Research Overview

Currently, translating mouse behavioral paradigms to the clinical arena in order to carry out cross species interventional studies that can provide quantifiable data for meaningful trials. Interest remains strong in understanding the mechanisms by which genes influence behavior in rodents to identify targetable treatment options.

About Jonathan Picker

Jonathan Picker’s background is a mixture clinical pediatrics, genetics and child psychiatry with a PhD in molecular biology (faculty of Agriculture, Newcastle university) focused on gene regulation that followed a Master degree in prokaryotic genetics. Initial medical training and experience was in the United Kingdom before coming to Harvard to do fellowship in both Genetics and Child and adolescent psychiatry. Research thereafter was in Joe Coyle’s lab looking at factors predisposing towards psychosis and brain development and involved collaborations on mouse behavior at Wellesley College with Joanne Berger Sweeney. Since then he has moved to a more translational approach seeking to advance personalized medicine through genomic approaches. He directs the fragile X program and cofounded and co-directs the pharmacogenomics clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital. Research remains oriented towards understanding the mechanisms by which genes influence behavior in rodents to identify targetable treatment options.

Selected Publications

Rodan LH, Cohen J, Fatemi A, Gillis T, Lucente D, Gusella J, Picker JD. A novel neurodevelopmental disorder associated with compound heterozygous variants in the huntingtin gene. Eur J Hum Genet. 2016 Dec;24(12):1833

Picker JD, Walsh CA. New innovations: therapeutic opportunities for intellectual disabilities. Ann Neurol. 2013 Sep;74(3):382-90.

Poduri A, Chopra SS, Neilan EG, Elhosary PC, Kurian MA, Meyer E, Barry BJ, Khwaja OS, Salih MA, Stödberg T, Scheffer IE, Maher ER, Sahin M, Wu BL, Berry GT, Walsh CA, Picker J*, Kothare SV*. Homozygous PLCB1 deletion associated with malignant migrating partial seizures in infancy. Epilepsia. 2012 Aug;53(8):e146-50 (*joint senior authors)

Picker JD, Yang R, Ricceri L, Berger-Sweeney J. An altered neonatal behavioral phenotype in Mecp2 mutant mice. Neuroreport. 2006 Apr 3;17(5):541-4

Picker JD, Coyle JT. Do maternal folate and homocysteine levels play a role in neurodevelopmental processes that increase risk for schizophrenia? Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2005 Jul-Aug;13(4):197-205.

