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James Leckman, MD, PhD

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

Contact Information

James Leckman, MD, PhD

Patient Care Location

Mailing Address

  • Child Study Center

    PO Box 207900, 230 South Frontage Road

    New Haven, CT, 06520-7900

    United States

James Leckman
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James F. Leckman, M.D. is the Neison Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Psychology and Pediatrics at Yale. Dr. Leckman is a well known child psychiatrist and patient-oriented clinical investigator. For more than 20 years he served as the Director of Research for the Yale Child Study Center.

His peers have regularly selected him as one of the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Leckman is the author or co-author of over 430 original articles published in peer-reviewed journals, twelve books, and 140 book chapters. Dr. Leckman has a longstanding interest in Tourette syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). His research on these disorders is multifaceted from phenomenology and natural history, to neurobiology to genetics, to risk factor research and treatment studies. In 1999, he edited with Dr. Donald J. Cohen, Tourette's Syndrome: Tics, Obsessions, Compulsions - Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Care, published by John Wiley & Sons. More recently, he edited with Davide Martino a 30 hapter volume, entitled Tourette Syndrome, that was published in 2013 by the Oxford University Press. One area or active research interest concerns the role of the immune system in the pathobiology of Tourette syndrome and other neuropsychiatric disorders. In August 2015 a special issue of Brain Research with twelve review articles was published that he edited along with Flora Vaccarino that is focused on "What does immunology have to do with brain development and neuropsychiatric disorders?"

Based on his work on OCD, Dr. Leckman has also been drawn to study normal patterns of evolutionarily conserved obsessive-compulsive behavior. A major focus has been on parenting and the role of the bio-behavioral systems that closely interconnect our affiliative and stress response bio-behavioral systems. Most recently, in partnership with colleagues at UNICEF and the Mother-Child Education Foundation based in Turkey, Dr. Leckman has begun to explore the question whether strengthening families and enhancing child development is a path to peace and violence prevention. In October 2013, he chaired with Rima Salah and Catherine Panter-Brick the 15th Ernst Strüngmann Forum in Frankfurt, Germany. More than 40 international scholars across diverse fields—from child development to neuroscience and cultural anthropology explored the relevance of early child development to the pursuit of peace. Their deliberations highlighting directions for future research, and proposing novel approaches to translate knowledge into concrete action are summarized in volume entitled, Formative Childhoods: The Transformative Power of Children and Families, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press in 2014. Related efforts include the Early Childhood Peace Consortium that was launched in September 2013) in New York in at the United Nations Headquarters. The most recent meetings of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium took place in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2015; Belfast, Northern Ireland in June 2017; and at the United Nations in September 2017. More information concerning how the science of early childhood development can facilitate the development of a more peaceful world is available at:; and <>.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of São Paulo, Clinical Science (2014)
  • MD
    University of New Mexico (1973)
  • BA
    College of Wooster (1969)
  • Fellow
    Yale University School of Medicine
  • Resident
    Connecticut Mental Health Center
  • Postdoctoral training
    National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Program, Psychiatric Genetics
  • Board Certification
    AB of Psychiatry & Neurology, Psychiatry (1980)
  • Board Certification
    AB of Psychiatry & Neurology, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (1982)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Transformative Research AwardNational Institutes of Health2011

Departments & Organizations