Dr. Jeremiah Scharf is a behavioral neurologist and neuropsychiatric geneticist whose academic interests lie in disorders that bridge the gap between traditional neurologic and psychiatric concepts of disease. Despite being a native New Yorker and a lapsed Yankees fan, Jeremiah moved to Boston after college and never left.
He received his B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, and a combined M.D. from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) and Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University, where he worked with Dr. Louis Kunkel to identify modifying genes for spinal muscular atrophy. After completing Neurology residency at MassGeneral Brigham and a clinical fellowship in Behavioral Neurology/Neuropsychiatry, Jeremiah was drawn to Tourette Syndrome (TS) clinical care and research, since TS has long been considered a highly heritable, paradigmatic neuropsychiatric disorder, thus providing a unique opportunity to dissect the genetic and molecular basis of the brain circuitry at the interface of neurology and psychiatry and to use this knowledge to improve diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for individuals and families.
In his post-doctoral work with Dr. David Pauls, he led the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) for Tourette Syndrome and co-led a parallel GWAS for OCD. As an independent CGM faculty member, he has overseen cross-disorder genetic analyses of TS and OCD, as well as multi-center GWAS, CNV, exome and whole-genome sequencing studies of TS and related disorders. The lab’s work has been supported by grants from the Tourette Association of America, the American Academy of Neurology, the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs), and the National Institutes of Health (NINDS, NIMH, and NHGRI).
Lisa Osiecki, B.A. is the database manager on Dr. Scharf’s team who oversees the phenotypic Oracle databases for all the lab’s phenotypic and genetic studies.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Daisy joined the Scharf lab in June 2019 as the clinical research coordinator. She hails from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a B.A in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. She is most inspired by the Scharf lab’s mission to understand why tics persist into adulthood for some children but not for others and is passionate about educating underserved communities about TS and their co-occuring conditions. When not working or applying to doctoral Clinical Psychology programs, she likes to shop for cute mugs, add tea to her collection, and snuggle with her cat.
Dongmei has been a statistical geneticist in the Scharf Lab since 2006. Her research interests center on deciphering the genetic architecture of complex psychiatric traits, particularly Tourette Syndrome (TS) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Her current research involves genetic studies of genome-wide genotype data in large TS and OCD cohorts, aiming to estimate the impact of common genetic variation on TS and OCD, understand the pattern of their polygenic inheritance, and model the genetic relationship between the two disorders. These efforts will hopefully lead to discovery of genes or gene pathways that contribute to the underlying cause(s) of TS and OCD. Eventually, this will help develop methods for early prediction of disease risk and severity that could improve the effectiveness of treatment. Dongmei received an MS in Biostatistics and a Statistical Genetics Certificate from the University of Washington. Outside of the lab, Dongmei enjoys reading, cooking, and hiking with her family.
Laura joined the Scharf Lab as a postdoctoral research fellow in September 2019. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biomedicine from the Centre for Genomic Regulation and Pompeu Fabra University, in Barcelona, Spain. During her Ph.D., her research was focused on the psychiatric genetics field and, specifically, on obsessive-compulsive disorder, which she approached through genomics, transcriptomics and metagenomics analyses. Her current research involves a comprehensive understanding of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of Tourette syndrome through whole-exome sequencing and neuronal models, which may lead to improvements in diagnosis and to the development of novel therapeutic strategies. In her spare time, she likes to play the clarinet and the “cajón flamenco”, play indoor and beach volleyball, go hiking and dance lindy hop.
Marisela Dy-Hollins, M.D. is the Clinical Director of the Pediatric Movement Disorders Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. She also sees patients in the Massachusetts General Hospital Tourette Association of America Tourette Syndrome Center of Excellence. Her experiences as a first-generation college-educated Latina within the educational and health care systems and prior research experiences have shaped her research interests in health services research in Tourette Syndrome. In 2019, Dr. Dy-Hollins was awarded a 1 year clinical research training fellowship to assess social determinants of health in Tourette Syndrome. Dr. Dy’s hope is to identify where disparities may exist and propose interventions to improve access and quality of care received by all individuals.
Amber Chan attends Northeastern University and is pursuing a major in Behavioral Neuroscience as well as a minor in Business Administration. She is excited to join the team and learn more about the genetics of Tourette Syndrome and the interactions of different comorbidities. As an aspiring physician, she also hopes to become more involved in the clinical side of research as she works on the lab’s different studies. At her university, she strives to play an active role in the community and currently serves as the Membership Chair of the MA Beta Colony of Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity, the President and Founder of the multicultural sorority SAPPHIRES Interest Group, and the Treasurer of the Chinese Student Association. When Amber isn’t busy with work, school, or other extracurriculars, she loves exploring with friends, eating/making food, watching Netflix, going to concerts, sleeping in, or traveling!