Daskalakis NP, Gafford G, Morrison FG, Ressler KJ. Cell-type-specific interrogation of CeA Drd2 neurons to identify targets for pharmacological modulation of fear extinction. Translational Psychiatry 2018;8(1):164.

Daskalakis NP, Rijal CM, King C, Huckins LM, Ressler KJ. Recent genetics and epigenetics approaches to PTSD. Current Psychiatry Reports 2018;20(5):30.

Daskalakis NP, Provost AC, Hunter RG, Guffanti G. Noncoding RNAs: stress, glucocorticoids, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Biological Psychiatry 2018;83(10):849-865.

PubMed search for Dr. Daskalakis


Book cover - Programming the HPA-Axis

Programming HPA-Axis by Early Life Experience: Mechanisms of Stress Susceptibility and Adaptation
Edited by Nikolaos P. Daskalakis, and Rachel Yehuda
(Frontiers Media SA, 2015)

Education & Training

  • 2006 MD, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • 2011 PhD in Neuropsychopharmacology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • 2011 Clinical Research Fellow, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • 2012-2014 Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai/James J. Peters VA Medical Center
  • 2018-2020 KL2/Catalyst Medical Research Investigator Training Program for Faculty, Harvard Catalyst, Harvard Medical School


Phone: 617.855.2785
Office Address: Belmont campus - Oaks Building