Researcher Services

Researcher Areas

  • Genetics

Research Departments

Research Divisions

PUBLICATIONS

Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Schwartz TS, Wojcik MH, Pelletier RC, Edward HL, Picker JD, Holm IA, Towne MC, Beggs AH, Agrawal PB. Expanding the phenotypic spectrum associated with OPHN1 variants. Eur J Med Genet. 2018 Jun 27. View abstract
  2. Kim H, Chadwick L, Alzaidi Y, Picker J, Poduri A, Manzi S. HLA-A*31:01 and Oxcarbazepine-Induced DRESS in a Patient With Seizures and Complete DCX Deletion. Pediatrics. 2018 Apr; 141(Suppl 5):S434-S438. View abstract
  3. Zarate YA, Smith-Hicks CL, Greene C, Abbott MA, Siu VM, Calhoun ARUL, Pandya A, Li C, Sellars EA, Kaylor J, Bosanko K, Kalsner L, Basinger A, Slavotinek AM, Perry H, Saenz M, Szybowska M, Wilson LC, Kumar A, Brain C, Balasubramanian M, Dubbs H, Ortiz-Gonzalez XR, Zackai E, Stein Q, Powell CM, Schrier Vergano S, Britt A, Sun A, Smith W, Bebin EM, Picker J, Kirby A, Pinz H, Bombei H, Mahida S, Cohen JS, Fatemi A, Vernon HJ, McClellan R, Fleming LR, Knyszek B, Steinraths M, Velasco Gonzalez C, Beck AE, Golden-Grant KL, Egense A, Parikh A, Raimondi C, Angle B, Allen W, Schott S, Algrabli A, Robin NH, Ray JW, Everman DB, Gambello MJ, Chung WK. Natural history and genotype-phenotype correlations in 72 individuals with SATB2-associated syndrome. Am J Med Genet A. 2018 Apr; 176(4):925-935. View abstract
  4. Jamuar SS, Picker JD, Stoler JM. Utility of Genetic Testing in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. J Pediatr. 2018 May; 196:270-274.e1. View abstract
  5. Munshi K, Pawlowski K, Gonzalez-Heydrich J, Picker JD. Review of Salient Investigational Drugs for the Treatment of Fragile X Syndrome. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2017 Dec; 27(10):850-863. View abstract
  6. Zou F, McWalter K, Schmidt L, Decker A, Picker JD, Lincoln S, Sweetser DA, Briere LC, Harini C, Marsh E, Medne L, Wang RY, Leydiker K, Mower A, Visser G, Cuppen I, van Gassen KL, van der Smagt J, Yousaf A, Tennison M, Shanmugham A, Butler E, Richard G, McKnight D. Expanding the phenotypic spectrum of GABRG2 variants: a recurrent GABRG2 missense variant associated with a severe phenotype. J Neurogenet. 2017 Mar - Jun; 31(1-2):30-36. View abstract
  7. Garza-Flores A, Hawley P, Picker J, Tannebring E, Deardorff MA, Lin AE. Response to: Toriello et al., "Update on the Toriello-Carey Syndrome." Further delineation of a young woman with deletion 1q42.12-q42.2. Am J Med Genet A. 2017 Apr 26. View abstract
  8. Rodan LH, Cohen J, Fatemi A, Gillis T, Lucente D, Gusella J, Picker JD. A novel neurodevelopmental disorder associated with compound heterozygous variants in the huntingtin gene. Eur J Hum Genet. 2016 12; 24(12):1833. View abstract
  9. Rodan LH, Cohen J, Fatemi A, Gillis T, Lucente D, Gusella J, Picker JD. A novel neurodevelopmental disorder associated with compound heterozygous variants in the huntingtin gene. Eur J Hum Genet. 2016 12; 24(12):1826-1827. View abstract
  10. Srivastava S, Olson HE, Cohen JS, Gubbels CS, Lincoln S, Davis BT, Shahmirzadi L, Gupta S, Picker J, Yu TW, Miller DT, Soul JS, Poretti A, Naidu S. BRAT1 mutations present with a spectrum of clinical severity. Am J Med Genet A. 2016 Sep; 170(9):2265-73. View abstract
  11. Oberman LM, Ifert-Miller F, Najib U, Bashir S, Heydrich JG, Picker J, Rotenberg A, Pascual-Leone A. Abnormal Mechanisms of Plasticity and Metaplasticity in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Fragile X Syndrome. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2016 Sep; 26(7):617-24. View abstract
