Dr. Steven G. Kernie's Profile
Steven G. Kernie, <span>MD</span>

Steven G. Kernie, MD

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (Board Certified, Primary Specialty)


Dr. Steven Kernie is a Professor of Pediatrics (in Neurology) at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs and Chief of Critical Care Medicine at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. His research interests focus on acquired brain injuries in children and he leads a laboratory that investigates how the brain repairs itself following injury.

After studying Human Biology at Stanford University, Dr. Kernie obtained his M.D. degree from the University of Washington in 1992. He was a pediatrics resident, chief resident, and pediatric critical care fellow at UT Southwestern Medical Center/Children’s Medical Center Dallas from 1992 to 1999. During his fellowship, he joined the laboratory of Luis Parada, Ph.D., where he studied how neurotrophins affect feeding behavior in mice. Dr. Kernie then developed an independent research program investigating how the brain repairs itself following acquired brain injuries due to trauma and hypoxia. He was on the faculty at UT Southwestern from 1999 to 2011 where he established a laboratory on brain injury and continued to care for patients in the PICU at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. During that time, he was the director of the pediatric critical care fellowship program at UT Southwestern/Children’s Medical Center Dallas, the medical director for research administration at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, and the co-director of the Perot Family Center for Brain and Nerve Injuries at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. He was recruited to Columbia in 2011 to be chief of the division of pediatric critical care medicine and director of critical care services at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Kernie’s laboratory is focused on elucidating mechanisms of brain self-repair following injury. The Kernie lab has developed a number of novel mouse transgenic animals that allow for specific ablation or activation of hippocampal neural stem cells, which are known to provide neurons to critical areas of the brain throughout life. His lab was the first to describe the phenomenon of injury-induced neurogenesis and subsequently experimentally demonstrated that this response is required for recovery from traumatic brain injury. These studies have been highlighted in Scientific American, US News and World Reports, and Science News for their impact on how we view and potentially treat devastating brain injuries in children and adults. Since joining Columbia, he remains focused on these lab-based studies that investigate mechanisms underlying self-repair following injury and he has maintained continual funding from the NIH for his work since 2001. In addition, the critical care division has grown substantially over the last 7 years and currently receives well over $1 million dollars annually in NIH and other extramural funding to support a number of research initiatives in the division. This includes 3 investigators with NIH K-level awards that have been awarded in the last 5 years.

Area of Expertise

Pediatric Critical Care Specialist

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University of Washington School of Medicine

Internship: Children's Medical Center - Dallas, TX

Residency: Children's Medical Center - Dallas, TX

Fellowship: Children's Medical Center - Dallas, TX


  • Tensaouti, Y, Stephanz, EP, Yu, TZ, and Kernie, SG (2018). ApoE regulates the development of adult newborn hippocampal neurons. eNeuro. July/August, 5(4) e0155-18.2018 1-15. Accompanied by press release from the Society of Neuroscience (https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/sfn-arg072618.php)
  • Slovis, JC, Gupta, N, Li, NY, Kernie, SG. and Miles, DK (2018). Assessment of recovery following pediatric traumatic brain injury. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. April;19(4):353-360. PMID 29419604.
  • Hollands, C, Tobin, MK, Hsu, M, Musaraca, K, Yu, TS, Mishra, R, Kernie, SG and Lazarov, O. (2017) Depletion of adult neurogenesis exacerbates cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease by compromising hippocampal function. Molecular Neurodegeneration. Sep 8;12(1):64. PMID 28886753.
  • Yu, TS, Tensaouti, Y, Bagha, ZM, Davidson, R, Kim, A, and Kernie, SG. (2017) Adult newborn neurons interfere with fear discrimination in a protocol-dependent manner. Brain and Behavior. Aug 2;7(9):e00796. PMID 28948089
  • Yu TS, Kim A, Kernie SG. (2015) Donepezil rescues spatial learning and memory deficits following traumatic brain injury independent of its effects on neurogenesis. PLoS One. 10(2):e0118793. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118793. eCollection. PMID: 25714524; PMCID: PMC4340948.
  • Hong S, Washington PM, Kim A, Yang CP, Yu TS, Kernie SG. (2015) Apolipoprotein E Regulates Injury-Induced Activation of Hippocampal Neural Stem and Progenitor Cells. J Neurotrauma. 2015 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25905575.
  • Sun C, Sun H, Wu S, Lee CC, Akamatsu Y, Wang RK, Kernie SG, Liu J. (2013) Conditional ablation of neuroprogenitor cells in adult mice impedes recovery of poststroke cognitive function and reduces synaptic connectivity in the perforant pathway. Journal of Neuroscience. 33:17314-17325. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2129-13.2013. PMID: 24174664; PMCID: PMC3812503.
  • Chen, J, Li, Y, Yu, TS, McKay, RM, Burns, DK, Kernie SG, and Parada, LF (2012). A restricted cell population propagates glioblastoma growth following chemotherapy. Nature. 488 (7412): 522-526. PMID: 225854781
  • Gilley, JA, Yang CP, and Kernie SG. (2011) Developmental profiling of postnatal dentate gyrus progenitors provides evidence for dynamic cell-autonomous regulation. Hippocampus. 21(1): 33-47. PMID: 20014381
  • Yang CP, Gilley JA, and Kernie SG. (2011) ApoE is required for maintenance of the dentate gyrus neural progenitor pool. Development. 138(20): 4351-4362. PMID: 21880781
  • Gilley, JA and Kernie SG. (2011) GltI and Glast negatively regulate calcium-dependent proliferation of hippocampal neural progenitor cells and are persistently upregulated after injury. European Journal of Neuroscience. 34(11): 1712-1723. PMID: 22092549
  • Blaiss CA, Yu TS, Zhang G, Chen J, Dimchev G, Parada LF, Powell CM, and Kernie SG. (2011) Temporally specified genetic ablation of neurogenesis impairs cognitive recovery following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neuroscience. 31(13): 4906-4916. PMID: 21451029
  • Koch J, Miles DK, Gilley J, Yang CP, and Kernie SG. (2008) Brief exposure to hyperoxia depletes the glial progenitor pool and impairs functional recovery following hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 28 (7): 1294-1306. PMID: 18334993
  • Chen Y*, Miles DK*, Hoang TN, Shi J, Hurlock EC, Kernie SG, and Lu QR. (2008) The bHLH transcription factor Olig2 is critical for reactive astrocyte proliferation after cortical injury. Journal of Neuroscience. 28(43): 10983-10989. * equal contribution. PMID: 18945906
  • Li Y, Luikart BW, Birnbaum S, Chen J, Kwon CH, Kernie SG, Bassel-Duby R, and Parada LF. (2008) TrkB regulates hippocampal neurogenesis and governs sensitivity to antidepressive treatment. Neuron. 59(3): 399-412. PMID: 18701066
  • Yu TS, Zhang G, Liebl DJ, and Kernie SG. (2008) Traumatic brain injury-induced hippocampal neurogenesis requires activation of early nestin-expressing progenitors. Journal of Neuroscience. 28(48): 12901-12912. PMID: 19036984
  • Shi J, Miles DK, Orr BA, Massa SM, and Kernie SG. (2007) Injury-induced neurogenesis in Bax-deficient mice: Evidence for regulation by voltage-gated potassium channels. European Journal of Neuroscience. 25(12): 3499-3412. PMID: 17610570
  • Kernie SG, Erwin TM, and Parada LG. (2001) Brain remodeling due to neuronal and astrocytic proliferation following controlled cortical injury in mice. Journal of Neuroscience Research. 66(3): 317-26. PMID: 11746349 *corresponding author