Participate in Research

Research is essential to innovate targeted treatments and to gain insights into the brain basis of OCD and related disorders. What we know about OCD to date is driven by generous individuals who have actively participated in clinical research studies. If you would like to partner with us to help others and pave the way for better treatments, we invite you to read below about our current studies (some are fully remote). We look forward to discussing our studies with you. We can be reached via email at or by phone at 650-723-4095.

You will have the opportunity for a confidential screening and evaluation to determine whether you are eligible for one of our studies. Through our research, you may receive compensation and/or treatment. Any treatment you receive as part of your study participation is provided at no cost to you. If none of the current studies are a match for you, we will facilitate connection to educational materials, referrals, and support groups; as well as contact you in the future (if you desire) with information about additional research studies.

Current Studies

How Ketamine Brings About Rapid OCD Improvement

Building on our lab’s prior work showing ketamine brings about rapid (within hours) reduction of OCD symptoms in half of those who receive a single dose of ketamine, this study will be the first to test ketamine’s opioid properties in modulating fronto-striatal cognitive control circuits and anti-obsessional effects. Eligible participants with OCD (ages 18 ‒ 65) will receive a single infusion of low-dose ketamine, randomization to either pill placebo or drug that blocks opioid pathway, and two MRI brain scans. After completing research procedures, participants with OCD may be eligible for treatment through our clinic or research studies.

Funding: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Enrolling: *NEW STUDY* Fall 2023- Spring 2028 (5-year study), in-person

Seeking Healthy Controls

We are seeking individuals who have no history of psychiatric disorders to serve as controls in our studies listed above. Studies may involve diagnostic interviews, MRI brain scans, and computer games. Compensation provided for time and travel.

LATINO Genomics Project

The goal of this study is to understand how genetics contributes to OCD. While genomic studies of OCD have made exciting discoveries and are beginning to reveal information about risk, more than 95% of the people involved in these studies are of European ancestry. To increase representation and reduce health disparities, we are joining an interdisciplinary network of over 50 sites to collect clinical information and DNA through saliva from at least 5,000 Latinx adults and children with OCD. Please reach out if you have Latin American or Hispanic ancestry (you, a parent, or a grandparent need to have been born in Latin America or the Caribbean, or your family descends from Latin America). After completing research procedures, participants with OCD may be eligible for treatment through our clinic or research studies.

Funding: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Enrolling: *NEW STUDY* Fall 2023- Spring 2028 (5-year study), in-person

Studying Troriluzole (Investigational Drug) in OCD: Phase III Clinical Trial

We are seeking patients with OCD who are currently experiencing symptoms despite current medication treatment to participate in a research study investigating the drug troriluzole as an adjunctive therapy to help treat OCD (it is not yet FDA-approved for this purpose). Troriluzole is a glutamate modulator and hypothesized to normalize glutamate levels. Participants with OCD (ages 18 ‒ 65) will receive a psychological and medical evaluation to determine eligibility for the study. In the randomized study, participants will receive once a day dosing of the study drug or a matching placebo for 10 weeks. After completing the 10 weeks, participants may continue to participate in the study and receive once a day dosing of Troriluzole for 12 months, if eligible.

Funding: Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Industry-Sponsored Multi-Site Study)

Enrolling: Ongoing, in-person

NOOC Study: Efficacy of Nitrous Oxide in OCD

The inhaled anesthetic nitrous oxide (known to many as “laughing gas”) has a mechanism of action similar to that of ketamine, and, like ketamine, has been shown in randomized trials to rapidly improve symptoms of depression. Given the established safety profile and ease of use of nitrous oxide, we are studying whether nitrous oxide may rapidly decrease symptoms of OCD. We are seeking individuals with OCD, ages 18 to 65, who are not taking medications to participate in a randomized, controlled trial of nitrous oxide treatment for symptoms of OCD. Study participation lasts for two to four weeks. Participants who benefit from nitrous oxide inhalation may be eligible for a second phase of the study investigating how nitrous oxide brings about improvement in OCD symptoms.

Funding: Brain & Behavior Research Foundation 

Enrolling: Ongoing, in-person

FLEX Study: Fluoxetine/Dextromethorphan in OCD

The oral medicine dextromethorphan (brand names including Robitussin, Delsym) has long been used as an over-the-counter non-prescription treatment for cough. In recent years, it has also been combined with other medicines to create FDA-approved prescription treatments: Neudexta for neurologic disorders and Auvelity for major depressive disorder.

Dextromethorphan has a glutamate-based mechanism of action that suggests it may be a helpful medicine for OCD and related disorders, though it has never been studied as an OCD treatment. We are testing whether the combination of dextromethorphan and fluoxetine (Prozac) may decrease symptoms of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. We are seeking individuals between 18 to 65 with symptoms of OCD, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), illness anxiety disorder (IAD), or somatic symptom disorder (SSD) to take part in an eight-week, open-label study of the combination of fluoxetine and dextromethorphan vs fluoxetine alone. Eligible participants may be using fluoxetine currently or not taking any medication. This study is fully remote, with all assessments and study visits taking place via secure videoconference.

Funding: The Miller Foundation

Enrolling: Ongoing, fully remote

CVS Study

The purpose of this study is to test whether noninvasive, brief activation of the vestibular (balance) system may influence the strength of obsessive thoughts and relieve distress. Participants (ages 18 ‒ 65) with a diagnosis or symptoms of OCD or the related disorders body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), illness anxiety disorder (IAD), or somatic symptom disorder (SSD) will undergo eligibility screening, including psychological evaluation and a physical exam. Study participation is anticipated to last 3 days; involves noninvasive stimulation of the vestibular (balance) system, an EEG (electroencephalogram) recording during a computer-based test of attention, and a psychological assessment; and is compensated.

Funding: Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Enrolling: Ongoing, in-person


Improv comedy is a type of theater (e.g., games or scenes) in which actors perform without a script. It has been shown to have positive outcomes for treating patients with a variety of psychiatric symptoms. However, no study to date has investigated the effects of an improv comedy-facilitated intervention for individuals diagnosed with OCD. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is the gold-standard treatment for OCD. We are seeking patients with OCD who are interested in participating in a novel ERP + Improv Group Therapy for OCD. This intervention will augment ERP with improv comedy activities.

Participants with OCD (ages 18 and over) will receive a psychological evaluation to determine eligibility for the study. In the study, all participants will receive weekly 90-minute group therapy for 12 consecutive weeks, answer questions about OCD symptoms, and complete questionnaires. Compensation will be provided for time and travel.

Funding: Trailblazing Trainee Award Program, Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Enrolling: Ongoing, in-person

Understanding Suicide Attempt Risk Factors

We are seeking individuals who have had active suicidal thoughts in the past month. This study aims to understand and identify risk factors that may indicate risk for suicide attempts among adults with suicidal ideation. Eligible individuals (ages 18 to 65) will be invited to participate in online assessments and two follow-up phone calls. This study is entirely remote.

Funding: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 

Enrolling: Ongoing, fully remote

Contact: or 650-497-2577

Upcoming Studies

MDMA-Assisted CBT for OCD

Funding: Foundation for OCD Research

Pilot Study of the Glutamate AMPAR Modulator RR-HNK in OCD

Funding: International OCD Foundation

Hoarding Research or 650-497-2577

Suicide Prevention Research or 650-497-2577