  12. Okur V, Cho MT, Henderson L, Retterer K, Schneider M, Sattler S, Niyazov D, Azage M, Smith S, Picker J, Lincoln S, Tarnopolsky M, Brady L, Bjornsson HT, Applegate C, Dameron A, Willaert R, Baskin B, Juusola J, Chung WK. De novo mutations in CSNK2A1 are associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities and dysmorphic features. Hum Genet. 2016 07; 135(7):699-705. View abstract
  13. Brownstein CA, Kleiman RJ, Engle EC, Towne MC, D'Angelo EJ, Yu TW, Beggs AH, Picker J, Fogler JM, Carroll D, Schmitt RC, Wolff RR, Shen Y, Lip V, Bilguvar K, Kim A, Tembulkar S, O'Donnell K, Gonzalez-Heydrich J. Overlapping 16p13.11 deletion and gain of copies variations associated with childhood onset psychosis include genes with mechanistic implications for autism associated pathways: Two case reports. Am J Med Genet A. 2016 May; 170A(5):1165-73. View abstract
  14. Brownstein CA, Beggs AH, Rodan L, Shi J, Towne MC, Pelletier R, Cao S, Rosenberg PA, Urion DK, Picker J, Tan WH, Agrawal PB. Clinical heterogeneity associated with KCNA1 mutations include cataplexy and nonataxic presentations. Neurogenetics. 2016 Jan; 17(1):11-6. View abstract
  15. Gil-Rodríguez MC, Deardorff MA, Ansari M, Tan CA, Parenti I, Baquero-Montoya C, Ousager LB, Puisac B, Hernández-Marcos M, Teresa-Rodrigo ME, Marcos-Alcalde I, Wesselink JJ, Lusa-Bernal S, Bijlsma EK, Braunholz D, Bueno-Martinez I, Clark D, Cooper NS, Curry CJ, Fisher R, Fryer A, Ganesh J, Gervasini C, Gillessen-Kaesbach G, Guo Y, Hakonarson H, Hopkin RJ, Kaur M, Keating BJ, Kibaek M, Kinning E, Kleefstra T, Kline AD, Kuchinskaya E, Larizza L, Li YR, Liu X, Mariani M, Picker JD, Pié Á, Pozojevic J, Queralt E, Richer J, Roeder E, Sinha A, Scott RH, So J, Wusik KA, Wilson L, Zhang J, Gómez-Puertas P, Casale CH, Ström L, Selicorni A, Ramos FJ, Jackson LG, Krantz ID, Das S, Hennekam RC, Kaiser FJ, FitzPatrick DR, Pié J. De novo heterozygous mutations in SMC3 cause a range of Cornelia de Lange syndrome-overlapping phenotypes. Hum Mutat. 2015 Apr; 36(4):454-62. View abstract
  16. Thaker VV, Esteves KM, Towne MC, Brownstein CA, James PM, Crowley L, Hirschhorn JN, Elsea SH, Beggs AH, Picker J, Agrawal PB. Whole exome sequencing identifies RAI1 mutation in a morbidly obese child diagnosed with ROHHAD syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 May; 100(5):1723-30. View abstract
  17. Geng J, Picker J, Zheng Z, Zhang X, Wang J, Hisama F, Brown DW, Mullen MP, Harris D, Stoler J, Seman A, Miller DT, Fu Q, Roberts AE, Shen Y. Chromosome microarray testing for patients with congenital heart defects reveals novel disease causing loci and high diagnostic yield. BMC Genomics. 2014 Dec 17; 15:1127. View abstract
  18. Heard TT, Ramgopal S, Picker J, Lincoln SA, Rotenberg A, Kothare SV. EEG abnormalities and seizures in genetically diagnosed Fragile X syndrome. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2014 Nov; 38:155-60. View abstract
  19. Picker JD, Walsh CA. New innovations: therapeutic opportunities for intellectual disabilities. Ann Neurol. 2013 Sep; 74(3):382-90. View abstract
  20. McLaughlin HM, Kelly MA, Hawley PP, Darras BT, Funke B, Picker J. Compound heterozygosity of predicted loss-of-function DES variants in a family with recessive desminopathy. BMC Med Genet. 2013 Jul 02; 14:68. View abstract
