Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD
Photo: Christopher Pittenger






Elected 2021

Chris Pittenger is Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, Assistant Chair for Translational Research in Psychiatry, and Director of the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (a research-dedicated inpatient and outpatient psychiatric facility), the Neuroscience Research Training Program (NRTP, the research track of the Yale adult psychiatry residency), the Yale OCD Research Clinic, and the new Yale Program in Psychedelic Science.

Dr. Pittenger completed his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at Yale and received his MD and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. He performed his doctoral work in Neurobiology & Behavior with Nobel Prize winning psychiatrist Eric Kandel. He returned to Yale to complete his residency training in adult psychiatry and a simultaneous research fellowship in the NRTP, the research track residency program that he now directs.

Late in residency he became Director of the storied Yale OCD Research Clinic and revitalized its research programs, which now encompass studies of novel pharmacological treatments, MRI and PET brain imaging, neuroeconomic analysis of behavior, brain stimulation, phenomenological and psychotherapeutic investigations, and the use of psychedelic substances to treat OCD and other neuropsychiatric conditions. The Clinic and the new Yale Program for Psychedelic Science are home to junior faculty and postdocs across a range of disciplines and the core of a vibrant intellectual community of translational scientists. In parallel, Dr. Pittenger directs a basic science laboratory in which he uses model systems to test and refine genetic, neurobiological, and immunological hypotheses of the pathophysiology of OCD, Tourette syndrome, and related conditions.

Dr. Pittenger’s work has been funded by NIMH, NINDS, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Brain and Behavior Research Fund, the Simons Foundation, and others. His has received major awards from the NIMH, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and other professional organizations.