head_ocd Columbia University Medical Center Center for OCD and Related Disorders

About Us | Staff | Learn About OCD & Related Disorders

The Anxiety Disorders Clinic (ADC) is an established clinical research facility located in New York City at the Columbia University Medical Center. The ADC staff consists of psychiatrists, psychologists, a research nurse, a receptionist, research assistants, and a data management team. Founded in 1982, the Anxiety Disorders Clinic was the first in the nation devoted to research and treatment of anxiety problems. For directions to our center, click here---- or call (646)774-7000.

Helen Blair Simpson, M.D., Ph.D. --Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic (ADC) and OCD Research Program

H. Blair Simpson, M.D., Ph.D. is Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic (ADC) and OCD Research Program in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is also a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the College of Physician and Surgeons at Columbia University and an Attending Psychiatrist at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

After graduating from Yale College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Dr. Simpson entered the MD-PhD program at The Rockefeller University/Cornell University Medical College. For her PhD, she worked on the brain basis of bird song vocalizations in the laboratory of Dr. Fernando Nottebohm. After completing the MD-PhD program, she entered and completed the internship and residency in psychiatry at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Since 1996, Dr. Simpson has worked in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, first as a NIMH Research Fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Liebowitz and now as an independent researcher and Director of the OCD Research Program. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and private foundations such as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD). Her interdisciplinary work ranges from clinical trials comparing the effects of medication and therapy in OCD to brain imaging studies examining the brain basis of OCD. The goal of her work is to improve the outcome of patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Franklin Schneier, M.D.

F. SchneierFranklin Schneier, M.D. is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Research Scientist in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Schneier is a graduate of Yale College and Cornell University Medical College, and he completed his residency in psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. He completed a fellowship in Clinical Research at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, and has served as Associate Director of the clinic.  He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

Dr. Schneier?s research has focused on the diagnosis and treatment of social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.  He has conducted clinical trials establishing the efficacy of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy treatments, and he has used brain imaging techniques of SPECT, PET, and fMRI to evaluate brain function in social anxiety and other disorders. He has also studied the relationship of social anxiety disorder to medical conditions, such as essential tremor, stuttering, and hyperhidrosis. He is the principal investigator of grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Schneier is author of more than 130 scholarly publications and a book for the general public, The Hidden Face of Shyness

Other selections from Dr. Schneier's published work can be found on the Resources page of the Social Anxiety website.

Anthony Pinto, Ph.D

Anthony Pinto, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry), Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is the recipient of a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Pinto plans to use this funding to further understanding of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), beginning with the exploration of its phenomenology and neurocognition, and moving toward the development of treatments for the disorder. He is also particularly interested in elucidating the relationship of OCPD to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Dr. Pinto has been involved in several NIMH-funded studies of OCD which examine the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for those on medication, the use of motivational enhancement therapy to improve treatment outcome, and brain regions associated with OCD and treatment outcome. Dr. Pinto has studied the symptom subtypes of OCD, the course of the disorder, and the phenomenology/treatment of related spectrum conditions such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. In the area of personality disorders, he is a contributor to the 10-year collaborative longitudinal study of personality disorders (CLPS).

Dr. Pinto was formerly on the research faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown Medical School for five years. He served as Research Psychologist in the OCD Program at Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island where he was a co-investigator on NIMH studies of OCD, including a 10-year longitudinal study of the disorder, a multi-site genetics study, as well as an innovative treatment study for refractory cases applying deep brain stimulation. In addition to research, Dr. Pinto has a passion for teaching. He taught undergraduate statistics as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Hofstra University and psychopathology to advanced undergraduates and graduate students as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Connecticut College.

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


Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D. Ph.D. is a NIMH Research Fellow under the mentorship of Dr. H. Blair Simpson. Her research focus is developing novel treatment strategies for patients suffering from OCD
by integrating neuroscience with clinical research.

