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INFORMATION FOR

Thomas Fernandez, MD

Associate Professor In the Child Study Center and in Psychiatry; Vice Chair for Research, Child Study Center; Co-Director of the Tic and OCD Program, Child Study Center

Research Summary

Dr. Fernandez's research aims to uncover the genetic and epigenetic basis of multiple childhood neuropsychiatric disorders, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ADHD, anxiety disorders, Tourette Syndrome, chronic tic disorders, motor stereotypies, and autism spectrum disorders. The overall goal is to advance our understanding of the biology of these disorders and to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Fernandez'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.

Coauthors

Research Interests

Anxiety Disorders; Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity; Child Psychiatry; Compulsive Behavior; Genetics; Genetics, Behavioral; Tourette Syndrome; Obsessive Behavior; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Psychiatry; Stereotyped Behavior; Tic Disorders; Trichotillomania; Stereotypic Movement Disorder; Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders; Autism Spectrum Disorder

Public Health Interests

Behavioral Health; Bioinformatics; Clinical Trials; Genetics, Genomics, Epigenetics; Mental Health; Child/Adolescent Health

Selected Publications

  • CONTRIBUTION OF POST-ZYGOTIC VARIANTS TO TOURETTE'S DISORDERAbdallah S, Olfson E, Fernandez T. CONTRIBUTION OF POST-ZYGOTIC VARIANTS TO TOURETTE'S DISORDER Journal Of The American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2022, 61: s273. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2022.09.417.
  • P460. Contribution of Copy-Number Variation to Obsessive-Compulsive DisorderAbdallah S, Olfson E, Fernandez T. P460. Contribution of Copy-Number Variation to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Biological Psychiatry 2022, 91: s273-s274. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2022.02.696.
  • The genetic basis of Gilles de la Tourette syndromeAbdallah S, Realbuto E, Kaka M, Yang K, Topaloudi A, Paschou P, Scharf J, Fernandez T. The genetic basis of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome 2022, 4: 3-38. DOI: 10.1016/bs.irmvd.2022.07.001.
  • CHARACTERIZATION OF DE NOVO DAMAGING VARIANTS IN CHILDHOOD ANXIETY DISORDERSOlfson E, Lebowitz E, Hommel G, Pashankar N, Silverman W, Fernandez T. CHARACTERIZATION OF DE NOVO DAMAGING VARIANTS IN CHILDHOOD ANXIETY DISORDERS Journal Of The American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2021, 60: s255. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2021.09.405.
  • Gene Regulatory Networks in AutismOliphant M, Fernandez T. Gene Regulatory Networks in Autism 2021, 2186-2190. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-91280-6_102153.
  • 42 EXPLORING POST-ZYGOTIC GENETIC VARIATION IN TOURETTE SYNDROMEAbdallah S, Olfson E, Fernandez T. 42 EXPLORING POST-ZYGOTIC GENETIC VARIATION IN TOURETTE SYNDROME European Neuropsychopharmacology 2019, 29: s82-s83. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2019.07.183.
  • 5.5 GENETIC CONTRIBUTION OF COPY-NUMBER VARIATION TO OCDAbdallah S, Olfson E, Fernandez T. 5.5 GENETIC CONTRIBUTION OF COPY-NUMBER VARIATION TO OCD Journal Of The American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2019, 58: s246. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2019.08.319.
  • F28. Whole-Exome Sequencing Study of TrichotillomaniaOlfson E, Bloch M, Fernandez T. F28. Whole-Exome Sequencing Study of Trichotillomania Biological Psychiatry 2019, 85: s223. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.03.565.
  • De Novo Coding Variants Are Strongly Associated with Tourette SyndromeWillsey J, Fernandez T, Yu D, King R, Dietrich A, Xing J, Sanders S, Mandell J, Neale B, Coppola G, Mathews C, Tischfield J, Scharf J, State M, Heiman G. De Novo Coding Variants Are Strongly Associated with Tourette Syndrome European Neuropsychopharmacology 2019, 29: s737. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2017.06.065.
  • SU78PROTEIN-PROTEIN INTERACTION (PPI) NETWORK ANALYSES OF DE NOVO VARIATION IN OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER REVEAL OVERLAP WITH AUTISM RISK GENESCappi C, Miguel E, Pinto D, Fernandez T. SU78PROTEIN-PROTEIN INTERACTION (PPI) NETWORK ANALYSES OF DE NOVO VARIATION IN OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER REVEAL OVERLAP WITH AUTISM RISK GENES European Neuropsychopharmacology 2019, 29: s1308. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2018.08.442.
  • Genetics of Tourette SyndromeLennington J, Coppola G, Fernandez T. Genetics of Tourette Syndrome 2015, 169-189. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-17223-1_9.
  • Genetic Susceptibility in Tourette SyndromeFernandez T, State M. Genetic Susceptibility in Tourette Syndrome 2013, 137-155. DOI: 10.1093/med/9780199796267.003.0007.
  • Genetics of Tourette syndrome and related disordersMotlagh M, Fernandez T, Leckman J. Genetics of Tourette syndrome and related disorders 2012, 336-346. DOI: 10.1017/cbo9781139025997.029.
  • Reply to 3p deletion and (skewed) literature reviewFernandez T, State M, Davalos‐Rodriguez N. Reply to 3p deletion and (skewed) literature review American Journal Of Medical Genetics Part A 2010, 152A: 1060-1060. DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33150.
  • Genetics and Genomics of Neurobehavioral DisordersFernandez T, State M. Genetics and Genomics of Neurobehavioral Disorders Journal Of The American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2004, 43: 370-371. DOI: 10.1097/00004583-200403000-00021.
  • Premorbid speech and language impairments in childhood-onset schizophrenia: Association with risk factorsNicholson R, Lenane M, Singaracharlu S, Bedwell J, Giedd J, Hamburger S, Thaker G, Malaspina D, Fernandez T, Wudarsky M, Hommer D, Rapoport J. Premorbid speech and language impairments in childhood-onset schizophrenia: Association with risk factors Schizophrenia Research 2000, 41: 54. DOI: 10.1016/s0920-9964(00)90420-1.
  • 425. Clinical and biological correlates of cytogenetic abnormalities in childhood-onset psychosisNicolson R, Kumra S, Giedd J, Fernandez T, Bedwell J, Lenane M, Rapoport J. 425. Clinical and biological correlates of cytogenetic abnormalities in childhood-onset psychosis Biological Psychiatry 1998, 43: s127-s128. DOI: 10.1016/s0006-3223(98)90873-3.

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Diseases of the Nervous System; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchTeen Brain and Behavior Study
Child Development & Autism; Diseases of the Nervous System; Genetics - Adult; Genetics - Pediatric; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchGenetic and molecular studies of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders
Diseases of the Nervous System; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchNeurofeedback of Amygdala Activity for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Child Development & AutismUnderstanding Neurodevelopment in Autism
Diseases of the Nervous System; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchBiomarkers of Clinical Subtype and Treatment Response in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Diseases of the Nervous System; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchNeurofeedback for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Child Development & Autism; Children's Health; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchNeurofeedback for Tourette Syndrome