HONORING A PIONEER: From left, Slavin, Geller, Michele and David Mittelman, and Rosenbaum
Daniel Geller, MD, director of the MGH Pediatric Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Tic Disorder Program, was honored June 27 as the first incumbent of the Michele and David Mittelman Family Endowed Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Field of OCD and Related Disorders.
The chair was funded by the Mittelman family along with contributions from several other families. Michele Mittelman spoke at the event, along with Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president, Jerrold Rosenbaum, MD, chief of Psychiatry, and Geller’s mentor, James Harris, MD.
“Dr. Geller certainly is an appropriate selection for this chair, as he is known internationally for his innovative research in the field of obsessive compulsive disorder and other related conditions in young people,” Slavin said. “Calling him a pioneer is an understatement, as his career is marked by many ‘firsts’ and unusual accomplishments.”
Geller founded the Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Program at the MGH in 1992 and over the years has collected and characterized the largest sample of children and adolescents with OCD ever assembled. In addition, he was an early pioneer in characterizing the clinical characteristics of childhood-onset OCD and of co-occurring Tourette’s syndrome and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Geller was the first researcher to distinguish different genetic and familial patterns in childhood-onset,
versus later-onset, OCD and related disorders.
He currently leads a first-of-its-kind pediatric study to test whether a medication tested for schizophrenia, trauma, anxiety and OCD in adults can speed up the therapeutic effects of behavioral therapy for children with the disorder. Geller is also initiating a study of the sudden, unexpected onset of OCD or tic symptoms in children immediately following a streptococcal infection – which may revolutionize the understanding and treatment of those illnesses.
“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of this chair,” says Geller. “And to have the trust of the families who made this possible.”
Read more articles from the 08/02/13 Hotline issue.