Research activities: My research is focused on how genes, environment, and culture interact to influence the development and expression of neuropsychiatric symptoms/syndromes, including anxiety, resilience, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), compulsive hoarding, tic disorders, including Tourette Syndrome (TS), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These disorders are common, usually begin in childhood, and are frequently co-morbid with one another. In addition, there is some evidence that they may have overlapping etiologies. One component of my research focuses on identifying susceptibility genes for OCD and TS using linkage analyses in genetically isolated populations and genome-wide association (GWAS) approaches. Another component focuses on identifying potential endophenotypes or intermediate phenotypes for these complex traits, using clinical, neuropsychological, electrophyisological and neuroimaging approaches. See my website for more details on a particular project. pgenes.net
Clinical activities: Director, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders Clinic, UCSF, 2007-present. I direct and attend in this resident-staffed clinic, which meets for 1/2 day a week, and sees adults, adolescents, and children with OCD, Tourette Syndrome, and related disorders for consultation, evaluation, and treatment, including pharmacological treatment and psychotherapy, with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapy.
Co-Director, Anxiety Disorders Program, UCSF, 2009. I co-direct and attend in this resident-staffed clinic, which meets for 1 and 1/2 days a week, and sees adults with Anxiety Disorders for consultation, evaluation, and treatment, including pharmacological treatment and psychotherapy, with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapy.
Faculty practice, UCSF, 2006-current, two days a week. In my UCSF faculty practice, I see adults, adolescents, and children with OCD, Tourette Syndrome, and related disorders for consultation, evaluation, and treatment, including pharmacological treatment and psychotherapy, with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapy.
Teaching/Mentoring: My mentoring activities are primarily focused in the area of mentoring psychiatry research residents, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty in the area of pursuing academic careers in research. I have been active as the co-director of the Psychiatry Resident Research Training Program (RRTP) since arriving at UCSF in 2006, and have recently been appointed as the Faculty Chief for Research and Scholarship for the Department of Psychiatry. In these roles, I have been very active in mentoring and promoting the research and academic careers of women and minorities within the Department. I have mentored approximately 20 residents, fellows, or faculty members since coming to UCSF. The RRTP, which I co-direct, has had a very successful record of recruiting and training both women (55% of RRTP residents are women) and ethnic minorities (over 30% of RRTP residents are ethnic minorities). I currently mentor two postdoctoral research fellows as well as a nursing graduate student in a research mentorship capacity, as well as many RRTP and general psychiatry residents as a faculty/career mentor. In addition, because of my involvement in several international research collaborations, I have had the opportunity to mentor/supervise a number of international students who have chosen to come to my laboratory for additional training and/or research rotations. These include a Master’s student from the Free University of Amsterdam, an undergraduate/medical student from the University of Cologne, and a psychiatrist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am also active in mentoring junior faculty through the UCSF Department of Psychiatry’s Faculty Mentorship Program. I currently mentor four junior faculty through this program; all are in the early stages of their research careers and are planning the next steps for ongoing successful academic careers.