Conor M. Liston, MD, PhD
Photo: Conor M. Liston



Elected 2020

Conor Liston, MD, PhD is a neuroscientist, clinically active psychiatrist, and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. The goals of his research program are to define mechanisms by which prefrontal cortical circuits support learning, memory, and motivation, and to understand how these functions are disrupted in depression, OCD, and other neuropsychiatric disorders, which most commonly emerge during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. To this end, experiments in his lab integrate optogenetic tools, two-photon calcium imaging, functional MRI, and concurrent TMS. These approaches enable recording and manipulating the activity of specific circuits and cell types in vivo and investigating how developmental changes in synaptic remodeling shape their function across the life span. His team is also developing novel neuroimaging tools for informing diagnosis and predicting treatment response to neurostimulatory antidepressant interventions. Their long term goal is to identify new treatment targets for depression and other psychiatric conditions, and inform treatment selection decisions.

Dr. Liston graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 2002, and received his PhD and MD from The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine in 2007 and 2008, respectively, where he was supported by a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. He subsequently completed his residency in psychiatry at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital and postdoctoral training at Stanford University. He returned to Weill Cornell as an Assistant Professor in 2014. His research has been recognized with awards from the Klingenstein-Simons Foundation Fund, the Rita Allen Foundation, the Dana Foundation, the One Mind Institute, the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Consortium, and the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. Dr. Liston is also a clinically active psychiatrist specializing in the management of treatment-resistant mood disorders.