Dr. James Leckman, M.D, Ph.D.

Pandas Network

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 chapter volume, entitled "Tourette Syndrome," that was published in 2013 by the Oxford University Press. One area of 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 of 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 a 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 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.


Neison Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Psychology and Pediatrics at Yale