Dr. Daniel Geller founded the Pediatric Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Program in 1992. At Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), he has collected and characterized the largest genetic sample ever assembled of children and adolescents with OCD and Tic disorders. Focused on individual patient attention and long term follow-up, Dr. Geller brings his lifetime of experience in both pediatrics and psychiatry to custom-tailor a successful approach to each patient's care.
As Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Clinical and Research Program, I have an solid basis on which to provide responsible clinical care. My research career has been devoted to the study of pediatric OCD and related disorders, their phenotypes, clinical correlates, familial patterns of inheritance, and treatment. In recognition of my expertise in this area, I was selected by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to author its Practice Parameters for the Assessment and Treatment of OCD in Children and Adolescents, published in 2012. I received a career development award (NIMH 5K08 MH01481) to conduct a family genetic study of pediatric OCD and subsequently assembled one of the largest cohorts of subjects ever studied, recruiting over 500 participants and publishing extensively on my findings. I have been a site investigator for numerous industry and investigator-initiated drug trials since 1991 for pediatric OCD, Tourette's syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression, including original registration trials for pediatric OCD. I have also been PI or Co-I in a number of NIH-funded grants, including the OCD Collaborative Genetics study. As such, I have administered all facets of care collaborating effectively with my colleagues and disseminating original work in peer-reviewed publications. Most recently, I was the PI for an NIH-funded grant (R01 MH093402), a double-blind randomized controlled trial investigating the pharmacological use of d-cycloserine prior to standard cognitive behavioral therapy to enhance fear extinction learning.
In addition, I was closely involved with nearly all multi-site placebo-controlled randomized FDA registration trials for the pharmacological treatment of OCD in youth, including sertraline, paroxetine and fluoxetine, as well as trials for other disorders that are frequently comorbid (e.g., Tourette's syndrome and ADHD). My meta-analysis was the first to gather and analyze the collected data, as well as to determine effect sizes and safety profiles for these medications. This lead to the current practice guidelines promulgated by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, of which I am the lead author.
Using the previous work, I was able to investigate the mediators and moderators of treatment outcomes, especially the impact of comorbid psychopathology, familial loading, age of onset, and adverse perinatal factors. Industry sponsored trials are limited by numerous exclusion criteria that do not reflect clinical populations. Therefore a realistic appraisal of effectiveness was important for the field of child psychiatry.
The hypothesis that some cases of OCD in youth might follow group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection (a variant of Sydenham's chorea) by way of a post-infectious autoimmune process (PANDAS), led to studies funded by the NINDS as part of the Tourette Syndrome Study Group. I was the PI of the MGH site that prospectively collected case-control pairs and followed them for two years naturalistically in order to examine the validity of this hypothesis. PANDAS remains highly controversial, but there is mounting evidence that neuro-immune processes are involved in an array of psychiatric illness.
As PI of a multi-site genetics study evaluating trios in families with an early-onset proband, I have been increasingly involved in the acquisition of samples for the OCD Genetics Association Study and the International OCD Genetics Consortium, which has recently become the OCD/TS subgroup of the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium (PGC). My expertise in phenotyping has been an important component in these groups' work.