Current Environment:

Researcher | 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.

Researcher | Research Background

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

  1. 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
  2. Picker JD, Walsh CA. New innovations: therapeutic opportunities for intellectual disabilities. Ann Neurol. 2013 Sep;74(3):382-90.
  3. 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)
  4. 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
  5. 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 | Publications