the Translational Therapeutics Lab Director
One of the biggest misconceptions about obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is that it is merely a personality quirk. As a clinical psychiatrist and researcher, I see firsthand the impact OCD has on people like Jerry, whose OCD symptoms cost him jobs and relationships.
For half of newly diagnosed adults, standard recommended treatments for OCD (medications and cognitive behavioral therapy) will help them achieve a meaningful reduction in their symptoms. That’s good news for those suffering. But the other half continue to have symptoms that can limit their lives.
Our lab studies new pathways that have the potential to rapidly (within hours) relieve OCD symptoms. We also work to understand how we can target treatment to brain OCD circuits. While we have made some important advances, we need additional research to discover novel treatments that will effectively prevent or treat OCD. This OCD research may also positively impact treatments for depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, hoarding disorder, and many other serious mental illnesses, because underlying brain circuit abnormalities may be shared across diagnoses.
We are a village of interdisciplinary team members and community partners who highly value inclusive team science, increasing representation in study participants and the scientific workforce, and advocacy and education about mental illness and clinical research. Our goal is to innovate targeted, rapid-acting treatments and to drive insights into the brain basis of OCD and related disorders to bring compassionate relief to the suffering of patients. Our mission is to lead cutting-edge, high-quality research studies that accelerate and transform treatments for severe mental illness.
Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD
Director, Translational Therapeutics Lab
Professor and Associate Dean
Stanford School of Medicine