Dr. Carolyn Rodriguez leads studies investigating the brain basis of severe mental disorders. Her landmark clinical trials pioneer rapid-acting treatments for illnesses including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). As the Director of the Translational Therapeutics Lab and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Rodriguez has developed methods that combine in vivo drug infusions with magnetic resonance spectroscopy, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and electroencephalography to map human brain circuit dysfunction in real time.
As a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and clinical researcher, Carolyn’s NIH-, foundation-, and donor-funded mechanistic and clinical efficacy studies span targeted glutamatergic and opioid pathway pharmacotherapy, non-invasive brain stimulation, and psychotherapy for OCD, PTSD, and hoarding disorder. Additional studies focus on understanding the basic neuroscience mechanisms of repetitive behaviors. Carolyn also provides mental health care for Veterans as a consultation-liaison psychiatrist at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs.
Carolyn is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Stanford University School of Medicine, Deputy Editor of The American Journal of Psychiatry, member of the Research Council of the American Psychiatric Association, member of Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council, member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Advisory Group, and Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board member of the International OCD Foundation. She has won several national awards, including the 2022 Dolores Shockley Diversity and Inclusion Advancement Award from ACNP and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE recognizes investigators who are pursuing bold and innovative projects at the early stages of their careers and is considered one of the highest honors in scientific research. Carolyn presented her research at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2019, and her work has been highlighted by organizations including NPR, PBS, New York Times, ABC News, NBC News, Newsweek, and Time.com. She contributes articles to Harvard Business Review and Huffington Post to share scientific findings with the public. She is co-author of “Hoarding Disorder: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide,” published August 2022 by APA Publishing.
Carolyn received her B.S. in Computer Science from Harvard University, followed by a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Genetics from Harvard Medical School and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School-M.I.T. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now lives with her husband and three children in Palo Alto.