  21. Talkowski ME, Ordulu Z, Pillalamarri V, Benson CB, Blumenthal I, Connolly S, Hanscom C, Hussain N, Pereira S, Picker J, Rosenfeld JA, Shaffer LG, Wilkins-Haug LE, Gusella JF, Morton CC. Clinical diagnosis by whole-genome sequencing of a prenatal sample. N Engl J Med. 2012 Dec 06; 367(23):2226-32. View abstract
  22. Abrams L, Cronister A, Brown WT, Tassone F, Sherman SL, Finucane B, McConkie-Rosell A, Hagerman R, Kaufmann WE, Picker J, Coffey S, Skinner D, Johnson V, Miller R, Berry-Kravis E. Newborn, carrier, and early childhood screening recommendations for fragile X. Pediatrics. 2012 Dec; 130(6):1126-35. View abstract
  23. Poduri A, Chopra SS, Neilan EG, Elhosary PC, Kurian MA, Meyer E, Barry BJ, Khwaja OS, Salih MA, Stödberg T, Scheffer IE, Maher ER, Sahin M, Wu BL, Berry GT, Walsh CA, Picker J, Kothare SV. Homozygous PLCB1 deletion associated with malignant migrating partial seizures in infancy. Epilepsia. 2012 Aug; 53(8):e146-50. View abstract
  24. Schaevitz LR, Picker JD, Rana J, Kolodny NH, Shane B, Berger-Sweeney JE, Coyle JT. Glutamate carboxypeptidase II and folate deficiencies result in reciprocal protection against cognitive and social deficits in mice: implications for neurodevelopmental disorders. Dev Neurobiol. 2012 Jun; 72(6):891-905. View abstract
  25. Coulter ME, Miller DT, Harris DJ, Hawley P, Picker J, Roberts AE, Sobeih MM, Irons M. Chromosomal microarray testing influences medical management. Genet Med. 2011 Sep; 13(9):770-6. View abstract
  26. Yu HE, Hawash K, Picker J, Stoler J, Urion D, Wu BL, Shen Y. A recurrent 1.71 Mb genomic imbalance at 2q13 increases the risk of developmental delay and dysmorphism. Clin Genet. 2012 Mar; 81(3):257-64. View abstract
  27. Dauber A, Hirschhorn JN, Picker J, Maher TA, Milunsky A. Delayed puberty due to a novel mutation in CHD7 causing CHARGE syndrome. Pediatrics. 2010 Dec; 126(6):e1594-8. View abstract
  28. Oberman L, Ifert-Miller F, Najib U, Bashir S, Woollacott I, Gonzalez-Heydrich J, Picker J, Rotenberg A, Pascual-Leone A. Transcranial magnetic stimulation provides means to assess cortical plasticity and excitability in humans with fragile x syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Front Synaptic Neurosci. 2010; 2:26. View abstract
  29. Ching MS, Shen Y, Tan WH, Jeste SS, Morrow EM, Chen X, Mukaddes NM, Yoo SY, Hanson E, Hundley R, Austin C, Becker RE, Berry GT, Driscoll K, Engle EC, Friedman S, Gusella JF, Hisama FM, Irons MB, Lafiosca T, LeClair E, Miller DT, Neessen M, Picker JD, Rappaport L, Rooney CM, Sarco DP, Stoler JM, Walsh CA, Wolff RR, Zhang T, Nasir RH, Wu BL. Deletions of NRXN1 (neurexin-1) predispose to a wide spectrum of developmental disorders. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2010 Jun 05; 153B(4):937-47. View abstract
  30. Datta A, Picker J, Rotenberg A. Trisomy 8 mosaicism and favorable outcome after treatment of infantile spasms: case report. J Child Neurol. 2010 Oct; 25(10):1275-7. View abstract
  31. Shen Y, Dies KA, Holm IA, Bridgemohan C, Sobeih MM, Caronna EB, Miller KJ, Frazier JA, Silverstein I, Picker J, Weissman L, Raffalli P, Jeste S, Demmer LA, Peters HK, Brewster SJ, Kowalczyk SJ, Rosen-Sheidley B, McGowan C, Duda AW, Lincoln SA, Lowe KR, Schonwald A, Robbins M, Hisama F, Wolff R, Becker R, Nasir R, Urion DK, Milunsky JM, Rappaport L, Gusella JF, Walsh CA, Wu BL, Miller DT. Clinical genetic testing for patients with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics. 2010 Apr; 125(4):e727-35. View abstract
