Clinical Focus

  • Gender Identity
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Faculty Award, Child Psychiatry Fellows at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (6/20/15)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Information Systems Physician Advisory Group, Member, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (2010 - Present)
  • Early Career Enhancement Committee Member, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2014 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Fellowship:University Of New Mexico Hospital (2005) NM
  • Medical Education:St George's University School of Medicine (2000) West Indies
  • Residency:Maricopa Medical Center (2003) AZ
  • Internship:Maricopa Medical Center (2001) AZ
  • Board Certification: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2011)
  • Board Certification: Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2008)

Community and International Work

  • Consultation for Stanford Children's Teen Van, Alta Vista High School


    Psychiatry consultation in the community

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Dept. of Adolescent Medicine

    Populations Served

    Area Teens


    Bay Area

    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Studies in Process: Pharmacological treatment of Irritability Associated with Autism, Treatment of Core Features of Autism

Clinical Trials

  • The Role of Vasopressin in the Social Deficits of Autism Recruiting

    Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine are seeking participants for a study examining the effectiveness of vasopressin, a neuropeptide, in treating children with autism spectrum disorder. Difficulty with social interactions is characteristic of people with autism, who often have problems interpreting facial expressions or maintaining eye contact while talking with someone. There are currently no effective medicines available to treat social problems in individuals with autism. Neuropeptides, such as vasopressin and oxytocin, are molecules used by neurons in the brain to communicate with one another. Vasopressin is closely related to oxytocin, which is currently being tested as a treatment for autism, and has been shown to enhance social functioning in animals. Animal studies have shown that when the proper functioning of vasopressin is experimentally altered, animals develop a variety of social deficits, including impaired memory for peers and a reduced interest in social interaction. Researchers found that when vasopressin was administered to mice with a genetically induced form of autism, their social functioning improved. Vasopressin is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in humans, and has proved to be a successful treatment for some common pediatric conditions, including bedwetting. Similar to oxytocin, it also has been shown to improve social cognition and memory in people who do not have autism. The researchers will test the effects of vasopressin on social impairments in 50 boys and girls with autism, ages 6 to 12 years old. The study will last four weeks for each participant. Participants will receive either vasopressin or a placebo nasal spray. At the end of this phase of the study, those who received the placebo will have the option of participating in a four-week trial during which they will be given vasopressin. Stanford is the only site for the study. Participants do not need to live locally but will need to come to the Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for study visits.

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  • Intranasal Oxytocin Treatment for Social Deficits in Children With Autism Recruiting

    Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by core deficits in social behavior and communication, and the presence of repetitive or stereotyped behaviors. It is one of three recognized disorders in the autism spectrum which affects an estimated 1 in 88 children in the United States. At present, pharmacotherapies target only associated features of autism, with no effective drug treatments for the social impairments. Several lines of evidence now suggest that the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) may be an effective treatment for the core social deficits in autism. Here we will test the effects of twice daily intranasal OT (24 IU) over a 4-week period for enhancing social deficits in male and female children aged 6-12 years with autism. This research has high potential to lead to the development of more effective treatments and earlier interventions for children with autism.

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2013-14 Courses


All Publications

  • A multisite controlled study of risk factors in pediatric psychogenic nonepileptic seizures EPILEPSIA Plioplys, S., Doss, J., Siddarth, P., Bursch, B., Falcone, T., Forgey, M., Hinman, K., LaFrance, W. C., Laptook, R., Shaw, R. J., Weisbrot, D. M., Willis, M. D., Caplan, R. 2014; 55 (11): 1739-1747

    View details for DOI 10.1111/epi.12773

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345227400015

  • Anxiety and Special Impulse Control Disorders Handbook of Developmental Psychiatry Thienemann, M., Hinman, K., Bloch, M., Leckman, J. edited by Steiner, H. World Scientific. 2011: 91-128

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