People


Christopher Pittenger

Director

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and in the Child Study Center and Assistant Professor of Psychology; Director, Yale OCD Research Clinic; Associate Director, Neuroscience Research Training Program

Biography

Christopher Pittenger earned his MD and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, where his graduate work was done with Nobel Prize recipient Eric Kandel. He returned to Yale University - where had done his undergraduate studies - for residency and research training in psychiatry in 2003. He joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2007 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2013.

Christopher Pittenger earned his MD and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, where his graduate work was done with Nobel Prize recipient Eric Kandel. He returned to Yale University - where had done his undergraduate studies - for residency and research training in psychiatry in 2003. He joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2007 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2013.

During his Ph.D. studies in basic neurobiology, he became fascinated by the brain's ability to go on autopilot -- to perform complex series of actions or thoughts, after sufficient rehearsal, with almost no conscious effort. Then, during his clinical training, he became more and more aware of how this process, when disrupted by disease, can lead to the maladaptive and disruptive automaticity seen in many neuropsychiatric disorders. His research, both with patients and in animal models, aims to elucidate the mechanisms of learned automatic behaviors and to better understand the consequences when they go awry, with the ultimate goal of developing new understandings and better treatments for a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions.

Dr. Pittenger's research and clinical work have been acknowledged by a number of prestigious awards, including grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, NARSAD, the Tourette Syndrome of America, and the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, and awards from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Society for Neuroscience, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American College of Psychiatrists. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation and an active member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the American Neurological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and other groups.

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Michael Howard Bloch

Assistant Director

Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center

Biography

Michael H. Bloch, M.D., M.S. graduated from Yale School of Medicine and completed his child and adult psychiatry training at Yale. He is currently serving as chief resident at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. His research interests focus on studying Tourette syndrome (TS), Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Trichotillomania (TTM) across the lifespan. His research focuses on developing better treatments for children and adults with these...

Michael H. Bloch, M.D., M.S. graduated from Yale School of Medicine and completed his child and adult psychiatry training at Yale. He is currently serving as chief resident at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. His research interests focus on studying Tourette syndrome (TS), Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Trichotillomania (TTM) across the lifespan. His research focuses on developing better treatments for children and adults with these conditions and examining predictors of long-term outcome with an emphasis on neuroimaging. Dr. Bloch sees children with TS, OCD and TTM as part of the Yale Child Study Center TS/OCD clinic and adults with the same conditions at the Yale OCD Research Clinic. He is also the Assistant Unit Chief at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU). The CNRU is a comprehensive 12-bed inpatient unit located in the Connecticut Mental Health Center that cares for patients enrolled in several psychiatric research protocols. Please see weblinks below for more information about these clinics.

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Staff

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Eileen BillingsleaClinic Coordinator, Yale OCD Research ClinicOffice: (203) 974-7768
Fax: (203) 974-7662
eileen.billingslea@yale.edu
Stephen Kichuk, JrResearch AssistantOffice: (203) 974-7534
Fax: (203) 974-7662
stephen.kichuk@yale.edu
Suzanne WasylinkNurse ManagerOffice: 203-974-7523
Fax: 203-974-7662
suzanne.wasylink@yale.edu

Collaborators


Anticevic, Alan

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology
Administrative Director, NIAAA Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism

Dr. Anticevic trained in Clinical Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis where he worked with Drs. Deanna Barch and David Van Essen. Following his graduate training, Dr. Anticevic completed his internship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Yale University. After internship, he joined the Yale University Department of Psychiatry as research faculty working closely with Dr. John Krystal, while concurrently serving as the Administrative Director for the Center...

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Crowley, Michael J

Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center

Michael J. Crowley, Ph.D. is a child psychologist whose work focuses on key questions in social and affective neuroscience. Dr. Crowley earned his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2004, where he studied under Nathan Fox. At Maryland, Dr. Crowley’s training focused on child internalizing and externalizing disorders. He completed a child-focused clinical internship through the Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium. Dr....

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Fernandez, Thomas V

Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center and of Psychiatry

Thomas Fernandez, MD, was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Yale Child Study Center and Department of Psychiatry in July 2013. Tom is a child psychiatrist, psychiatric geneticist and a graduate of the Solnit Integrated Residency Program in 2011. Tom's research efforts include the following investigations into developmental neuropsychiatric disorders: (1) discovering genetic mutations in Tourette syndrome, motor stereotypies, and obsessive-compulsive disorder using next generation DNA...

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Gruner, Patricia

Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychiatry

Patricia Gruner, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in OCD. She has specialized training in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) with patients with OCD and related disorders, neurocognitive assessment, and neuroimaging. Dr. Gruner completed her doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at Fordham University. She then completed postdoctoral training in Clinical Neuroscience at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, where she conducted fMRI and neurocognitive research in...

