Nancy A Kerner, MD

Geriatric Psychiatry
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Dr. Nancy Kerner is a physician-scientist who has clinical and research expertise in the intersection of sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances and cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). Her clinical background is in geriatric psychiatry. She is board certified in General Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry. Her clinical practice has focused on healthy aging and late-life neuropsychiatric disorders, encompassing sleep and behavioral disturbances, depression, anxiety, and psychosis in older adults with stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Dr. Kerner also received fellowship training in research, supported by a NIH-funded T32 Late-life Neuropsychiatric Disorders research training program, with a focus on studying the association between vascular depression, cognitive impairment, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In recent years, Dr. Kerner has assembled a multi-disciplinary team with renowned research investigators in an older adult population, including (1) Davangere Devanand MD, an expert in geriatric depression and cognitive impairment diagnosis and treatment, (2) Jose Luchsinger MD, MPH, an expert in dementia risk factor research, (3) Terry Goldberg, PhD, an expert in cognitive diagnostic instruments, and (4) sleep and circadian rhythm research experts (e.g., Johns Hopkins University). I have also established a consultant team, including Yaakov Stern, Ph.D., an expert in neuropsychology and cognitive reserve, and Mitchell Elkind, MD, MPH, an expert in cerebrovascular disease associated with cognitive impairment and dementia. Her projects include implementing early screening and diagnosing cognitive decline and sleep/circadian rhythm disturbance in clinical and community settings. Dr. Kerner’s optimal goal is to develop a novel diagnostic matrix and treatment for sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances among older adults with cognitive concerns, MCI, and dementia in order to optimize their quality of life and improve long-term cognitive outcomes.

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Mental Health
  • Mood Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post Menopausal Problems
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Psychosis
  • Psychotherapy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Women's Mental Health

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at CUMC

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • Chinese


  • Female

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Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • 1989 Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences
  • Residency: 2012 NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
  • Fellowship: 2013 NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Board Certifications

  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry


Selected Publications

1. Kim, J., Fan, B., Liu, X., Kerner, N., & Wu, P. (2011). Ecstasy use and suicidal behavior among adolescents: findings from a national survey. Suicide Life Threat Behav, 41(4), 435-444. doi:10.1111/j.1943-278X.2011.00043.x

2. *Kerner, N. A., Roose, S. P., Pelton, G. H., Ciarleglio, A., Scodes, J., Lentz, C., . . . Devanand, D. P. (2017). Association of Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Episodic Memory and Cerebral Microvascular Pathology: A Preliminary Study. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry, 25(3), 316-325. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2016.11.009

3. *Kerner, N. A., & Roose, S. P. (2016). Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Linked to Depression and Cognitive Impairment: Evidence and Potential Mechanisms. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry, 24(6), 496-508. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2016.01.134

4. *Kerner, N., & Prudic, J. (2014). Current electroconvulsive therapy practice and research in the geriatric population. Neuropsychiatry (London), 4(1), 33-54. doi:10.2217/npy.14.3

5. Kerner, N., D'Antonio, K., Pelton, G. H., Salcedo, E., Ferrar, J., Roose, S. P., & Devanand, D. (2014). An open treatment trial of duloxetine in elderly patients with dysthymic disorder. SAGE Open Med, 2. doi:10.1177/2050312114533536

6. D'Antonio, J., Simon-Pearson, L., Goldberg, T., Sneed, J. R., Rushia, S., Kerner, N., . . . Devanand, D. (2019). Cognitive training and neuroplasticity in mild cognitive impairment (COG-IT): protocol for a two-site, blinded, randomised, controlled treatment trial. BMJ Open, 9(8), e028536. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028536