Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D.

Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D.
Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Director, Translational OCD Research Program

Stanford University School of Medicine

2014, 2009 Young Investigator Grant

Dr. Carolyn Rodriguez utilizes her training as a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and clinical researcher to innovate rapid-acting treatments to relieve the suffering of patients with severe mental illnesses, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She has led landmark clinical trials that pioneered new targeted treatments and investigated the role of glutamatergic and opioid pathways. As the Director of the Translational Therapeutics Lab and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stanford, she developed methods that combine in vivo drug infusions with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalograpy (EEG) to map human brain circuit dysfunction in real time. This experimental medicine approach is critical to understanding the brain basis of psychiatric illnesses and will transform mental health care.

Carolyn is currently engaged in NIH, foundation, and donor funded mechanistic and clinical efficacy studies of novel drugs, non-invasive brain stimulation, and psychotherapy in OCD. Additional studies focus on understanding the brain mechanisms involved in hoarding disorder and how hording behaviors differ from normal collecting. Carolyn also provides mental health care for Veterans as a Consultation-Liaison psychiatrist at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs.

Carolyn serves as Associate Chair for Inclusion and Diversity in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford, Vice Chair for the Research Council of the American Psychiatric Association, Vice Chair for the International OCD Foundation Research Symposium, and Director, Executive Board of International College of Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders. She has won several national awards, including most recently, the 2017 Eva King-Killam Award for Outstanding Translational Research. Her research has been highlighted by organizations including NPR, PBS, New York Times, ABC News, NBC News, Newsweek, Smithsonian, and To educate the public on research findings and resources for clinical care, Carolyn contributes articles for Huffington Post and Harvard Business Review.

Carolyn received her B.S. in Computer Science from Harvard University in 1996, followed by a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Genetics from Harvard Medical School and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School-M.I.T. in 2004. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now lives with her husband and 3 children in Palo Alto.

Learn More About the Foundation

We Are

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is a global nonprofit organization focused on improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of psychiatric and mental illnesses.

Read more


Beginning in 1987, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation was providing seed money to neuroscientists to invest in “out of the box” research that the government and other sources were unwilling to fund. Today, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is still the leading, private philanthropy in the world in this space.

Read more


Meet the people who make up the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Our staff of experts, passionate Board of Directors, and Scientific Council which includes Nobel prize winners and chairs of psychiatric departments around the world.

Read More

Annual Report
& Financials

We take our responsibility to our donors seriously and believe that our financial operations must be transparent. We're proud to say that 100% of your contribution for research is invested directly in research grants.

Read more


Frequently Asked Questions about the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Read more


The latest news on brain and behavior research and issues that matter most to you.

Read more