Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Program

UCSD Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Clinic              UC San Diego
Department of Psychiatry
Outpatient Specialty Clinics      
8950 Villa La Jolla Drive, Suite C-207
La Jolla, CA 92037                

Clinic Phone: 858-534-8730                                           Clinic Fax: 858-534-8863

Clinic & Research Director: Sanjaya Saxena, M.D.  
Associate Clinic Director: 
Danielle Haber, M.D. 



UCSD OCD Research Program
UC San Diego
Department of Psychiatry
8950 Villa La Jolla Drive, Suite C-106
La Jolla, CA 92037

Research Program Phone: 858-246-1872
Research Program fax: 858-246-0836

Research Coordinator: Jennifer Sumner, Ph.D.

    The UCSD Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD) Clinic offers specialized assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with OCD, related disorders such as Compulsive Hoarding, Trichotillomania, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Tourette Syndrome, and co-occurring conditions, in an elegant outpatient setting.  We offer treatment with both medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and stress the integration of psychopharmacological and psychological treatment interventions. 

    The clinic is staffed by a multi-disciplinary faculty of clinicians with expertise in OCD and related disorders, as well as trainees, including UCSD Psychiatry residents and fellows.  All patients seen by trainees are also seen by faculty supervisors.  Individual faculty clinicians see other patients on several different days of the week.

    Research Team

    Sanjaya Saxena, M.D. is Professor in Residence in the UCSD Department of Psychiatry. Additionally, he is the Director of the UCSD Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Program and the VA San Diego Anxiety Disorders Clinic. His research focuses on the neurobiology and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders. He and his research team use functional brain imaging to understand the brain circuits and systems that mediate OCD symptoms, to reveal how effective treatments work in the brain, and to predict response to various types of treatments. Recently, Dr. Saxena has been studying specific subtypes and variants of OCD such as Compulsive Hoarding and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), to understand their neurobiology and develop better treatments for these disabling conditions. He has authored or co-authored over 50 scientific articles and book chapters and has presented his work at many major national and international scientific meetings. He has received awards and grants from the American Psychiatric Association, American Neuropsychiatric Association, National Institute of Mental Health, and the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation. Dr. Saxena serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation and is a consultant to the DSM-V Workgroup on Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders. His research has garnered attention from local and national media, and he has been featured on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, the Discovery Channel, National Public Radio, BBC News, the New York Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, Washington Times, Time Magazine, Discover Magazine, Reader's Digest, and many local TV news programs. Dr. Saxena was elected into Best Doctors in America in 2005, 2007, and 2009, was elected into America’s Top Doctors in 2008. Dr. Saxena is also heavily involved in teaching psychiatric residents and medical students at UCSD. In 2007, he won the UCSD Department of Psychiatry Faculty Teaching Award. He is also active in community education, giving many presentations for local, national, and international medical and mental health groups. Dr. Saxena also served as the psychiatric consultant for the motion picture, “As Good As It Gets” (Sony Pictures, 1997), in which the lead character, played by Jack Nicholson, suffered from OCD.

    Carl Hoh, M.D. is Associate Professor of Radiology, and Chief, Division of Nuclear Medicine at UCSD. Dr Hoh has been performing quantitative PET research protocols from 1989-present and serves as a Co-Investigator on this project. All PET scans in this study will be performed at the UCSD PET Facility and supervised on-site by Dr. Hoh, who has completed radiation safety training and is licensed by the UCSD Radiation Safety Office to use radioactive isotopes for human subjects. Dr. Hoh is the Nuclear Medicine physician who will be the Responsible User, overseeing all use of radionuclides. Dr. Hoh is board certified by the American Board of Radiology. He has a California medical license and clinical privileges at UCSD. Dr. Hoh has multiple publications on quantitative PET imaging.

    Catherine R. Ayers, PhD, ABPP is the Program Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and Assistant Clinical Professor at University of California, San Diego. Her clinical and research interests include the treatment of late life anxiety disorders, OCD, and compulsive hoarding. She received a grant from the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation to examine psychotherapy treatment response in older adults with compulsive hoarding.

    Jennifer Sumner, Ph.D. is a neuropsychologist and Staff Research Associate (III) in the UCSD OCD Research Program. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology with a sub-specialty in neuropsychology. Dr. Sumner manages the neurocognitive testing, analysis, and interpretation for the OCD laboratory. She also supervises subject recruitment and screening for all study participants. She has had extensive training in neurocognitive assessment of adults and several years of experience doing neuropsychological testing, research, and rehabilitation in patients with anxiety disorders and cognitive impairment. She has also worked on structural brain imaging and cortical plasticity research studies yielding several scientific publications.

    Marieke B. J. Toffolo, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist and Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the UCSD OCD Research Program. Dr. Toffolo received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.  She has had extensive training in psychological treatment of adults and adolescents with diverse psychiatric disorders and ample experience doing experimental psychopathology research in patients with OCD and other anxiety disorders. She has published multiple papers on the reciprocal relationships between compulsions and cognitive symptoms in OCD as underlying mechanism of the disorder and in relation to treatment.  At the UCSD OCD Research Program Dr. Toffolo is managing and conducting a study that investigates a new behavior treatment for OCD. Additionally, she is involved in subject screening and data analysis of other ongoing studies on OCD and Hoarding Disorder. Dr. Toffolo is employed as a postdoctoral fellow at the Psychiatry Department of UCSD and funded through the Rubicon Grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO; project no 446-15-013).