The Fernandez Lab works to uncover the genetic and epigenetic basis of multiple childhood neuropsychiatric disorders, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, anxiety disorders, Tourette Syndrome, chronic tic disorders, motor stereotypies, and autism spectrum disorders.
The lab’s current focus is to discover which combinations of genes are underlying risk for these disorders in individuals and extended families. There are multiple pathways to this type of discovery, including identification of discrete genetic sequence changes in those with disease (using whole-exome and whole-genome DNA sequencing), detecting deletions and duplications that encompass larger regions of human chromosomes (using DNA sequencing and microarray technologies), and finding markers on DNA that regulate gene expression but do not alter the genetic sequence or structure (i.e. epigenetic markers that are dynamic throughout development). The end goal of this research is to identify networks of genes that increase risk for illness and teach us larger lessons about underlying disease biology that can be leveraged for improving diagnosis and treatment.
The Fernandez lab is led by Dr. Thomas Fernandez, Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center and Psychiatry.
- Children with tic disorders, motor stereotypies, or other childhood-onset movement disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, ADHD, developmental delay
- Family willing to contribute a blood or saliva sample (parents as well)