Christopher Pittenger, MD, Ph.D
Christopher Pittenger, MD, Ph.D., is a Mears and Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center and Deputy Chair for Translational Research in Psychiatry at Yale University. He has directed the Yale OCD Research Clinic since 2007 and leads a broad research program investigating the phenomenology, treatment, and neural and psychological underpinnings of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, PANDAS, and related conditions. Recent work in his laboratory has examined the binding of PANDAS-associated antibodies to specific neurons in the basal ganglia of both mice and humans; binding to a cholinergic interneurons, which previous work has implicated in tic disorders, affects their integrity and is associated with PANDAS symptoms. This represents a major new insight in our understanding of the pathophysiological events underlying PANDAS; ongoing work seeks to identify the specific antibodies involved and how they affect interneuron function. Other work in the group is probing cellular and genetic models of OCD pathophysiology, neuroimaging correlates of symptom change, and novel pharmacological and behavioral treatments.