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Hampson, Michelle

Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Radiology

After completing an undergraduate degree in Computing Science at the University of Alberta, Dr. Hampson did her graduate work Boston University's Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems, a department focused on computational neural network models of brain systems. She came to Yale as a postdoc to pursue her interests in human functional neuroimaging. During her postdoc, Dr. Hampson conducted some of the earliest studies of resting-state functional connectivity, validating the technique...

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Krystal, John H.

Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Neurobiology
Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Chief of Psychiatry, Yale-New Haven Hospital
Director: NIAAA Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism
Director, Clinical Neuroscience Division, VA National Center for PTSD
Director, VA Alcohol Research Center
Medical Director, Schizophrenia Biological Research Center, DVA

Dr. Krystal is a leading expert in the areas of alcoholism, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. His work links psychopharmacology, neuroimaging, and molecular genetics to study the neurobiology and to develop novel treatments for these disorders.

He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He also serves in a variety of advisory and review capacities for NIAAA, NIMH, Wellcome Trust, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and the Karolinska...

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Leckman, James Frederick

Neison Harris Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Pediatrics and of Psychiatry

James F. Leckman, M.D. is the Neison Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Psychology and Pediatrics at Yale. He served as the Director of Research for the Yale Child Study Center from 1983 to 2010. Dr. Leckman is a well known child psychiatrist and patient-oriented clinical investigator. His peers have regularly selected him as one of the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Leckman is the author or co-author of over 300 original articles published in peer-reviewed journals, seven...

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Li, Chiang-Shan Ray

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and of Neurobiology

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Mason, Graeme F

Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and of Psychiatry
Director Metabolic Modeling and Director Psychiatric MRS
Director, Neuroimaging Sciences Training Program
Chair, Magnetic Resonance Research Center Protocol Review Committee

Dr. Grame F. Mason develops experimental models and methods for studies of brain metabolism using 1H and 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) in conjunction with 13C isotopic labeling in vivo. His work began during his graduate studies at Yale where he used a rat model for the experimental determination of brain glucose transport kinetics and substrate competition for oxidative brain metabolism. Dr. Mason received further training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he guided...

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Mayes, Linda C

Arnold Gesell Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases), of Pediatrics and of Psychology
Chair, Directorial Team Anna Freud Centre at London
Special Advisor, Dean

Dr. Linda Mayes is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology in the Yale Child Study Center. After graduating from the University of the South in 1973, she received her medical degree at Vanderbilt University in 1977. Following an internship and residency in pediatrics, she spent two years as a fellow with Dr. Mildred Stahlman at Vanderbilt in the division of neonatology and worked in the area of developmental outcome of high-risk preterm infants. Dr. Mayes’s...

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Pushkarskaya, Helen

Associate Research Scientist in Comparative Medicine

Dr. Pushkarskaya focuses on neurobiology of individual differences in decision making under uncertainty (risk, ambiguity, conflict and ignorance) in healthy and clinical populations. The most recent group of projects investigates abnormal patterns in preferences toward uncertainty in Obsessive Compulsive and Hoarding disorders. She received her undergraduate training in Math and Physics at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and postdoctoral training...

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Sanacora, Gerard

Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Yale Depression Research Program

Dr. Sanacora completed an NIH sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program at the State University New York at Stony Brook, earning his Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics in 1992 and his M.D. degree in 1994. He then moved to Yale University where he completed his internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Clinical Neuroscientist Training Program Residency in the Department of Psychiatry, and an NIH funded Neuroimaging Scientist Training Program Fellowship. He is currently an Associate...

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State, Matthew W.

Professor (Adjunct) in the Child Study Center and Professor of Genetics and of Psychiatry
Co-Director, Yale Program on Neurogenetics

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Past Research Staff

Mac Kelly, MAPP

Past Research Assistant

Mac Kelly came to the clinic with an interest in anxiety disorders like OCD. He worked on participant recruitment, screening, assessment, and appointment coordination, as well as worked to establish the OCD Research Clinic's social media pages. He remains an affiliate member of the clinic while completing work on his experience-sampling project on daily symptoms of OCD in adults. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. 


Ryan Simpson, MS

Past Research Assistant

Ryan joined the OCD Clinic staff to gain experience with patients suffering from anxiety disorders. During his time with the clinic, Ryan worked with patient file management, patient screening and assessment, and data management for all OCD Clinic studies. Additionally, Ryan assisted with collaborating partners of the OCD clinic and helped train Yale staff on the Biopac data acquisition machine. He also assisted with the facilitation efforts of the Clinic’s bimonthly OCD Support Group.