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.
Evan joined the Scharf lab in June 2021 as the clinical research coordinator. He is from Rochester, NY and completed his bachelor’s degree from College of the Holy Cross, where he majored in Psychology and minored in Italian. He is excited to learn more about the genetic and non-genetic risk factors for developing Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and ADHD and to continue learning about new and effective treatments for these neuropsychiatric disorders. When not at work, he enjoys playing soccer, skiing, watching sports, hanging out with family and friends, and finding new coffee places to try.
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.
Danaira started as an Administrator Assistant at the Scharf Lab in December 2021. She was born in Honduras and immigrated to the United States as a child. She is pursuing a degree in healthcare management. Danaira is particularly interested in learning more about the genetic and non-genetic risk factors for Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and ADHD, as well as new and effective treatments for these neuropsychiatric disorders. She enjoys running and hiking, watching basketball, volunteering with the youth at church, and traveling when she is not at work.
Arnav is a Junior at Tufts University Studying Clinical Psychology. He is excited to learn about the risk factors behind and treatments for TS, OCD, and ADHD while interning for the Scharf Lab. Arnav has prior research experience working for Tufts University’s Cognitive Development Lab, and he is currently working as a Recovery Support Specialist at the Recovery Centers of America in Danvers. When he is not working, Arnav enjoys rock climbing, spending time with friends and family, and watching basketball.