After graduating from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science,
Dr. Rodriguez entered the MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School. For her PhD, she
developed novel genetic techniques to track neuronal migration in the laboratory of Dr.
Susan Dymecki. After completing the MD-PhD program, she entered and completed the
internship and residency in psychiatry at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

During her residency, she was honored with the NIMH Outstanding Resident Award and elected chief resident by her peers and faculty. She was also selected as a Laughlin Fellow from The American College of Psychiatrists, Career Development Institute for Psychiatry Fellow, and was awarded the prestigious Barbara Anne Liskin Prize from Columbia University Medical Center for her leadership in clinical, research, teaching, and community service.

Ashley Greene, B.A.


Ashley Greene, B.A. is a Research Assistant involved with studies concerning Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). Before joining NYSPI, Ashley received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. For two years following her undergraduate studies, Ashley worked at the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at the VA Boston Healthcare System with a research lab examining PTSD comorbidity, as well as the quality of veteran's relationships with their romantic partners. Ashley plans to pursue  A Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. 

Marcia Kimeldorf, Ph.D.


Marcia Kimeldorf, Ph.D. is the Research Project Manager for OCD studies in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic of the New York State Psychiatric Institute.  In addition to biological and treatment studies of OCD, Dr. Kimeldorf also manages a study that uses performance on various neurobehavioral tasks to examine differences in underlying brain circuitry across three psychiatric disorders: OCD, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Anorexia Nervosa.  

After graduating with a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Arts in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University-Teachers College, Dr. Kimeldorf received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Miami.  She has worked in a variety of clinical settings using empirically supported treatments to help patients suffering from a wide range of disorders. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Kimeldorf completed a clinical postdoctoral fellowship involving intensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  Dr. Kimeldorf maintains a private practice in Manhattan where she specializes in cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, and relationship dysfunction.

Moira A. Rynn, M.D.

Rynn.M.Moira Rynn, M.D. focuses her research on pediatric clinical trials involving both psychopharmacologic and psychosocial treatments with an emphasis on mood and anxiety disorders. She completed several studies in the area of pediatric anxiety studies showing the efficacy of sertraline (Rynn et al., AJP, 2001) and venlafaxine ER (AJP, 2007). Dr. Rynn participated as an investigator in the Pediatric OCD Treatment Study (POTS) Team (JAMA, 2004). As Co-Principal Investigator, she worked with Dr. Anne Marie Albano (Principal Investigator) on the largest published study in pediatric anxiety disorders, the Child Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Treatment Study (CAMS, NEJM, 2008) which showed the treatment efficacy of the combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. In addition, Dr. Rynn is examining the efficacy of novel compounds for the treatment of pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder especially for children who have failed first line treatment. Dr. Rynn has been providing pharmacologic treatment for adults and children diagnosed with mood and anxiety disorders since 1991. More information on Dr. Rynn's research can be found here.

Anthony Puliafico, Ph.D.

staffAnthony Puliafico, Ph.D. is a clinician at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD) and an instructor in Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University-New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Puliafico specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults with anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia, as well as the treatment of children and adolescents with behavior problems, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). He has extensive experience in cognitive-behavioral therapy, systemic family therapy, and parent-child interaction therapy. Besides conducting individual therapy, Dr. Puliafico also provides group cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders. He also currently serves as co-director of psychology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute Children?s Day Unit.

Dr. Puliafico received his B.S. with Distinction from Cornell University, where he majored in Human Development, and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Temple University. Dr. Puliafico completed his clinical psychology internship at Bellevue Hospital Center/NYU Medical Center, during which time he served as a clinician at the NYU Child Study Center. Dr. Puliafico has trained at various other treatment facilities, including the Temple University Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, and Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. 

Dr. Puliafico has published in peer-reviewed journals including Psychological Assessment, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, and Journal of Anxiety Disorders. He has also given numerous presentations on anxiety disorders in childhood and adolescence and managing anxiety in school settings. Dr. Puliafico is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.  More information on Dr. Puliafico's work can be found here.

Donna Vermes , MS, NPP, B.C.

Donna Vermes, MS, NPP, B.C. is the Administrator of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), and Instructor in Clinical Nursing in the Department of Nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing. Donna graduated from Columbia University School of Nursing Graduate School in 2000.  Donna has been working since 1993 in the areas of pathological gambling and anxiety disorders