Our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) guides the Tourette Association of America in defining the strategic direction for our grant funding, promotes our funding calls among the scientific and medical community, reviews proposals, and ultimately makes recommendations for grant funding to the TAA’s Board of Directors.

Carol Mathews, M.D.,
SAB Co-Chair,
McKnight Brain Institute
Gainesville, FL

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Dr. Mathews is a board-certified psychiatrist with clinical and research expertise in Tourette Syndrome (TS), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Her research focuses on how genes, environment, and culture interact to cause/influence the expression of neuropsychiatric disorders, including TS. Dr. Mathews is the co-chair of the Steering Committee for the Tourette Syndrome Association International Consortium for Genetics (Tourette AssociationICG). Clinically, she directs the Obsessive Compulsive Disorders Clinic at UCSF and co-directs the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at UCSF.

Aryn Gittis, Ph.D.
SAB Co-Chair
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA

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Dr. Aryn Gittis studies the organization and function of neural circuits in the basal ganglia in order to understand the role that region of the brain plays in learning, movement, and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and dystonia. Her lab uses a variety of techniques including electrophysiology, optogenetics, histology and behavior to understand how circuits in the basal ganglia affect motor control.

Gittis is the recipient of a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to study the neuronal mechanisms that underlie compulsive behavior. She was a finalist for The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology, an international prize that encourages the work of promising young neurobiologists.


Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Postdoctoral Appointment, Gladstone Institute for Neurological Disease

Erika Augustine, M.D.
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, NY

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Dr. Erika Augustine, M.D. is a pediatric neurology specialist in Rochester, NY. She specializes in pediatric neurology.

Scott Compton, Ph.D.
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC

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Dr. Compton is the Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Donald Gilbert, M.D., MS, FAAN, FAAP
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, OH

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Donald Gilbert, MD, earned his Bachelor of Arts at Princeton University, where he majored in philosophy. He subsequently earned his MD at the University of Michigan and spent a year at the National Institutes of Health as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar. Dr. Gilbert did his pediatrics and neurology training at John Hopkins in Baltimore and is board certified in neurology with special competence in child neurology. Dr. Gilbert has an MS in clinical research design and statistical analysis from the University of Michigan.


Movement disorders; Tourette Syndrome; Sydenham’s chorea; kernicterus; dystonia; ataxia; clinical research; transcranial magnetic stimulation


Clinical trials in Tourette’s syndrome and associated ADHD; epidemiology of Tourette Syndrome and PANDAS; clinical effectiveness of multi-drug treatments in Tourette Syndrome; transcranial magnetic stimulation in Tourette Syndrome and pediatric movement disorders; functional neurosurgery for pediatric dystonia

Ellen Hess, Ph.D.,
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

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Dr. Ellen Hess is a Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. She received her B.A. in Psychobiology from Wellesley College and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of California at San Diego with postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute. Before joining the faculty at Emory University in 2008, she held academic appointments at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. Dr. Hess’ research uses molecular genetic, pharmacological and behavioral approaches to understand the roles of the basal ganglia and cerebellum in movement disorders. Her efforts focus on the discovery and development of new treatments for movement disorders by using and creating animal models. This work forms the basis of a newly developed Antidystonia Drug Discovery Program, which now serves as a resource for preclinical antidystonia drug testing for the scientific community. In addition, she has published many scientific papers, chaired numerous scientific review panels and is invited to speak on her work throughout the world.

Tanya Murphy, M.D.
Rothman Center for Pediatric Neuropsychiatry
St. Petersburg, FL

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Dr. Murphy is the Director of the Rothman Center for Pediatric Neuropsychiatry, and holds the Maurice A. and Thelma P. Rothman Endowed Chair in Developmental Pediatrics with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry.

After graduating from the College of Medicine at the University of Florida, Dr. Murphy stayed at UF to complete her residency in general psychiatry and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. As a member of the Department of Psychiatry faculty, she served as Director of the UF Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Program, Director of the UF Child Anxiety & Tic Disorder Clinic, and Medical Director for the UF Autism Unit. From 2005 – 2008 she was Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UF.

Dr. Murphy is board-certified in psychiatry and child psychiatry. She also holds a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation. She has received several major grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers. Her current research focuses on understanding the role of infections and the immune system in the onset of childhood psychiatric disorders and pharmacological and psychological treatments for Tourette Syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She holds leadership positions with several national Tourette Syndrome groups and serves on the scientific advisory board for the Regional Obsessive Compulsive Foundation.

Laurie Ozelius, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Charlestown, MA

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Dr. Ozelius graduated with a Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard Medical School. Her research interests center around genetics of movement disorders, particularly hereditary dystonia and Parkinson’s disease (PD)

David A. Peterson, Ph.D.,
Salk Institute
La Jolla, CA

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David Peterson is an Assistant Project Scientist with the Institute for Neural Computation at UCSD and the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He employs computational methods to develop better ways of objectively quantifying symptoms of movement disorders and theoretical neurobiology to develop theories for the causes of these disorders. His areas of focus include adult onset dystonia and Parkinson’s disease, with an emphasis on the role of dopamine in altered synaptic and network plasticity in the basal ganglia.

Rosalinda Roberts, Ph.D.,
University of Alabama at Birmingham
School of Medicine
Birmingham, AL

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Dr. Rosalinda Roberts received her Ph.D. in biological sciences in the department of Anatomy and Neurobiology from the University of California, Irvine in 1986. There she studied an animal model of epilepsy using anatomical and behavioral methods. She then went to Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital to do a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of Neurology, where she studied an animal model of Huntington’s Disease. In 1990, Dr. Roberts went to the University of Maryland at Baltimore to join the Department of Psychiatry at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC) as an Assistant Professor. Her lifetime research focus began here as she turned her focus to the neuropathology in schizophrenia in human postmortem brain and on the effects of antipsychotic drugs in rodent models. In addition, Dr. Roberts played a major role in the management of the Maryland Brain Collection, and directed the collection for many years. During this time Dr. Roberts was the principal investigator on four NIH R01s and several foundation grants and has published over 130 manuscripts and books. In 2007 Dr. Roberts joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology as the second holder of the Kathy Ireland Endowed Chair in Psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL where she continues her research on ultrastructural changes in the brain in schizophrenia. She started and directs the Alabama Brain Collection and is the Tissue Coordinator for the TSA Brain Tissue Program.

Jeremiah Scharf, M.D., Ph.D.,
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA

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Dr. Jeremiah Scharf is a behavioral neurologist and neuropsychiatric geneticist who works as the interface between neurology and psychiatry, employing genetics and clinical research tools to investigate the etiology and pathogenesis of Tourette Syndrome and related disorders as model neuropsychiatric illnesses. His research lab is focused on genetic and non-genetic factors that predispose individuals to TS and its common comorbidities, specifically obsessive-compulsive disorder and attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder. Dr. Scharf is the co-chair of the Tourette Association International Consortium for Genetics Steering (Tourette AssociationICG) Committee and principal investigator of the Tourette AssociationICG multicenter U01 grant from the NINDS. Dr. Scharf is also Director of the Partners Neurology Tic Disorders Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital, which currently sees over 75 new cases a year and provides comprehensive clinical assessments and ongoing management of TS patients referred from local, regional, national and international sources.