  32. Han L, Picker JD, Schaevitz LR, Tsai G, Feng J, Jiang Z, Chu HC, Basu AC, Berger-Sweeney J, Coyle JT. Phenotypic characterization of mice heterozygous for a null mutation of glutamate carboxypeptidase II. Synapse. 2009 Aug; 63(8):625-35. View abstract
  33. Hagerman RJ, Berry-Kravis E, Kaufmann WE, Ono MY, Tartaglia N, Lachiewicz A, Kronk R, Delahunty C, Hessl D, Visootsak J, Picker J, Gane L, Tranfaglia M. Advances in the treatment of fragile X syndrome. Pediatrics. 2009 Jan; 123(1):378-90. View abstract
  34. Ou Z, Berg JS, Yonath H, Enciso VB, Miller DT, Picker J, Lenzi T, Keegan CE, Sutton VR, Belmont J, Chinault AC, Lupski JR, Cheung SW, Roeder E, Patel A. Microduplications of 22q11.2 are frequently inherited and are associated with variable phenotypes. Genet Med. 2008 Apr; 10(4):267-77. View abstract
  35. Lawson-Yuen A, Saldivar JS, Sommer S, Picker J. Familial deletion within NLGN4 associated with autism and Tourette syndrome. Eur J Hum Genet. 2008 May; 16(5):614-8. View abstract
  36. Lawson-Yuen A, Liu D, Han L, Jiang ZI, Tsai GE, Basu AC, Picker J, Feng J, Coyle JT. Ube3a mRNA and protein expression are not decreased in Mecp2R168X mutant mice. Brain Res. 2007 Nov 14; 1180:1-6. View abstract
  37. Picker JD, Yang R, Ricceri L, Berger-Sweeney J. An altered neonatal behavioral phenotype in Mecp2 mutant mice. Neuroreport. 2006 Apr 03; 17(5):541-4. View abstract
  38. Alkuraya FS, Picker J, Irons MB, Kimonis VE. Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome in trisomy 13: how does the mix work? Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2005 Aug; 73(8):569-71. View abstract
  39. Picker JD, Coyle JT. Do maternal folate and homocysteine levels play a role in neurodevelopmental processes that increase risk for schizophrenia? Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2005 Jul-Aug; 13(4):197-205. View abstract
  40. Picker JD & Coyle JT . Do maternal folate and homocysteine levels play a role in neurodevelopmental processes which may relate to schizophrenia genesis. Harvard Review of Psychiatry. 2005; 13(4):197-205. View abstract
  41. Picker JD, Levy HL. . Homocystinuria. In: Genereviews at Genetests. 2003. View abstract
  42. Picker JD, Puga AC, Levy HL, Marsden D, Shih VE, Degirolami U, Ligon KL, Cederbaum SD, Kern RM, Cox GF. Arginase deficiency with lethal neonatal expression: evidence for the glutamine hypothesis of cerebral edema. J Pediatr. 2003 Mar; 142(3):349-52. View abstract
  43. Lin AE, Grossfeld PD, Hamilton RM, Smoot L, Gripp KW, Proud V, Weksberg R, Wheeler P, Picker J, Irons M, Zackai E, Marino B, Scott CI, Nicholson L. Further delineation of cardiac abnormalities in Costello syndrome. Am J Med Genet. 2002 Aug 01; 111(2):115-29. View abstract
  44. Picker JD, Cox GF, Fan YS, Fowler DJ, Weremowicz S, Morton CC, Lee C. Multicolor karyotypic interpretation of a heterochromatin-associated marker chromosome in a dysmorphic girl with developmental delay. Am J Med Genet. 2002 Jul 15; 110(4):393-6. View abstract
  45. Fowler DJ, Picker J, Waisbren SE, Levy HL. Neonatal screening for medium--chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency. Lancet. 2002 Feb 16; 359(9306):628. View abstract
  46. Picker JD, Fox DP. Do curried foods produce micronuclei in buccal epithelial cells? Mutat Res. 1986 Aug-Sep; 171(2-3):185-8. View abstract