This K24 Mid-Career Investigator Career Development Award seeks support for training and mentorship for Christopher Pittenger, MD, Ph.D., a well-established, tenured Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Yale University, Director of the Yale OCD Research Clinic, and Assistant Chair for Translational Research in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Pittenger leads a robust patient-oriented research (POR) research program, which is integrated with his basic/translational lab-based research and has produced important new insights into the neurobiological underpinnings and novel treatment avenues for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette syndrome (TS). Dr. Pittenger has a long-standing commitment to mentorship; most notably, he is Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Training Program (NRTP), the research track within the Yale psychiatry residency. The training plan supported by this grant will allow Dr. Pittenger to increase his skills in quantitative analysis, with a focus on advanced statistical methods and on the design and analysis of fMRI studies. These are areas in which he already has active research with expert collaborators;
the aim of the proposed training plan is to enhance his own proficiency to make him a more effective collaborator and mentor in these important domains. Additional training is focused on his own abilities as a mentor and leader, with the goal of increasing his efficacy in the management of his own research groups and in effective and individualized mentorship. These training activities will take place in the context of two NIMH- funded research studies. The first, R01 MH116038, is a recently funded grant on which Dr. Pittenger is co-PI with his close collaborator Alan Anticevic and deploys cutting-edge imaging technology and data analysis approaches to examine brain network connectivity parallels and predictors of therapeutic response to pharmacotherapy in OCD. The second, R01 MH100068, is a grant with collaborator Michelle Hampson that is developing real-time fMRI neurofeedback as a probe and potential treatment for OCD, with promising early results. These two exciting projects provide a fruitful vehicle for the proposed training in statistics and neuroimaging. Dr. Pittenger will devote substantial time to mentoring under this award. One major focus will be the NRTP; the plan is for him to take over as Director of this program over the next few years, and to take the lead in the next resubmission of our T32 grant in 2022. Support of this increased mentorship effort is a second major motivation for the current application. Dr. Pittenger will also provide mentorship to students, postdocs, and junior faculty in his own research program and throughout the Department of Psychiatry Together, these integrated plans for training, research, and mentorship will support a well-established mid-career investigator whose robust research program is producing important insights into the neurobiology and treatment of OCD and TS, and whose dedicated mentorship efforts are helping to establish a new generation of translationally grounded patient-oriented researchers in psychiatric neuroscience.
This K24 Mid-Career Investigator Career Development Award in Patient-Oriented Research seeks support for Christopher Pittenger, a tenured Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University and Director of the Yale OCD Research Clinic; training and mentorship activities supported by this award will take place in the context of two NIMH-funded projects, R01 MH100068 and R01 MH116038. The Award will support Dr. Pittenger in a robust training plan aimed at increasing his skills in statistics and in the design and analysis of fMRI experiments, with the goal of making him a more effective collaborator and mentor in these domains. The robust Mentorship Plan supports a range of trainees, from high school students through junior faculty, with a particular focus on the research track with the Yale Psychiatry Residency, of which Dr. Pittenger will become the Director in the coming years.