My clinical specialty is inpatient psychiatric care of patients with autism and/or intellectual disability with comorbid severe behavior or severe mental illness. I also provide outpatient care for patients with Angelman syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders with significant medical comorbidities.
In addition, I treat patients with catatonia associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. I have always been interested in how the brain works and how changes in the brain relate to human behavior. I enjoy working with children and families with neurodevelopmental disorders. Since this population is often medically underserved, I can make a significant difference in patients' and families' overall quality of life.
My research areas are severe autism, intellectual disability, Angelman syndrome and monogenetic neurodevelopmental disorders. I have always been interested in exploring new ways of testing that uncover the brain's inner workings. In college, I researched language development in babies, adults and African grey parrots. My PhD focused on using MRI (specifically fMRI and MRS) to investigate changes in the brain associated with bipolar disorder. These earlier experiences underscore my current research in neurodevelopmental disorder.
Children with neurodevelopmental disorders and severe behavior are often excluded from traditional research studies due to their challenging behavior and medical comorbidities. As such, we have a dearth of knowledge about effective treatments for these patients. With advances in genetic testing, brain imaging and physiologic testing, we now have the opportunity to uncover more effective treatments targeted to the individual patient.