Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and in the Child Study Center; Director, Yale OCD Research Clinic; Co-Director, Neuroscience Research Training Program

Departments & Organizations

Psychiatry: Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit | Connecticut Mental Health Center | Neurocognition, Neurocomputation, and Neurogenetics, Division of | Neuroscience Research Training Program (NRTP) | Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Research Clinic | PittLab

Faculty Research

Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Neuroscience: Behavioral and Systems; Cognitive/Learning and Memory; Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience

Yale Medicine

Office of Cooperative Research

Biography

Christopher Pittenger earned his MD and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, where his graduate work was done with Nobel Prize recipient Eric Kandel. He returned to Yale University - where he had done his undergraduate studies - for residency and research training in psychiatry in 2003. He joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2007 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2013.

During his Ph.D. studies in basic neurobiology, he became fascinated by the brain's ability to go on autopilot -- to perform complex series of actions or thoughts, after sufficient rehearsal, with almost no conscious effort. Then, during his clinical training, he recognized how this process, when disrupted by disease, can lead to the maladaptive and disruptive automaticity seen in many neuropsychiatric disorders. His research, both with patients and in animal models, aims to elucidate the mechanisms of learned automatic behaviors and to better understand the consequences when they go awry, with the ultimate goal of developing new understandings and better treatments for a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions.

Dr. Pittenger's research and clinical work have been acknowledged by a number of prestigious awards, including grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, NARSAD, the Tourette Syndrome of America, and the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, and awards from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Society for Neuroscience, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American College of Psychiatrists. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation and an active member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the American Neurological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and other groups.

Education & Training

MD Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons (2003)
PhD Columbia University (2002)
MPhil Columbia University (1998)
BS Yale University (1994)
MS Yale University (1994)
Diplomate American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
McNeil Research Fellow Yale University
Resident in Adult Psychiatry Yale University

Honors & Recognition

  • Senior Researcher AwardAmerican Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2016)

  • Lead, Committee on Adult PsychopharmacologyInternational OCD Accreditation Task Force (2016)

  • Eva King Killam Award for Outstanding Translational Research Contributions to NeuropsychopharmacologyAmerican College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2015)

  • NARSAD Independent Investigator AwardThe Brain and Behavior Research Fund (2015)

  • FellowAmerican Psychiatric Association (2015)

  • FellowAmerican Neurological Association (2015)

  • Allison FellowshipDepartment of Psychiatry, Yale Unversity (2012)

  • YCCI Pilot Award in Translational and Interdisciplinary ResearchYale Center for Clinical Investigation (2011)

  • Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New ScientistsNational Institute of Mental Health (2010)

  • NARSAD Young Investigator AwardNARSAD (2010)

  • Tourette Syndrome Association Young InvestigatorTourette Syndrome Association of the USA (2009)

  • SfN Career Development AwardSociety for Neuroscience (2009)

  • YCCI ScholarYale Center for Clinical Investigation (2009)

  • Chairman's Award for Outstanding Clinical, Teaching, and Administrative ContributionsDepartment of Psychiatry, Yale University (2009)

  • Travel Award for the ASCP Workshop on Clinical TrialsAmerican Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (2008)

  • DDCF Clinical Scientist Development AwardDoris Duke Charitable Foundation (2008)

  • Presenter at the NARSAD New York GalaNARSAD (2008)

  • The Laughlin FellowshipAmerican College of Psychiatrists (2007)

  • APA/Wyeth MD/Ph.D. Research FellowshipAmerican Psychiatric Association (2007)

  • NARSAD Young Investigator AwardNARSAD (2007)

  • The Seymour L. Lustman Award for Psychiatric ResearchYale Univeristy (2007)

  • Laughlin Foundation Merit AwardYale University (2007)

  • Memorial Travel Fellowship, ACNPAmerican College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2006)

  • The Seymour L. Lustman Award for Psychiatric ResearchYale University (2006)

  • NIMH Outstanding Resident AwardNational Institute of Mental Health (2005)

  • Dean's Day Award for Medical Student ResearchColumbia University (2002)

  • Ph.D. awarded with distinctionColumbia University (2002)

  • William H. Bean Award for Medical History or HumanitiesAmerican Osler Society (2001)

