Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Headshot of Stefano Marenco

Stefano Marenco, M.D.

Research Topics

Dr. Marenco has broad interests in neurophysiology, neurodevelopment, genomics, and biomarkers of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia.

Dr. Marenco has broad experience with a full spectrum of methodology to study brain physiology, neurological disorders, and psychiatric disorders. To characterize abnormalities in psychiatric patients and attempt to understand the genetic and environmental roots of psychiatric disorders, he has conducted clinical trials, and used brain imaging in vivo (PET, EEG, fMRI, MR spectroscopy, DTI) and genomic techniques postmortem. Dr. Marenco has primarily focused on schizophrenia research, but has expanded to other disorders since joining HBCC.


Dr. Marenco is a Senior Research Clinician and the Acting Director of the Human Brain Collection Core (HBCC) in the Division Intramural Research Programs (IRP) at the National Institute of Mental Health. He completed his MD at the University of Genova, Italy, followed by training in Clinical Neurophysiology, and a residency in Psychiatry at the University of Maryland and the NIMH IRP. He has had further research training at Johns Hopkins University (with Dr. Dean Wong), and at the Clinical Brain Disorders Branch (CBDB), NIMH IRP (with Dr. Danny Weinberger).

In 2004 he became a staff clinician at CBDB, then transitioned to the Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Branch in 2011 (with Dr. Karen Berman). He became Deputy Director of the HBCC in 2016 (with Dr. Barbara Lipska). He has been Acting Director of HBCC since 2020.  

Selected Publications

Duncan, L., H. Shen, A. Schulmann, T. Li, B. Kolachana, A. Mandal, N. Feng, P. Auluck and S. Marenco (in press). "Polygenic Scores for Psychiatric Disorders in a Diverse Postmortem Brain Tissue Cohort." Neuropsychopharmacology. 

Sudre, G., D. E. Gildea, G. G. Shastri, W. Sharp, B. Jung, Q. Xu, P. K. Auluck, L. Elnitski, A. D. Baxevanis, S. Marenco and P. Shaw (2022). "Mapping the cortico-striatal transcriptome in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." Mol Psychiatry. [Pubmed Link ]

Convergence of placenta biology and genetic risk for schizophrenia. Ursini, G., Punzi, G., Chen, Q., Marenco, S., Robinson, J. F., Porcelli, A., Hamilton, E. G., Mitjans, M., Maddalena, G., Begemann, M., Seidel, J., Yanamori, H., Jaffe, A. E., Berman, K. F., Egan, M. F., Straub, R. E., Colantuoni, C., Blasi, G., Hashimoto, R., Rujescu, D., Ehrenreich, H., Bertolino, A. and Weinberger, D. R. (2018). Nat Med 24(6): 792-801. [Pubmed Link ]

Prefrontal GABA Levels Measured With Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Patients With Psychosis and Unaffected Siblings. Marenco, S., Meyer, C., Kuo, S., van der Veen, J. W., Shen, J., DeJong, K., Barnett, A. S., Apud, J. A., Dickinson, D., Weinberger, D. R. and Berman, K. F. (2016). Am J Psychiatry 173(5): 527-534 [Pubmed Link ]

Genetic contributions to white matter architecture revealed by diffusion tensor imaging in Williams syndrome. Marenco, S., Siuta, M. A., Kippenhan, J. S., Grodofsky, S., Chang, W. L., Kohn, P., Mervis, C. B., Morris, C. A., Weinberger, D. R., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Pierpaoli, C. and Berman, K. F. (2007). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104(38): 15117-15122. [Pubmed Link ]

Building 10, Room 4N306
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892

Phone: +1 301 435 8964

Fax: +1 301 402 2751