Professor of Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Research
The major focus of our research has been the study of the genetics of OCD. This work has been ongoing since the 1990s. I have had several NIH grants to complete this work. We have established the familial basis of OCD with a comprehensive family study, determining that the λsib=8, and published segregation analysis findings from this work. Through linkage studies, we have identified signals on chromosome 1,3, and 15, and shown association with SLC1A1. We have reported evidence of linkage for compulsive hoarding. We have conducted two GWAS studies and suggested that PTPRD may be associated with OCD. Currently, we are conducting a WGS study for rare variants and an exome study for de novo variants. Throughout this work, we have collaborated with several university centers and now are part of the PGC. Our work throughout has also focused on refining the phenotype for these and other studies.
Our research is now focused on studying decision-making processes in psychiatric disorder. This is based on the recognition that the clinical phenotype of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and possibly other internalizing disorders, include difficulty in perceptual decision-making. We are therefore concerned with this process and expect that elucidation of the mechanism will illuminate the pathology underlying these disorders and ultimately enable development of rational treatments.