  • Dean's Day Award for Medical Student ResearchColumbia Univeristy (2000)

  • Graduated cum laude with distinction, with simultaneous awarding of BS and MS degreesYale University (1994)

  • Poole Prize for Medical WritingColumbia University (1994)

Professional Service

  • American Neurological Association (2014) Fellow

  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2014)

  • Amity Middle School - Bethany (2013) Presenter, Career Day

  • Czech Science Foundation (2013) Grant Reviewer

  • Connecticut Mental Health Center (2013 - 2014) Executive Leadership Committee

  • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (2013 - 2015) Reviewer, Clinical Scientist Development Award

  • Yale University Department of Psychiatry (2013 - 2014) Reviewer, Detre Fellowship Program

  • Association Francaise Contre les Myopathies (2013) Grant Reviewer

  • American College of Neuropscyhopharmacology (2013 - 2014) Member, Education and Training Committee

  • Medical School Curriculum Revision Task Force, Yale University School of Medicine (2013 - 2013) Member, Mechanisms and Treatment of Disease Goal Group

  • Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (2012 - 2012) Moderator, Peer Support Group

  • Israel Science Foundation (2012) Grant Reviewer

  • Southern Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair (2012 - 2014) Judge

  • Department of Psychiatry, Yale University (2012 - 2014) Member, Assistant Professor Advisory Committee (2)

  • Yale Child Study Center, Yale University (2012 - 2014) Member, Assistant Professor Advisory Committee

  • Department of Psychiatry, Yale University (2012 - 2014) Search Committee for Assistant Professor in Molecular Psychiatry

  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2012 - 2014) Reviewer, Travel Award Program

  • Amity High School (2012 - 2014) Advisor, Advanced Science Program

  • Yale University School of Medicine (2012) Mentor, START@Yale medical student mentorship program

  • North Carolina Biotechnology Center (2011) Grant Reviewer

  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2011 - 2012) Associate Member

  • Department of Psychiatry, Yale University (2011) Member, Subcommittee on the Pre-Award Process

  • Neuroscience Research Training Program, Department of Psychiatry, Yale Univeristy (2010 - 2014) Associate Director

  • Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (2010 - 2011) Site Coordinator, Yale-Rockefeller Research Day 2011

  • Department of Psychiatry, Yale University (2010) Research Website Committee

  • International Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation (2010 - 2014) Grant Review Committee

  • International Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation (2010 - 2014) Scientific Advisory Board

  • Department of Psychiatry, Yale University (2010 - 2015) Resident Selection Committee

  • Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine (2010) Search Committee for Assistant Professor in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Bethany CT Board of Education (2009) Member; Secretary

  • National Institutes of Health (2009) ad hoc reviewer - NIH Study Section ZMH1 ERB-S

  • Yale University Department of Psychiatry (2009 - 2014) Lustman Award Review Committee

  • Society of Biological Psychiatry (2009 - 2014) Member, Education and Training Committee, 2012-2015; Chair, Program Director Task Force, 2014

  • Peer Review Committee, Connecticut Mental Health Center (2008 - 2014) Member of Peer Review Committee

  • Neuroscience Letters (2007) Associate Editor

  • International Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation (2007 - 2014) member

  • Neuroscience Research Training Program, Yale University (2006 - 2007) Chief Resident

  • Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine (2006 - 2007) Resident Committee for Chair Search

  • Society for Neuroscience (2006 - 2014) Honorific Awards Committee, 2012-2014

  • Connecticut Psychiatric Association (2006 - 2014) member

  • American Psychiatric Association (2006) member

  • Neuroscience Research Training Program, Dept. of Psychiatry, Yale University (2000 - 2010) Assistant Director for Education

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Contact Info

Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD
Patient Care Location
Clinical Neuroscience Research UnitConnecticut Mental Health Center
34 Park Street, Ste 3rd floor

New Haven, CT 06519
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Office Location
Connecticut Mental Health Center
34 Park Street, Wing CNRU Fl 3 Rm 333b

New Haven, CT 06519
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Mailing Address
34 Park Street
New Haven, CT 06508

Curriculum Vitae

Director's Blog- OCD Research Clinic

OCD Research Clinic

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